The Holiday season is a substantial source of yearly revenue for restaurants between holiday parties, gift certificate sales and those saving time by dining out versus cooking at home. According to the New York Times* there is still considerable uncertainty among consumers regarding the economy. There are also fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2013, creating a push to shop early. These two scenarios will lead to consumers relying heavily on promotional offers that will allow them to finish their shopping early while saving both time and money. With what some may consider a perfect storm upon us there are several things restaurants can do to entice customers to spend.
Seasonal Menus with local ingredients - Consumers continue to find value in and are willing to pay more for menu items made with local ingredients. Creating seasonal or daily special offerings customers have a reason to keep coming back throughout the holiday season to try something new.
Philanthropic Promotions - Consumers are watching their budgets closely in these uncertain economic times so when they can "give and get" it makes a purchase decision easier. Offer customers a way to easily give back when they purchase a gift certificate from your restaurant. For example, with every gift certificate purchase, donate some of the purchase to a local food bank or charity. It's a perfect way to:
Get Social - Encourage customers to engage with your restaurant on social media to get additional special offers only available via social media communication. With many consumers willing to engage in social media, special offers will create immediate response and allow for future communication beyond the holiday season.
Drink Up - Seasonal beverages of all varieties offer incremental revenue opportunities. Consider creating a holiday beverage that appeals to consumers love of the season. Blended beverages especially smoothies and frozen coffee drinks are a great way to take advantage of the snacking occasion.
By giving customers an additional reason to visit your restaurant, you will reap the financial rewards of the holiday season and beyond.
*The New York Times, Stuart Elliott October 20, 2013 Cloudy Forecast for Holiday Spending Prompts More Promotion.