Foto cover: Photo by Nicole Michalou from Pexels

7 Christmas Marketing Ideas for Restaurants in 2021

For restaurants, Christmas season represents a good opportunity to attract new clients and increase the loyalty of the existing ones. If you own a restaurant, you might find it outdated to create something special for Christmas, yet… it will be worse to not do anything.

In the extremely competitive market today, the Christmas special offers help restaurants stand out from their competitors, increase sales and attract new customers. Read below 7 Christmas marketing ideas for restaurants in 2021:

1. Restaurant Christmas set-up

Besides food, people go to restaurants for the atmosphere and experience, therefore make sure you decorate the place in Christmas style. You should not suffocate the place with a forest of red and green – less is more is available when it comes to any décor. You may read our dedicated article on how to decorate your restaurant for Christmas.

Make sure you photograph the Christmas-themed interior and perhaps create a short video as well, to upload on Social Media and your website. During Christmas month, we are all looking for places with a special décor. Don’t forget about the tables – you may simply add a white candle and an eucalyptus or pine branch.

Don’t forget that a beautiful place will inspire the clients to take photos and post on their social media accounts, raising the awareness of the place. If you own a chimney, for instance, or if you bring a Christmas tree, create a photo corner around them. Make sure the staff is willing to encourage and help with taking photographs. You may even buy a Polaroid camera and offer the printed photographs with the check.

The Christmas décor should be reflected online, as well: upgrade the look of your website and social media channels and post winter-themed imagery: videos, photos, reels, stories and tiktoks.

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You may use templates available on graphic editing platforms

2. Christmas touch in the menu

Holidays always bring an appetite for traditional, festive dishes. Following your restaurant’s cuisine and concept, you may include 2-3 special dishes and a desert, promoted through a special menu. Make sure you have enough ingredients in your stock – it might be frustrating if clients wish to try the new dishes and they are not available. Consider adding the festive menu to your home delivery offer, as well, and ensure a special packaging.

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Festive menus should be advertised trough a themed-graphic

To promote these exclusive dishes, create a video with the Chef preparing them in the kitchen and share it on YouTube, instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

3. Special Christmas offers in the restaurant

During December, you may create various offers to boost sales: a 5-10% discount for loyal customers, 30% discount for the second meal, fourth coffee on the house, discount to Christmas drinks for clients dressed in a Christmas sweater etc. You may consider a discount for those who order the entire Christmas menu.

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Remember to promote the offers both online and offline.

4. Home delivery offers

Don’t neglect the offers for home deliveries, that will grow in December. You may offer a special cake or a festive ginger biscuit and a tea-bag for every home order. Adapt the gift to your restaurant concept and make sure the packaging is festive, as well: a dried orange slice and a string, for instance, on the box. These details create an emotional feeling for the recipient and generate a positive experience, even for those who have not stepped in the restaurant yet. The same effect will be obtained through a greeting card signed by the Chef or owner, for every order during Christmas days.

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Use special packaging for all the home deliveries in December.

It is the Christmas parties’ season, so you may consider a dedicated promotion: how about a discount for orders over 100 euros, or a „buy 1 get 1” type offer? These promotions help you raise awareness, and they encourage loyal clients to tell others about youword of mouth remains the most efficient marketing method, since we trust a person we know more than an Instagram ad, for instance.

5. Holiday Gift cards

Another manner to boost awareness through those who already appreciate you is to create gift cards that can be bought by clients and offered to their friends and family. The cards must have an attractive graphic design, coherent with your restaurant’s concept. Promote them in the restaurant and online, on Social Media and on your website. You can create an offer for the gift cards, as well, such as one card free for every five bought. Make sure you set an expiration date for these cards, to encourage receivers to use them and discover you as soon as possible.

6. Holiday Gift Baskets

We all have a hard time finding Christmas gifts, so you may help your customers and create special gift baskets with Christmas goodies paired with a good wine, that they can buy in the restaurant or online. Homemade goodies are extremely appreciated, especially if they are prepared by a known restaurant and packed in an attractive manner. Place them under the Christmas tree or on the bar, as visible as possible, and don’t forget to place a card with the restaurant details inside.

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With a festive packaging, baskets will serve as a holiday decoration as well.

7. Instagram Giveaway

User-generated-content is created by the brand’s followers and 55% of consumers trust this form of content over any other form of marketing, since it is honest and not sponsored. To use this marketing strategy on Christmas, organize a giveaway. The prize can be a festive basket or a Christmas dinner in the restaurant. The contest rules can be: invite the followers to post an image from your restaurant on their account, with a hashtag created for the contest, such as #ChristmasAt(RestaurantName) and the image that has the most likes on 24 December wins.

We hope that you are convinced now that winter holidays represent a good time to employ a few marketing strategies that will increase your restaurant sales and bring you new customers. In December, people are more willing to spend more money and celebrate with their family, friends and colleagues, so it is the perfect time to offer them a memorable experience.

Remember to adapt any marketing action to your restaurant concept and target audience, then promote it through every channel, online and offline. Follow our blog and Social Media for more ideas, trends and news in hospitality.

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Foto cover: Photo by Nicole Michalou from Pexels