You might be wondering what restaurant marketing ideas for December can spice up your marketing strategies.
The answer is right here. We’ve listed effective ways to help you get ahead of your game by curating seasonal dishes, hosting holiday events, offering great deals for your customers, and more.
To bring this celebration to the next level, maximize innovative technologies such as digital menu QR codes, gadgets, and the internet as tools in implementing Christmas Ideas for your restaurant.
13 restaurant marketing ideas to try this holiday season
Crafting interactive, fun, and sales-boosting activities can be challenging. That’s why we’ve collated these top restaurant marketing ideas for you to consider:
Create a festive menu
Kick off the season with dishes that embody the holiday spirit.
Consider crafting a special themed menu that delights the taste buds and adds a festive touch to your customers’ dining experience.
If you’re using a QR code menu, you can incorporate these offerings so your customers can access them directly. You can also add Christmas-themed graphics to entice them.
To give you an idea, we’ve listed some of the sought-after dishes for this holiday season that you can try:
- Joyful jingle turkey roast. A succulent roast turkey served with classic stuffing, cranberry compote, and turkey gravy.
- Holly honey-glazed ham. An exquisite honey-glazed ham adorned with seasonal herbs and spices for a delightful Christmas fest.
- Frosty prime rib spectacle. A prime roast, seasoned to perfection and served with rich au jus.
- Celestial stuffed acorn harvest. A vegetarian delight—acorn squash stuffed with a harvest of quinoa, cranberries, and roasted nuts.
- Cranberry symphony salad. A refreshing cranberry and pecan salad featuring mixed greens, feta cheese, and zesty vinaigrette.
- Gingerbread delight pancake stack. A gingerbread pancake served with maple syrup and a dollop of whipped cream.
- Peppermint Palace chocolate mousse. A peppermint-infused chocolate mousse garnished with crushed candy canes.
Note: You can play with your dishes’ names to match the season.
Decorate your restaurant
Prepare your restaurant for the holiday season by transforming your place into a winter wonderland with enchanting Christmas decorations.
Start by adorning your entryway with lush garlands and a dazzling wreath to set the festive tone.
Add twinkling string lights draped along windows, ceilings, and walls to illuminate the place, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Set up a Christmas tree in the corner of your restaurant with ornaments, lights, and a tree topper—this becomes the centerpiece of the celebration.
To wrap it up, create a cozy nook with plush pillows and blankets for your customers to relax and enjoy.
Offer holiday promotions for Your restaurant
Entice your customers with irresistible holiday promotions.
Not only will it tap into the festive spirit, but it will also strategically boost your sales and customer engagement.
In a National Restaurant Association report, 77% of customers plan to leave some of their cooking to restaurants for the upcoming holiday season. Grab this opportunity by offering exclusive discounts on your menu, buy-one-get-one-free deals, or special holiday meal packages.
To make these promotions, analyze past sales data to identify your favored dishes.
With these restaurant marketing statistics, you can upsell items on your menu by including them in your promos. It is a powerful tool for promoting complementary products or add-ons that your customers might not have considered.
Collaborate with local businesses for cross-promotions
Team up with local businesses for mutually beneficial collaborations.
Start by identifying businesses that align with your brand and target audience—perhaps a local bakery for dessert collaborations or a nearby florist for table decorations.
Establish clear communication channels to coordinate your promotions, ensuring a seamless and mutually beneficial partnership.
Cross-promote each other’s offerings through social media, email newsletters, and in-store displays to maximize visibility.
Consider having joint events or shared discount deals to encourage customers to explore both businesses.
This collaborative project strengthens community ties, creating a win-win situation during this joyful season.
Maximize social media platforms for our promo deals
As of 2023, 302.25 million people in the USA, or 90% of the country’s population, use social media. Harness the power of social media to amplify your restaurant’s visibility and advertise your promotions.
Make sure to share visually appealing content, such as high-quality photos of your holiday dishes, behind-the-scenes glimpses of event preparations, engaging polls or contests, and promo deals.
This helps you reach a wider audience, which can help foot traffic in your restaurant.
It will also give them time to skim your menu before dining in.
Host restaurant holiday events
Create lasting memories by hosting special holiday events. Whether it’s a festive brunch, a tree-lighting ceremony, or a themed dinner party, provide unique experiences that your customers will remember long after the season ends.
Using your QR codes, leverage data on customer preferences to tailor events to your target audience.
You may start collecting them before December to give you ample time for preparation.
Grant loyalty program perks
Loyalty programs during the holiday season are an effective strategy for engaging your customers and encouraging them to repeat business with you. Remember to use customer preferences to tailor your loyalty rewards.
To know how this program works, we’ve listed some of the ways you can try it:
- Special holiday rewards
Loyalty programs are often introduced as special rewards or promotions during the season. These include discounts, bonus points, or festive-themed gifts for loyal patrons.
- Double or bonus points
These encourage customers to continue shopping or buy products with the establishment to accumulate more points for future rewards.
- Limited-time offers for loyalty members
Regular customers may receive exclusive access to limited-time offers or early access to holiday sales. This creates a sense of exclusivity, making them feel valued and appreciated.
