The holiday season represents a large percentage of annual sales for all operators and retailers. According to QSR Magazine, more than 14 million U.S. consumers plan to dine out for Thanksgiving, and more than 32 million are estimated to dine out while doing their Black Friday shopping. But it doesn’t stop there. One in 10 consumers say they will dine out for Christmas Eve, and 8 percent on Christmas Day. Can you believe that New Year’s Eve is one of the top five busiest restaurant days of the year?!
Many operators have already started planning for the holiday rush by coming up with ideas on how to generate traffic and increase revenue . Here are some ideas you can add to your holiday plan to drive traffic and revenue which could even increase your share of the consumer gift giving dollar.
Tasting Is a Treat - Guests tend to order their favorite menu item or comfort food during the holiday season. Encourage them to try something new alongside their favorites this season. Offer a special tasting menu with smaller portions for a set price. Create a wine or beer flight option that can be added for an upcharge.
Seasonality Reigns Supreme - Consumers demand seasonal menu items. The ever popular pumpkin inspired fall drink or food items like pecan, pumpkin or apple pie. Consider taking an already popular menu item and giving it a holiday twist.
Get Away - Holidays are hectic for everyone, so provide the time-crunched guest an alternative to cooking at home with special take-out offerings. Create “family meal” offerings that can be easily ordered and picked up for at home consumption.
Staff Up - Just like retailers, foodservice operators need to compensate for increased demand on high traffic holidays. Ensure your staffing is optimal to handle those unexpected busy times, keeping all your guests in the holiday spirit and coming back in the New Year.
Get and Give - Many restaurants have had success with offering customers a meal now (onsite) and a meal for later (take home for lunch or dinner). Take this idea to a new level by offering customers who purchase a meal with you a discount on gift cards or reward points towards a future meal purchase.