Marketing Ideas For Thanksgiving Dinner and Beyond
Thanksgiving season is one of the times of the year that restaurateurs should take advantage of as it is a great way to bring in new clients that will enjoy their food and have the potential to become regulars. Whether or not your restaurant will be open for Thanksgiving, it is important to at least take advantage of the season in order to do some quality marketing. This is the time of the year when people spend the most money and by following some simple marketing tips, you can make sure that they spend some of that money at your restaurant.
Host an Event
One of the best marketing tips for Thanksgiving is to host some sort of event. This can be as simple as opening your restaurant for Thanksgiving, or something grander such as hosting a charity drive where you collect donations for families in need. Whatever you choose to do, any sort of event will help bring your restaurant a great deal of publicity and in the future this publicity will translate into more customers.
Give Out Calendars
Another great idea is to make some simple calendars to give out to your loyal customers. People will love this as it saves them from having to find the right calendar (or calendars) for their home. Even better, every time they look at it, they will think of your restaurant and consider going back. Thanksgiving is the best time to pass out these calendars because a lot of people will be buying one during their holiday shopping. When designing the calendar, be sure to include some of your restaurant’s information on each page, and be sure to pick a design that will appeal to your customer base.
If you really want to pull in new patrons during Thanksgiving, try offering some sort of gift. A good idea is to offer a small gift card ($10 to $25) if a client spends over $100 on their meal. To cut down your costs and to make sure that this helps you pull in more customers during Thanksgiving, only offer the gift card for the week of Thanksgiving. For this to work, you will need to advertise this promotion so customers know about it.
Make Seasonal Dishes
Everyone sees Thanksgiving as a time to eat a lot of good food and that is great news for restaurants. To make this even better, however, try making special foods, drinks or desserts with a holiday theme. Pumpkin is one of the most traditional Thanksgiving foods, so be sure to include pumpkin pies, pumpkin soups and pumpkin flavored drinks whenever you can. You can even try adding a few seasonal dishes to your menu such as stuffed squash. Just remember to advertise your seasonal dishes, both with window displays or signs, and by having the wait staff mention it to your customers.
Another great idea to help bring in new business for the holidays is to have some type of raffle. The prize can be anything from a gift card to a catered Thanksgiving dinner. This is a great way to give back to your loyal customers during the holiday season without having to actually give something to every single one of them. If you offer a few smaller consolation prizes (such as a free dessert or a $5 gift certificate) customers will be even more excited about the raffle. Chances are that news of your raffle will bring in some new clients as well. Whoever wins the raffle will get the chance to share your restaurant’s food with others and bring in new customers in the process.
Another great way to get your customers excited about the holidays is to have a recipe contest before the holidays. Have participants create a dish, or submit a recipe and then you and your staff can pick the best one (or you can pick the finalists and have customers vote). The winner can get a gift certificate and have their dish featured on the menu from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Your customers will want to come in and try this featured dish, giving you plenty of additional business.