- Tiered rewards
Tiered loyalty perks may offer better rewards during the holiday season for customers who reached a higher tier (in restaurants, it could be equivalent to guests who’ve purchased most of your dishes).
- Redeemable holiday gifts
Loyalty points earned annually can be redeemed for unique holiday gifts or customized festive packages. These add a seasonal touch to the loyalty program you’re offering.
Partner with social media influencers
Work with local influencers to amplify your restaurant’s reach.
A 2023 Influencing Marketing Report finds that influencer marketing is now a $21.1 billion industry.
With this number, they can help extend your restaurant’s reach to their audience, introducing your offerings to potential customers who may not have discovered your establishment yet.
Also, influencers are trusted voices in their communities. It resonates with their followers when they authentically recommend your restaurant’s menu. This translates into increased trust and interest from potential customers.
Hand out gift cards
Gift cards are your powerful ally as a revenue booster and a strategic marketing tool.
Offering gift cards taps into the gift-giving spirit, attracting loyal patrons and new customers looking for unique presents.
These cards drive immediate sales and extend their impact beyond the holiday rush, as recipients can redeem them in the following weeks and months.
Moreover, you may also incorporate weekly deals or December food promotions to maximize your gift cards.
Make ordering and reservation interactive
Streamline the ordering and reservation processes with interactive online tools.
Ensure your website is user-friendly and optimized for mobile devices for easy accessibility.
To help you make these transactions more interactive, consider implementing the following strategies:
- Online reservation games.
Customers could participate in a holiday-themed quiz or game while making reservations, with special discounts or perks awarded for participation.
- Virtual holiday menu preview.
It allows your customers to explore and customize their orders interactively. Include visually appealing images, descriptions, and pairing suggestions to improve the overall experience.
- Countdown and limited-time offers.
Introduce a holiday countdown clock on your website, signaling the approach of special promotions or limited-time menu items. This sense of urgency encourages customers to place orders or make reservations promptly.
- Augmented reality(AR) experiences.
Implement AR features in your website that let customers visualize how different dishes will look on their tables virtually. This interactive experience adds a touch of innovation to the ordering process.
- Interactive tableside ordering.
Provide tablets or QR codes at the tables, allowing customers to browse the menu, customize orders, and place requests without waiting for staff assistance.
Organize online Christmas contests with restaurant marketing ideas for December
Launching online Christmas contests is an ingenious way to infuse the celebration into your digital presence, engaging customers and fostering a sense of community.
Consider hosting fun and festive competitions, such as “Best Holiday Dish Photo,” where customers can share images of their favorite holiday dishes or most creative recipes.
To boost participation, offer enticing prizes like gift cards, exclusive holiday menus, or even a special chef’s table experience.
Let your customers vote by scanning your digital menu QR code to determine the winners. It will be easier for you to gather the results with their comments.
Collect customer feedback surveys using a QR Code menu
Close the loop on customer experiences by seeking feedback.
Conduct a survey for food and overall services to gather insights into the effectiveness of your December promotions and events, enabling continuous improvement.
For faster and more efficient collection of valuable insights, let your customers directly scan the restaurant QR codes that are placed on their tables.
Use the data gathered to refine your strategies and enhance future marketing campaigns.
Note: For your elderly customers, add an instruction on how to scan a menu QR code.
Interactive menu software: implementing holiday marketing ideas innovatively
Upscaling your marketing initiatives in the busiest season of the year is crucial.
You have to have the right tools to streamline your overall operations, ensuring the quality of customer service.
Search no more because you’re guaranteed an innovative and seamless performance with MENU TIGER—a trusted smart menu software. Here’s why:
Less staff needed
Thanks to MENU TIGER’s online ordering and restaurant waiter call button system, additional staff is not required.
These features ensure a seamless dining experience where customers can place orders, call for requests, and make payments at their own pace.
Your employees can now concentrate on delivering exceptional customer service while the program handles repetitive duties.
Advanced menu customization
You can create, edit, and refine your menu at any moment with this feature-rich and user-friendly online menu builder.
With just a few clicks, you’ll already have organized offerings with all the information your customers need.
You can create and design your restaurant’s website to increase its visibility.
You can change your dashboard according to the season or your restaurant branding and integrate your social media platforms, promotions, and blog articles about your restaurant.
Upselling menu items and boosting sales opportunities
By putting up promotions and discounts, you can give your guests personalized offerings where they can choose some of your offered complimentary items.
This will help you grow your customer base and boost orders.
MENU TIGER’s organized workflow function quickly sends orders from the program to the kitchen, minimizing misunderstanding and waiting periods.
Zapier integration for a restaurant’s online operations allows you to speed up administrative work, giving your staff members flexibility and time in their workloads.
Execute your restaurant marketing ideas for December with MENU TIGER
It can be frustrating to brainstorm how you’ll be able to apply your restaurant marketing ideas for December.
You need not worry because, with interactive menu software like MENU TIGER, all you need is a seamless ordering process, hassle-free checkout payment, and contactless customer feedback gathering. It’s an all-in-one package!
Sign up, create your account, and cheers to a December filled with culinary delights and flourishing business.