The holidays can put a tremendous amount of pressure on a business, so it’s important to make sure you are geared up for the busy shopping and dining out season. If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, never fear. Here are some ways to beat the competition and stay sane doing it.
Start Marketing Early
During the last two months of the year, customers plan way in advance where to hold their holiday parties and take their family and friends out for dinner and drinks. Get ahead of the game by advertising your holiday promotions, such as reservations for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and seasonal event rates. You can also consider offering catering services around this time, even if your establishment normally does not offer that option. And of course, make sure to create promotional materials for all your holiday perks and post them on your website and social media accounts. Keep in mind that your competition increases during this time of year, as other restaurants double down on their marketing.
Prepare for Increased Traffic
Expect new traffic to flow to your restaurant around the holidays, and make preparations. You may need to hire temporary seasonal staff for the months of November, December, January, and perhaps even February when Valentine’s Day comes around. You want to be prepared for your newly aggressive holiday marketing strategies to be successful, enticing new customers, tourists, and anyone else who wants a taste of your holiday cheer. Organize the physical space in your restaurant to potentially accommodate larger crowds, such as adding more bar-stools or clearing a bigger pathway down the center of your space. Don’t forget to offer dazzling service to keep your new customers there once they decide to give you a chance.
Cater to Holiday Needs
Be aware of what people are looking for in a restaurant during the winter festive season. Is your establishment a quick eats place or a formal restaurant, suited to taking your mother to for a special holiday dinner? There is a place for both! Holiday shoppers need some sustenance to grab on the go (and they might want a Christmasey hot drink to revive them too!). Families are looking for a nostalgic environment for their special celebrations. Assess your brand and figure out what your customers need most from you this year.
Conclusion: Don’t be caught unawares by the craziest time of the year! Prepare your scheduling, marketing, and the physical space of your restaurant so you can enjoy smooth sailing during the holidays, and your happy customers can too.
Challenge: Set up your staff calendar through January so you know exactly which employees are available during which parts of the season. It will save you many last minute headaches later!