No matter what holidays a restaurant celebrates, they are sure to be the most active days of the year. Restaurants need to work efficiently and smartly to make the most of these busy days.
As a restaurant consultant, you know this. But perhaps you’re looking for new ways to add value to your restaurant portfolio or you’re gearing up for a busy holiday season and you need a little something extra to push success over the line this year.
Here are four ways you can better support your restaurants this holiday season.
1. Help Create Holiday Specials that Draw More Guests
As shoppers look to refuel during marathon mall days, or friends and family seek out a place to celebrate the season, there’s a lot of competition for holiday business. Holiday specials are what will separate one restaurant from another. Help your restaurants focus on what makes them unique, represents their vision, and meets their goals.
Do your restaurants offer gift cards? Consider running a gift card special, such as gifting guests who spend $200 on gift cards with a free $50 card. Guests are looking to spend smart, and offering an incentive that still drives revenue for the restaurant is a win-win, especially since the recipient of the guest will likely come in with friends and spend more than that amount.
If your clients are looking for something other than gift cards, they could consider promotions on specific items. How about a holiday drink that patrons love, or a dish known to drive repeat business? Consider offering a two-for-one special on those dishes and be sure to encourage your clients to promote these offerings via social media. Another great option is offering a discount on private parties during the holiday season, especially if the restaurant typically hosts larger parties. Whatever already works for your restaurants should be highlighted during the holidays and don’t be afraid to try something new!
2. Emphasize the Importance of Social Media
While restaurants’ social media is always important to the success of small businesses, standing out among the holiday crowd can be particularly difficult during the holidays. Helping your restaurants prepare for this time of year means encouraging them to stay relevant and keep in connection with their customer base.
The strategy is the same no matter what the content is: Post about it! And while there will be a lot of holiday content floating around, this is a good time to advise your restaurants who can afford it to bring in a social media marketer, even if it’s just for the holiday season. If they’ve put in the work to build holiday specials, it’s important to promote it and make it worth their while.
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3. Step Up Marketing Efforts
For restaurants that use a smart, cloud-based point of sale like Upserve POS that has been gathering customer information all year long, now is the time to make the most of it. Encourage your clients to be proactive and reach out to their existing customer base to remind them of all the specials and offerings going on this season. From discounts on gift cards and freshly made pies to extended hours or early reservations, let them know what they’re missing out on if they don’t stop by during the holidays.
Don’t overlook creative ways to reach customers, such as participating in holiday community events or decorating the exterior of the restaurant to draw attention. If decor is especially creative, expect customers and passersby to take photos and share on their own social media accounts, which can reach and pique the interest of new customers.
Restaurants should also increase their brand awareness by sponsoring holiday events. From community tree lightings to toy drives and more, there are plenty of ways to market subtly while getting involved in the spirit of the season.
4. Pay Close Attention to Inventory
Inventory is always important, but it’s even more critical during the holidays when running out of a certain ingredient or spice could mean 86ing a favorite dish far too soon. (Remember that suppliers may not be as readily available due to their own holiday constraints.) To keep this from happening, encourage your clients to make sure they have their inventory supplies in check.
Monitoring inventory doesn’t have to be as manual as it used to be. Using pen, paper and a calculator is officially old-fashioned. The smarter way to track inventory is by integrating a solution with the point-of-sale, like Upserve Inventory, which allows inventory reports to automatically update with each dish sold. This way, owners and managers can spend their time on the floor chatting with guests and spreading holiday cheer.