Most businesses get a bump around the holidays, especially as we get closer and closer to Christmas. Restaurants have the opportunity to get in on this bump in the days leading up to Christmas, but they need to target their food and services just right. These restaurant Christmas promotion ideas are tried and tested ideas to get the most business out of the holidays.
1. Donate food during the holidays
This may not seem to be one of the more obvious restaurant Christmas promotion ideas, but is actually a promotion wrapped in a good deed. For most restaurants, this is best done through a local charity. Providing food for those in need will not only help them feel the holiday spirit, but it can also help you and your employees be closer to the community you serve.
Alternatively, your restaurant can also donate cash or in-kind to a charity. Whatever you choose to do, it will help keep you connected to the people in your community.
2. Offer live holiday music
Inviting carolers, a choir, or a band to play live music at your restaurant can help bring the spirit of the season and in effect, encourage more sales. This can be an opportunity to bring in regionally popular acts or even a local children’s choir. Keep the type of music and songs appropriate to the atmosphere of your restaurant. A pianist in a tux versus Santa with a banjo brings very different vibes to diners.
Posters and flyers in combination with a social media campaign are the perfect way to promote your musical events.
3. Host a holiday-themed party
Christmas is a particularly popular time for bars and restaurants to host themed events. More traditional themes are safe in most contexts. Other non-traditional holiday themes can also work if they are memorable and keep the holiday spirit alive.
Some holiday themes worth trying:
- White Christmas
- Tropical Christmas
- Halloween meets Christmas
- 12 courses of Christmas
You may want to use marketing tools that keep it local. Target residences that are a fairly short drive to your restaurant through direct mail, or by hanging flyers. Banners in strategic areas with a fair amount of foot traffic can also help build anticipation for your event.
4. Give your customers and neighbors coupons
Send customers and potential customers custom postcards with coupons redeemable as a discount or freebie. Customers could hand in their cards in exchange for free meals and upgrades. You can even try giving them to local businesses, as these can be a source of regular customers.
You can use this idea for virtually any print product you hand out or send by mail. This can go a long way toward helping you better connect with everyone else in your community. Be sure to start your coupon campaign early, before your customers have already made their holiday plans.
5. Hand out promotional calendars
Christmas is about sharing, but it also signals the approach of the New Year. And with the New Year comes a need for new calendars. Sure, we all may have one on our phone, or computer, but nothing beats a real wall calendar for their classic appeal, ease of use, and information in a quick glance.
Calendar giveaways are a time-tested way of creating goodwill during the holidays that will be remembered all year round. Hand calendars out to frequent customers to show you appreciate their business. Be sure to focus on creating an aesthetically pleasing design that customers would love to hang on their walls. Local businesses are a good source of regular customers as well, so be sure to hand calendars out to those close to your restaurant’s location.
What other bar and restaurant Christmas promotion ideas do you have? Comment below!
Arthur Piccio is a feature writer and subject matter expert for the PrintPlace Blog. In his spare time he studies guitar and writes about goats.