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10 Christmas Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Updated: Dec 23, 2022



With the holidays right around the corner, are you ready for the holiday rush? As one of the biggest holidays for the restaurant industry, Christmas brings tremendous opportunities for restaurants with great marketing ideas. Now that things are slowly returning to normal after the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to make the most of this year's holiday season.


Create Christmas-themed menu items

Whether you are thinking of offering holiday set menus for value, or creating unique and seasonal Christmas dishes or drinks, there are various ways you can go about it! Be creative with your Christmas menu and incorporate seasonal items and flavors! These will vary depending on the restaurant type, so stick to your original concept and experiment from there. Here are some ideas for you:

  1. Seasonal drinks

  2. Sugar Cookie Martinis

  3. White Christmas Margaritas

  4. Classic Eggnog

  5. Hot buttered rum

  6. Zero-Proof Christmas Mocktails

  7. Peppermint martini

  8. Christmas-themed desserts

  9. Gingerbread House

  10. Sticky Toffee Pudding

  11. White Chocolate Cranberry Orange Biscotti

  12. Santa Hat Cupcakes

  13. Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake)

  14. Christmas buffet

  15. Wreath-shaped appetizer

  16. Caramelized mushroom tartlets

  17. Baked baby potatoes with olive pesto

  18. Cranberry meatballs

  19. Chocolate fountain with fruits and marshmallow

  20. Cupcake Christmas tree

  21. Christmas-themed coffee

  22. Bozzy Christmas coffee

  23. Peppermint mocha

  24. Gingerbread latte

  25. Chestnut Praline latte

  26. Sugar Cookie latte

  27. Butterscotch coffee


Plan out Christmas themed social media content


Tis the season to get creative on social media. Whether you are planning on showcasing your Christmas decorations, hosting holiday giveaways, or announcing promotional offers and deals, December is the perfect time to do so. Use colorful images and engaging captions to stand out to customers looking to make reservations.


Examples:



If you plan accordingly, you will be able to drive traffic to both your social media and reservation pages! Also, don’t forget to link your posts directly to your website or landing page through a “reserve a table” button or hyperlink.


Send personalized Christmas messages


What’s better than sending personalized Christmas/holiday messages to your customers through email? Now is the best time to show gratitude to your loyal customers and thank them for their patronage, all while adding a personal touch.


Leverage customer loyalty program


During the holiday season, customer loyalty programs can be a real game changer by incentivizing consumers to make repeat purchases with discounts and promotions. By leveraging the loyalty program through your app and website, it will not only increase sales for your restaurant, but also encourage customers to keep coming back during the holiday season.


If your restaurant doesn’t have one, don’t hesitate to reach out to us because we can build one for you. Learn more about how to build a customer loyalty program through scheduling a demo with us today.


Partner with local food influencers


With the rise of social media, influencer marketing has been one of the most effective tactics to attract new customers to your restaurant. This Christmas, why not try to partner with your local food influencers who can promote your restaurant and holiday promotions? Give it a try and let us know how it goes!


Offer holiday deals & gift cards


The holiday season is about giving. Now it is the best time to promote these holiday deals to your consumers. Let’s be real, who doesn’t love a giftcard to his/her favorite boba shop or cafe during this time of the year?


Offering gift cards to your customers will not only encourage them to keep coming back to your restaurant, but also a good way for you to collect customer data which will help you to better target your customers. One last thing, don’t forget to create a new holiday section in your digital menu and sell gift cards to celebrate the season of giving.


Theme up your restaurant with Christmas decorations


To create a festive atmosphere for your restaurant, an unique Christmas menu item is just not enough. We all know that people come into the restaurant not just for the food, but also for the ambiance and holiday vibe. In order to nail down the Christmas decoration, consider these 8 decorating ideas for your restaurant:

  1. Spraying paint to draw snowflakes on your windows and hanging red and green ornaments.

  2. Dressing staffs in red and white and have the restaurant shift manager in Santa costumes

  3. Hanging fairy lights all over the restaurant

  4. Decorating a Christmas tree with lights, presents and decorative accents

  5. Adding silver, gold, green, red or white accents to tables

  6. Hanging holly, mistletoe and decorative wreaths on your door

  7. Printing special holiday scenes, promotional-event notices or seasonal messages on carryout containers

  8. Blasting Christmas music in your restaurant

Hold Christmas Events


Don’t you think December is the perfect month to host special events? The best way to add coziness to cold winter evenings is to spend time at a cafe’s party with live music. Search for interesting local bands who perform their own songs or play covers and the greatest hits of all time. Also, you can save on music equipment and create a homelier atmosphere in the restaurant if you offer musicians performing acoustic versions.


Throw a little party for the kids with a few entertainments such as a food contest, a master class on cupcake and gingerbread baking, or even a meeting with Santa who’ll let them sit on his lap. The kids will love it! Christmas is a time to be generous, so think about charities and achieve big benefits by hosting a fundraiser and delivering food to destitute families and churches. Encourage people to help raise money for charity by holding an event, the gross proceeds from which will be donated to good causes.


Promote online ordering and Takeaway


The holiday season can get busy over time. One way to stay on top of your game will be integrating online ordering and food delivery into your restaurant. Statista indicates that by 2024, the online ordering and food delivery sector will make up a $32.3-billion segment of the industry, so now’s the time to get ahead of the game.


Instead of using a third-party app for online ordering and delivery with high commission fee, have you considered setting up your own digital ordering channel? It will provide you with further incentive to facilitate your own online ordering channels via technology investment. In the long run, both diners and operators can save money through native channel orders, though restaurants are likely to increase delivery menu prices to make the channel more lucrative as off-premise demand holds steady.


Restaurant owners and operators looking to set up their own delivery channels and stop relying on third party providers can use INFI’s industry-leading POS solution, which can help:

  1. Create a well-polished app for your website that allows customers to place orders directly from the app.

  2. Empower you to access new markets and generate more sales.

  3. Enable your restaurant to offer online ordering without signing away a substantial percentage of its profits.


Create holiday Giveaway


Who doesn’t like freebies during the holiday season? December is probably one of the best times of the year to do a holiday Giveaway. Awarding the winner with a basket of goodies from your restaurant, either a giftcard or exclusive items that represent your restaurant. Giveaway is a great way to do that. Also, don’t forget to leverage your social media and email marketing to help you launch the Giveaway. By doing so, you will be able to gain more exposure from people sharing it on their social media which will automatically attract new potential customers. This is also a great chance to collect personal data from your customers.

Conclusion:

Whatever your goal or time limit is, there are many ways you can try to promote your restaurant during the holiday season. Staying tradition is important, but also keep an open mind and experiment with creative marketing ideas for your customers. You can always combine the tradition and new trends together to give your customers unforgettable Christmas ideas.


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