Posts Tagged ‘special occasions’

Leveraging Holidays and Special Occasions to Boost Sales

December 21, 2012

Holidays and special occasions such as graduation parties, birthdays, and weddings represent special opportunities for restaurants to significantly boost their sales. Whether you offer full-scale, private party catering or simply provide easily available digital gift cards, offering promotions that parallel with holidays and special occasions is a savvy marketing technique worthy of pursuit.

In-House Catering for Large Groups

One method many restaurants use to diversify their revenue streams and tap into the holiday cash flow is to cater to and host large groups of people in-house. This can be done either by sectioning off a portion of your establishment or by making it available off-hours for private rental.

While it’s true that space for meeting and eating is popular any time of year, it is especially sought after during the holidays. Businesses and individuals alike are looking for a place to host their holiday functions, and it would be folly not to market to those groups if it is within your capability to do so.

Cater for Private Parties, Offer Extended Holiday Delivery Hours

As more and more people entertain at home, restaurants have to shift the way that they offer service. In-home, private catering is in high demand, especially during holidays and special occasions. One method of increasing sales for private catering is to station a catering representative at the door of your establishment to greet guests, hand out menus and promotional materials, and gather business cards. Encourage guests to sign up for catering service early by offering discounts and incentives for doing so.

Extending your holiday delivery hours is another method of tapping into increased holiday sales.  Many people who may not be interested in full-scale catering might instead be interested in having food for their holiday feast delivered right to their door. Extending your delivery hours during the holidays can be a simple way to accommodate that desire.

Gift Cards Mean Business

Gift cards are an additional way to tap into holiday sales and are especially appealing to last-minute shoppers. It is estimated that approximately 5 billion dollars was loaded onto restaurant gift cards across all sectors in 2011. Since gift cards are one of the most requested holiday gifts, creating a holiday gift card incentive program is a smart way for restaurants to tap into that market.

Further illustrating the viability of using gift cards to leverage holiday sales is the fact that gift cards can now be offered digitally. This means that customers can instantly receive the gift through their mobile phones, email, or social media creating the perfect last minute gift. Digital gift cards are also nice because they can be promoted long after the window for booking holiday parties or buying the physical gift cards has closed.

All of these techniques can help diversify your income stream and leverage an increase in holiday sales. Offering carefully timed holiday promotions along with compelling incentives that encourage customers to buy or book in advance is a smart way to ensure that  your business receives a piece of the proverbial holiday pie.