5 Ways to Gain Restaurant Business With Holiday Parties and Events

The increase in business and activity at bars and restaurants soars during the holiday season each year, as millions of Americans look for places to eat out and celebrate with family and friends. Particularly during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, when most people have off from work, there are a lot of benefits to driving more business during the holiday week.

By opening up your restaurant to private parties, special events, gatherings, receptions, and private dinners during this celebratory week, the bottom line can grow, garnering repeat business for not only next holiday season, but throughout the year.

Setting a plan in motion ASAP is crucial to capitalize on this time of year when everyone goes out to eat or drink, and to capture the attention of those who may be looking to plan festivities for friends, families, and coworkers in the season of giving.

Here are our top five benefits to hosting holiday parties that could have a positive impact on your business:

Encourage Reservations. In the restaurant industry, it’s a key goal to keep reservation books (and dining rooms) filled with satisfied customers. And opening up your establishment to a successful holiday party season can ensure reservations occur during the busiest of holidays. Bonus: your accountant will thank you as you end your fiscal year in the red with incremental seatings, back-to-back table turns, and business that can be forecasted with reservations.

Cost Effectiveness. Sure, setting the stage for hosting holiday parties (classic, yet elegant decorations, linens, specialized service ware, etc.) might require some up front investment, but as many of these items can be used again, the added value to your business outweighs the initial costs. For example, offering fixed or set menu options with standard menu items, and creative takes on seasonal favorites will help keep ordering costs at bay. You’ll know exactly what to order, and with a leaner menu, your kitchen prep should prove less time consuming than a regular full service menu. Also, staff costs could prove more manageable as booked events offer specific timeframes for required support.

Holiday Cheer = Customer Loyalty. If you work your seasonal holiday service plan to create a festive guest gathering spot, where great food, atmosphere, and service are the focus, guests will walk away viewing their experience as a highpoint of their holiday season. That bliss can translate into repeat business throughout the year.

Positive Promotions. Increase traffic to your establishment and gain added exposure this holiday season by developing innovative promotional campaigns to increase interest in your private party or holiday celebration offerings. Use your website and social media platforms to share party booking specifics, add personal stories and connections from staff (maybe blog @staff favorite holiday food/family traditions?), create holiday party themed greeting card mailings to distribute through eblasts to local businesses and in concierge packages at nearby hotels, and the like. Consider a guest gift card giveaway program to entice visits, and build future guest attraction. Remember, the ultimate goal is to get your clever campaigns noticed before, during, and after the holiday season (i.e. secure extra promotional mileage by highlighting holiday successes online/in-store by featuring staff/guest photos, fun facts, blogs, and blurbs).

Staff Engagement. The holidays are a perfect time to celebrate and bond with staff. Take this opportunity to host a casual holiday gathering for your team to acknowledge their dedication and loyalty and get them excited for the upcoming busy times ahead. Engage staff early for ensured top-notch service success – when they know that they’ll be busy during the holidays, it means more money in their pockets, and a happy holiday season all around.

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*Staff celebrating in a nearby restaurant – consider trading events with another venue.

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