Going Digital: Restaurant Holiday Marketing
How to use digital support to grow your restaurant’s business during the holidays
With the holiday season nearly upon us, now is the time to increase your restaurant’s seasonal sales through a smart marketing strategy. There are endless options when it comes to marketing for your restaurant, but digital is one of the free resources to use to your advantage, especially during the busy end-of-year period. Here are some ideas to help you get a head start on your restaurant’s holiday marketing to increase revenue during this important season.
Keep Your Guests in the Know Through Email
Ensure that your guests stay informed about all of your holiday happenings by using the best free online resource of all: email. Start building your email list if you haven’t already so you can market to them during the holidays and continue even after the season is over. Emails around this time of year can include information on modified hours, holiday season events, catering for holiday parties, promotions of gift cards, and thanking your most loyal guests. Keeping your guests informed about all these little things shows that you appreciate them and increases engagement, which will result in more sales for you.
Pro tip: make it easy for you and your staff to build your mailing list by integrating email marketing platforms through your website.
Gift Cards Make Great Presents
Make it known to your guests that gift cards to your restaurant make great presents for friends and family. The best way to get the word out is by promoting your gift cards online—make guests, especially the loyal ones, aware that you offer gift cards and make it easy for them to get one. Use all online resources to spread the word: social media, email, and your website.
Don’t Be A Grinch, Be Social
Over the holiday season, it’s essential to maintain your social media channels. The platforms that matter the most for restaurants are Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—make sure to focus on these. Keep everything up-to-date, especially if your restaurant has modified hours and/or menu specials during the season. These are top things your guests are searching for, so make sure they’re updated and easy to find!
Pro tip: share beautiful photos of your food, your restaurant, and your staff across all social media channels. High-quality photos are more appealing to your guests’ eyes. The goal is to engage your guests and draw them in—don’t deter them with poor quality photos! The quality of your photos reflects the quality of your restaurant, so post accordingly.
Gift Wrapping Is All About Presentation. So Is Your Website
Make sure all relevant seasonal info is on your website since this is most likely the first place your guests will check for holiday hours, special events, and special menus. If you have a special announcement for the holiday season, make an alert so that it’s the first thing guests see upon entering your site. Essential information should be included on your website, like address, hours, phone number, menu, social media profiles, and gift card and/or ordering links. Having this info easily accessible to your guests give them the gift of an easy online experience, which works to your benefit!
Pro tip: your website should be optimized for mobile. With holiday shopping in full swing, chances are your guests are going to be on the go and using their mobile devices to help them decide where to eat. If you’re unsure if your website is mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
For many, the holiday season is a time of celebration with friends and family. In the hospitality industry, the holiday season is all about pushing your marketing efforts to their fullest. Make the most of your online presence and you’ll be rewarded with the gift of more guests this season.