The holiday season generally marks surge in activity. More people are out shopping for gifts, visiting family and friends, and attending special themed events in the area. When more people are out and about, there are more opportunities to increase restaurant sales by bringing in customers who want a quick bite to eat or a place to connect with friends. Here are a few ways you can stand out from the competition and take advantage of this busy holiday season:
Invite more people to the party.
Everyone has a loved one who is difficult to shop for during the holidays. Gift cards have become a saving grace when it comes time to buy gifts for these people. In fact, gift cards have become so popular that 93% of US consumers buy or receive a gift card every year. During the holiday season, restaurant gift cards are the top-selling type of gift card. Gift cards increase restaurant sales in multiple ways:
- Gift cards increase the number of customers who eat at your restaurant by giving people a reason to eat at your restaurant when they may not have before
- Many gift card recipients spend up to 40% than the gift card’s value, according to Gartner, which increases your spend per ticket.
- You reap 100% of the profits for those gift cards, even if the recipient never visits your restaurant.
Since the methods of connecting with customers are changing, it’s important to keep up with the times, which means that you should be making gift cards available for purchase online as e-Gifts. Both physical and online gift cards need to integrate seamlessly into your point of sale (POS) system and allow for balance transfers to get the maximum benefit.
Promotions are another great way to increase restaurant sales during the holiday season. Try running a promotion that integrates gift cards with customer loyalty. For example, if a loyal customer purchases a gift card, they can receive extra rewards. The loyal customer benefits from the rewards, while you benefit from the gift card they purchased and the opportunity to turn the recipient into a new loyal customer.
Play up customer convenience.
Increased foot traffic is a great way to increase restaurant sales, but it does not come without consequences. The busyness of the holiday season can mean longer wait times, which can end up turning some patrons away. Pent-up demand for restaurants is high during this time, with 39% of adults not eating on premises at restaurants as often as they would like. The solution: online ordering.
When customers order online, they can still get their favorite dish without having to endure long wait times for open tables or long lines when they want to place an order to-go. Before online ordering became popular, restaurants missed out on a lot of business just because customers didn’t want to wait. Online ordering makes it easy and allows these customers to skip the line, saving the sale without overloading the dining area.
An added bonus of online ordering is the increased business with millennials. This generation has been difficult for restaurants to connect with for years, having very specific interests and little free time. Millennials often choose the option most convenient for their busy schedules. Online ordering is quickly becoming the go-to choice, with 79% of millennials having ordered takeout via a website or app.
Connecting with a new demographic is an easy way to increase restaurant sales during the holiday season.
Give them a reason to come back.
Even if you provided great food, excellent service, and a positive experience, it’s difficult to turn casual diners into regulars unless you give them an incentive to come back. Loyalty programs are a great way to accomplish this, but you can increase restaurant sales even more during the holiday season if you get creative.
Try changing up your menu to offer seasonal promotions for appetizers or drinks. Many customers experience fear-of-missing-out (FOMO), so when your promotions are for a limited time, they will want to take advantage of these while they last, and will come back later on to see what new seasonal promotions you’re offering.
This season is a great time to start implementing these promotions. Offer a holiday special that changes weekly for the duration of the holiday season, or get even more creative and host an “ugly Christmas sweater” night, where customers receive special discounts when they show up wearing this traditional garish garb. These ideas are simple and quick to implement, with modern restaurant technology making it easy to offer promotional pricing on many different items.
The right technology helps.
When used properly, restaurant technology can increase restaurant sales, not just during the holiday season, but year-round. RPOWER’s flagship point of sale system is capable of integrating with the largest selection of online ordering partners, including GrubHub. In fact, as THE very first GrubHub integration partner, RPOWER receives preferred pricing for the GrubHub solution. Learn more about incorporating online ordering and e-Gift solutions to your point of sale.
Contact RPOWER today.