For a good portion of the world, the period of time between Halloween and New Year's Day is collectively known as "the holidays." Depending on your core clientele, their habits, and their values, the holiday season can either be a massive windfall or highly unstable in terms of revenue.
Not only do you have your typical level of competition with other cafe owners, franchisors, and entrepreneurs, but you also have to compete with the holiday rush as well as busy family get-togethers and other festivities.
In this article, we'll examine different ways to pump up your holiday game and beat the seasonal slump. We'll look at key marketing strategies you can use to drive business into your establishment, as well as the critical technological infrastructure behind it all. Join us as we discuss holiday marketing strategies designed to help your business finish 2022 on a high note.
Pumping up your holiday game this season
Across the globe, people from all walks of life celebrate their own unique holidays. The term "the holidays" conjures up a picture of celebration, revelry, and increased business. With all the different traditions and time frames, it's safe to say that people are looking for a chance to celebrate something.
That said, the holidays are something of a double-edged sword. For many cafes, restaurants, and eateries, the holidays mean big business. Between shopping, family get-togethers, parties, and other festivities, it's not unusual for an establishment to bring in a sizeable chunk of its yearly revenue during the holidays.
According to Restaurant Business Online, 22% of families will incorporate some form of restaurant food for at least part of the aforementioned holidays. Desserts are the clear favourite, accounting for 46% of business, followed closely by main course items at 41%.
For those businesses that typically thrive during the holiday season, the following strategies, techniques, and technological solutions will help boost their revenue skyward. However, it's not unheard of for some businesses to struggle during the holiday season.
In January each year, restaurants across the globe experience something called "the seasonal slump." Once the celebrations are over, people tighten their belts and are more reluctant to eat out. Sometimes that attitude bleeds into the holiday season itself. People get wrapped up in family get-togethers, parties, and other activities, which means they might not frequent your establishment as much. Don't fear! These strategies are designed to supercharge your sales regardless of the time frame.
Related: Epos Now and Mr Yum drive hospitality growth around the world
Marketing strategies to boost your seasonal revenue
First, let's talk about some of the creative strategies that you can use to move the needle in a positive direction revenue-wise. These marketing techniques can be used a la carte or all together in an all-out pastiche to help your business gain and maintain traction this holiday season.
Develop a seasonal menu
One of the best ways to get your venue into the holiday spirit is to introduce holiday-centric menu items. Give your chefs creative freedom to develop a list of themed entrees using fresh, locally-sourced fruits, veggies, and meats.
Seasonal fare is also perfect for boosting your revenue through add-on sales. In addition to entrees, your kitchen staff can develop a seasonal dessert menu while your mixologists can create an accompanying drink selection.
Hold a tasting event
Once your seasonal menu is established, you've got to market it to the public somehow. What better way to foster the holiday spirit than by holding a special event highlighting your limited-time cuisine? You can send out a general invite or try something more targeted using a pre-established loyalty program. Either way, a tasting event is the perfect way to drive business through your doors while fostering a celebratory atmosphere.
Send out promotional cards and coupons
While technology is certainly a game changer, there's something to be said about adding in traditional marketing methods. Tried-and-true methods, such as direct mail, remain an effective advertising method. In fact, response rates per 1,000 mailers sent can be as high as 25%.
Sending out direct promotional cards or even seasonal coupons is a great way to generate positive business for your establishment. You can even leverage the high-value data from your customer relationship management (CRM) to create targeted campaigns designed via email marketing to cast an even wider prospective net!
Conduct a social media campaign
While direct mail is still a powerful marketing tool that's not as antiquated as you might think, a good majority of modern-day business comes via social media. That means that the holidays are an ideal time to take to Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter to generate a buzz about your holiday offerings. Don't just post and walk away though; make sure to update your accounts frequently throughout the season to sustain marketing momentum.
Foster an air of continued celebration
Christmas time may only come once a year, but that doesn't mean your establishment's holiday verve has to end in January. Make an effort to celebrate world holidays, complete with their own limited-time menus where applicable.
Related: Research reveals key challenges for venues in preparation for peak season
The right tech platform can enhance your holiday marketing efforts
In the end, there are a million different ways to market your venue come holiday time. The techniques presented here are simply a cross-section of industry best practices specific to the food service segment. And no matter what methods you try in order to net new customers, one commonality underpins it all: technology. Below are the industry-leading tech components that can help supercharge your holiday revenue.
QR code menus
While the holidays might seem to go on forever when you're right in the thick of it, in reality, they only last a short period of time. While a seasonal menu is a great way to drive business into your establishment, the printing and laminating costs make it yet another double-edged sword. Fortunately, there's a workaround that also makes great business sense: scannable QR code menus.
Digital QR code menus allow customers to view your establishment's entire cuisine right through their phones. You can even include high-quality, mouth-watering images of every menu item, including drinks, desserts, and appetisers, leaving behind the limitation inherent in paper menus.
QR code menus are far from a novelty, however. They provide boatloads of functionality as well. Digital menus provide customers with a frictionless dining experience by allowing them to order and pay directly from the menu scan itself. For large-scale vendors, such as arenas, concert halls, and stadiums, the right platform allows the customer to carry out multi-vendor orders and split payments with ease and agility.
Customer relationship management software
If QR code menus represent the face of your seasonal marketing efforts, then your CRM represents the critical infrastructure "underneath the hood," so to speak.
A high-end CRM suite can sync up to your digital menu, allowing you to maximise each customer touch point. Every time a patron browses your menu, orders, or makes a payment, you'll obtain valuable declared data from the transaction. CRM software is capable of pulling and cataloguing demographic data, payment information, and purchasing habits. This is especially meaningful during the busy holiday season.
Using the robust data obtained from your customers, you can evaluate your holiday marketing efforts in real-time, adjusting your method of approach as needed. Seeing more traffic from your social media campaigns? Give your social accounts more time and attention. High rate of return on your direct mail coupons? Back to the presses! CRM software gives you a multifaceted advantage over the competition during the holiday rush.
Have you got the creative vision to make this holiday season one to remember? Let Mr Yum make sure you have the proper tech infrastructure in place to capitalise on your ideas. Contact us today for a free demo of products and services.