Top 10 Restaurant Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season


The holiday season is the ideal time to market your restaurant. Use these top 10 restaurant marketing tips to inspire you.

1) Sell Gift Cards

Set up a display at the front desk of your restaurant, and supply a small envelope or sleeve for the gift card. Promote the sale of gift cards with a free present to the buyer, such as a cup cake or cup of coffee. Encourage the use of the cards in January — always a slow month — with special offers at that time.

2) Promote your Restaurant on Social Media

Show teasers with photos of special holiday dishes and upload your festive season menu. If you cater for large events, upload your booking form or supply a link to the form on your website.

3) Offer Information

Give out planning tips for parties, recipes for traditional South African holiday dishes, or post a video of your bartender making holiday-themed beverages.

4) Offer Add-Ons

Include special wines on your wine list, promote craft beers, and suggest pairings of wine or craft beer with specific dishes. Dream up festive holiday dishes and give them seasonal-type names. Don’t offer discounts during this period as patrons are willing to spend, but do tender small freebies to go with certain orders.

5) Run Competitions

Run simple competitions on your social media pages. For example, you could post photos of your restaurant’s holiday decorations from previous years and request people to “like” their favourite.

6) Get Involved In the Community

Get involved in the community by donating non-perishable food to local charities or shelters. Notify the press about these actions, encouraging other restaurants to make donations. Ask your social media followers to donate or share about the campaign with their friends.

7) Set Up a Photo Area 

Set up a photo area in your restaurant, making sure that your logo and company name is in the background. Offer a free drink if they post or tweet their photos on Facebook or Twitter; this is an ideal way to spread the word about your eatery.

8) Advertise at Local Events

School concerts, carols by candlelight, and holiday fetes are all excellent opportunities to hand out flyers or display posters. Make sure to specify your location, your holiday seasonal hours, and whether you offer take-aways.

9) Include the Children

Offer family packages of holiday meals and beverages or have special kid-friendly events at your restaurant. Sell tickets for a biscuit baking and decorating class, and let the kids take home what they make.

10) Remember Your Staff

If you want your restaurant to have a celebratory, holiday vibe, make sure your staff are happy and welcoming. Employ extra staff for busy periods so that your existing waitrons do not get to the point of exhaustion. Offer prizes for the “Best Server of the Week” or “Most Desserts Sold”.

If you and your staff have fun over the holiday season, you can be sure your patrons will as well. Promoting your restaurant, giving to charity, and looking after your staff all help to ensure you’ll have a great time. Happy Holidays!

Now it’s your turn. How do you market your restaurant for the upcoming holiday season? Leave a comment below.

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