Your restaurant’s holiday season planner

Posted on November 17th, 2017
How to connect to digital-driven diners?

Staying fresh while keeping up with tradition can be a challenge: “Customers expect to see certain things when they go out during the holidays, but they also don’t want to be bored,” explains Maeve Webster of Datassential, a Chicago-based firm that tracks foodservice trends. While an inventive menu is essential, there are many other aspects to cover as well.

From planning your marketing strategy to training staff and organizing memorable events, the list is long. That’s why we’ve created this Christmas checklist for you. Are you ready to make this holiday season a stunning success? Then start checking now!

Your Christmas checklist

BUSINESS - Ensure a successful celebration

The holiday season is your chance to upsell. To do so, why not come up with an “out of the box” marketing strategy including enhanced services and an alternative menu that will surprise your clients?

  • Offer catering services for nearby offices’ holiday parties
  • Add a service you don’t usually offer, like brunch or happy hour
  • Extend your opening hours
  • Create a detailed sheet on how to manage groups
  • Create an elaborate holiday special prix fixe menu including options for children
  • Improve your wine card
  • Consider delivery options, like pre-orders for Holiday meals
  • Think of seasonal drink options
  • And don’t forget: be festive and decorate!

STAFF - Be organized

Providing the best service possible is not that simple when things get hectic. Training and scheduling the best staff for the job can make all the difference. Most importantly, keep it jolly on the floor and in the kitchen!

  • Divide tasks between the ones that require minimal training and the ones that require experienced staff
  • Define the ideal number of staff on the floor and in the kitchen, and how many temp staff members are required
  • Give your most experienced and welcoming staff the front-row roles
  • Review booking details and menus every day with your whole team
  • Train staff on all the day-to-day systems (POS, CRM, etc)
  • Brainstorm with staff on ways to increase efficiency
  • Redefine the floor plan and sections
  • Insist on the importance of teamwork and communication

EVENTS - Make it memorable

Hosting events is a wonderful way to share the joy and create lasting memories.

  • Invite local bloggers to a special holiday tasting event
  • Plan a Christmas party for your most loyal customers
  • Offer entertainment on the most important dates of your holiday calendar
  • Organize a charity event for the less fortunate to engage with community

PROMO - Feed the word-of-mouth

Plan your special promotions and sales ahead of time and take advantage of social media to get the word out. November is a good time to start. Here are the top must-do tips:

  • Photograph or film your holiday meals and promote them on all of your social platforms
  • Share your holiday menu with the press and on all your digital platforms, including online directories
  • Don’t underestimate the good old fashioned chalkboard sign! Get it out there and use it to promote your specials
  • Film your home-made holiday video and send it to your regular customers, providers and partners
  • Make your Christmas gift-cards easy to purchase, redeem and reload, and sell them in a beautiful, festive package, like a Christmas stocking or a cool card
  • Run a contest in which the winner gets a free Holiday meal for two
  • Offer early bird treats, like a free appetizer or a signature holiday cocktail
  • Give away loyalty freebies to clients booking for more than X number of people
  • Provide e-tickets for New Year’s Eve

Of course, no restaurant can cover all these points, but checking some of them off will definitely increase your chance of successfully communicating the spirit of the season and creating memorable experience for your customers. So, are you ready to jump on the sleigh and share the joy?

To learn more about YP Dine’s products and services like online reservations and ordering, gift-cards and e-tickets, changing opening hours and menus, contact us!