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It’s an unusual holiday season for restaurants this year, with COVID restrictions and customer safety concerns reducing the number of in-person dining and events. But there are a few bright spots that restaurants can look to in order to increase revenue and start 2021 on a positive note.

At Tripleseat, we recently conducted a survey of 500 Americans to find out how their holiday plans have been impacted by COVID, as well as consumer habits and spending preferences. We found several insights that can help the hospitality and events industry adjust their offerings to appeal to consumer preferences.

Create offers for small, at-home events

While most consumers typically stay home for their holiday meals, the headcount is smaller this year or they’re or opting for a virtual celebration. A majority of people holding at-home events told us they will be hosting 6-10 guests. Restaurants can appeal to these customers by pivoting to smaller portion sizes for to-go holiday meals or offer a-la-carte choices.

Create new price points for catering

When asked if they had hosted a small gathering with five or more attendees during 2020, a little under half of those polled said yes, with 30% using catering for these events. The ones who did not opt for catering, said it was too expensive, they cooked the food themselves, or they felt catering was unsafe. In order to push catering for this holiday season and beyond, restaurants should consider pricing incentives to attract more customers, offer a-la-carte options for holiday meals, and push out more marketing material highlighting safety precautions when preparing food to ease consumers’ worries.

Market your gift cards

More than half of consumers told us they are purchasing gift cards to restaurants this holiday season. Make sure to promote your gift card options in emails, social media posts, and on your website, and make it easy for customers to purchase them online.

Offer to rebook 

Holiday workplace celebrations are being postponed or going virtual this year. More than half of respondents reported that their workplace/company is holding a holiday celebration. But that doesn’t mean these in-person company gatherings won’t happen eventually. Restaurants and event spaces should offer the option to rebook and promote incentives to book post-holiday parties in 2021.

About Tripleseat

Tripleseat is a catering and event management platform used by more than 15,000 venues each day, enabling them to streamline the planning process and increase sales. To date, the Tripleseat platform has helped venues book over 6 million events and capture $15 billion in event leads.

To learn more about the company, or if you’d like to schedule a demo, please visit www.tripleseat.com.

The state of the restaurant industry is ever-evolving, but nothing could have prepared restaurant owners and operators for 2020. Download our State of the Restaurant Industry Report for 2020 menu, sales, and holiday trends, plus stories from restaurant owners who managed to grow sales despite the pandemic.

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Written by   |  
Azure is based in Brooklyn, NY and is Tripleseat’s Director of Content Marketing. She manages the blogs for Tripleseat and VENUES by Tripleseat and social media content for Tripleseat’s brands and is the Editor in Chief for Seated magazine.
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