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10 Bite-Sized Holiday Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Holiday Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

While the heart of the holiday shopping season hits around Thanksgiving, one in 10 consumers actually starts holiday shopping before Labor Day. Given the amount of consumer spending up for grabs, restaurants that put a solid holiday marketing plan together stand to reap the rewards of increased traffic and profits.

Last year, consumers spent more money on experiences for the holidays, including more holiday spending on restaurants and travel-related industries. When you add potential revenues from sales of gift cards, dining out with friends and loved ones and corporate events to the sheer volume of consumers who will be eating out while they are actually doing their holiday shopping, it’s vital for restaurants to put together a holiday marketing plan to help them make the most out of the season. Here are 10 bite-sized holiday marketing ideas that can put a bigger piece of the holiday spending pie on your plate.

10 Bite-Sized Holiday Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

  1. Socialize More

In the past, the majority of referrals were word-of-mouth. In 2016, more than 67 percent of referrals happen via social media or email. Make sure your holiday offers get promoted on social networks and encourage your restaurant’s social media followers to share your updates and offers with their networks.

  1. Get Staff On Board

Coaching staff and giving them scripts to promote sales of restaurant gift cards or add-on items can be a great way to increase profitability and the amount of the average guest ticket. Add staff incentives for selling gift cards and up-selling and you’ll set the stage for success during the holidays.

  1. Make Contact

Every customer should be invited to sign up for email or text updates from your restaurant and follow your social networks. Not only can you send them special holiday offers, but you can also remind them that restaurant gift cards would be a perfect gift for a hard-to-please boss, co-worker, friend or relative – and you can do so on an on-going basis.

  1. Get in the Know

Make sure that you know when neighboring businesses will be running big sales or holding events. Offer to extend a special offer to their patrons or plan to distribute handbills when foot traffic in your area is heaviest.

  1. Cater

Even if your restaurant does not normally offer catering services, offering catering during the holiday season might mean additional revenues. You can also cater to groups during the holidays and promote special menus prepared specifically for corporate groups that book holiday gatherings at your restaurant.

  1. Mobility is a Must

When you consider that about 72 percent of all mobile searches are for restaurants, and that about 85 percent of those searches convert – most within an hour – the importance of having a mobile-friendly restaurant website is readily apparent. To reap the benefits of these mobile searches, make sure your restaurant is mobile friendly, offers click-to-call functionality and makes it as easy as possible for site visitors to find your phone number, address, menu and hours of operation.

  1. Set Goals

There is nothing like setting specific goals to get everyone on your team focused on the goals as well as the tactics that can help you achieve them. In addition to a team goal, make sure that you plan for a team reward or celebration when success is attained.

  1. Give Back

Give back to a local charity, cause or help local families in need during the holidays. When consumers know that buying your restaurant’s gift cards or dining at your establishment also produces a greater good, they are even more likely to do so – and bring their friends.

  1. Play Up the Local Angle

Many consumers are more aware of how choosing to “shop local” during the holidays is beneficial to the local economy overall as well as local merchants. Make sure you let holiday shoppers know that the same local benefits are achieved when they dine at your restaurant or give away your restaurant’s gift cards to their co-workers, friends and loved ones.

  1. Make Gift Card Sales a Multi-Channel Affair

2017 is projected to be the most connected holiday shopping season ever, with an 18-21 percent increase in e-commerce sales from last year. Make sure that you have a way to promote and sell gift cards online in order to gain a larger share of holiday shopping dollars.

The holiday shopping season will be in full swing before you know it! While these restaurant marketing ideas might be bite-sized, they are perfectly proportioned to help you reach holiday shoppers this year.

What about you? How did your restaurant reach out to holiday shoppers last year; what worked especially well? Share your ideas in the comments below or tweet them to us @KabbageInc.

 

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Kabbage Team

The Kabbage Team is here to not only fund the small business loans you need, but to help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.

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