A Merrier Christmas On-the-Go
Christmastime: When restaurants usually have to pack in waitstaff to handle the onslaught of vacationing families, honeymooners, and college kids off from school, all ready to splurge during the holiday season. This year changed it all when a global pandemic rocked the restaurant industry, unlike any other.
Unsafe dining out and missing their loved ones, many families seek ways to bring themselves together this season and inject a little bit of Christmas tradition into some unconventional holidays. Fortunately for restaurants, the opportunity is ripe to step in and garner back some of the sales you’re losing from slower-than-usual traffic and lost dine-in services.
Families are turning to takeout, curbside, and delivery services this year. Unable to go out to dinner with a big party and likely to dread making a seven-course meal for ten, plenty of families will substitute some or all of their homemade dishes for fresh, restaurant food instead. This way, they get to spend more time with each other and experience a special dinner, the perfect recipe to make memories and bond after a year besieged by separation, loneliness, and grief.
What can restaurants do to encourage customers to let them take care of Christmas this year?
Special Holiday Menus
Distinguish Christmas specials from your regular deals by creating a special menu for the occasion. You can optimize it for delivery by paring down to dishes that fare well in transit and adding limited-time offers that fit the season. Add a variety of options that will suit any family makeup to reach more potential guests: different-sized courses for different-sized families, multiple choices to guarantee they’ll enjoy the meal from appetizers to dessert, and even deals on partial or single meals for people who only want to substitute out a little bit of their homestyle cooking. A price fixe, the multi-course menu is great for everyone because customers get a good deal on a big dinner, and you get a massively marked-up sale with tons of additional items that most wouldn’t have purchased on a typical night out.
Special holiday menus don’t have to stop at food. Invent a cocktail menu with festive drinks and seasonally-appropriate names, or pair some dishes with your wine list to spice up any winter evening. Guests appreciate a variety of festive choices.
Using winter themes in the winter isn’t overdone, it’s cozy. A homey feeling, the smell of good food and attractive winter scents put customers in the holiday spirit when they arrive. Even if you’ve had to close dine-in services partially or entirely thanks to COVID-19, you’ll set the mood for pickup orders as well as foot traffic passing by on the street, and even those parked out front for curbside services. Set a fire, put up garland, and get some nice tunes playing to pique their interest and possibly encourage them to come back when it’s safe.
Diversify your promotions, so guests always feel like they’re getting a good deal during a tight financial bind. For example, you could have a deal on takeout half the week and discounted delivery the other days. Maybe you have a streamlined system to sign customers up for your rewards program or a two-for-one special on a fan-favorite dish. Keep it fresh, engaging, and worthwhile to order from your restaurant, and guests will want to come back again and again. With stronger customer relationships comes greater loyalty, so they’ll stick around all year long.
Restaurants Save the Holiday
It’s the holiday season, and families worldwide are looking for smart solutions to bring their loved ones together. What better way to do so than sharing a favorite holiday meal? Whether they Zoom or meet in person, order a five-course family meal, or just buy a round of dessert, families need a break.
Why shouldn’t your restaurant deliver? Upsell specials on your website, over the phone, in your storefront, and at customer touchpoints during every transaction to truly get the most possible business out of an unconventional holiday season.
Is your restaurant prepared to handle off-premise orders this Christmas? Schedule a demo with eatOS and see how our superior Point of Sale technology makes opening and maintaining a branded merchant app and online ordering platform fast and easy. eatOS delivers restaurant management made simple, even over the holidays in a global pandemic.
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