Marketing Your Restaurant At Christmas

christmas marketing for restaurantAre you a procrastinator?  Do you operate by the seat of the pants?  A Christmas restaurant marketing idea never came to you?  For those who are planning for next year, take heed.  For you who are scrambling to get attention, get ready.

If you are a last minute person, then you will only get a piece of the benefit from this because a good marketing campaign plan needs thought, coordination of resources, and people.

Two words:  Christmas Lights.  Bigger than anyone,  Better than anyone.  Be amazing. What I have loved about this time of year for the restaurant business is how many of the staff become involved.  Get a team and buy the lights, reindeers, Santa’s and make the outside of your business shine so special that people will say:  "Hey, did you see that magnificent Christmas display at YOUR NAME"?

Once you get your restaurant looking amazing and people are making a special trip to view your business, contact the newspaper.  Do a fundraiser.   Support a local charity.  Recognize your staff.

(The decorations could have been put up before Thanksgiving and taken down at New Year’s.)

Before you say... naw, thanks anyway, think about this:

The zoo charges a fee to see the decorations / lights.  People are standing in line.

People are conversing about the best Christmas lights on Yelp.

People will use Google, Yahoo and Bing to search for neighbourhood Christmas lights, best Christmas lights, etc.  Will your name come up?

Christmas lights can be stored and used year after year.

Planning for next year?  Buy the store out when the 75% sale happens the day after Christmas.

You don't have to install the lights yourself.  Someone knocked on my door asking if I wanted this service.

The landlords will have more flexibility during this time... it's Christmas.

You can bring joy and smiles to the community each year.

People will be taking photos of YOUR BUSINESS if you create awesomeness!

You can advertise business for free on internet via free classified ads.

Free press release distribution is available online.

If you did not have holiday marketing in your restaurant marketing plan, it is time.

If you have procrastinated and are wondering how to make a big bang, you still can.

If you think:  "I don't believe it", then visit the local area where there are Christmas lights this year and watch the number of people who visit.  I personally know of dozens of restaurants who could use more traffic, more awareness, more eyeballs, and more people talking about them.  Do you need more eyeballs looking your way?

Whether you are ahead of the game and just want to re-think your strategy and turn up the visuals or stay behind with too much to do, tis the season.  Otherwise wait until next year!

PS.  After you have become the talk of the town with Christmas lights, what is your plan for April 2010?  Now is the time to review your restaurant marketing plan and finalize preparations! (Don't forget to buy Christmas lights on 12/26.)

10 Design And Marketing Ideas for Your Business

About Thomas Minarik

Since 2006 Thomas has offered marketing tips, search analysis, online business tips, SEO and general commentary on the evolution of the web from an algorithmic, publishing & business model perspective. Does your website deserve more organic and free search traffic? Contact Us Today!

8 Comments for this entry

  • Stavros
    October 28th, 2010

    Okay I have a friend that will REALLY find your blog entry amazing :D Thanks!!!

  • Tomiam
    October 29th, 2010

    Yeah this goes for everything, when ever, where ever. Do something amazing, get an amazing amount of attention. It's kind of like getting a writer to sign their books in your store. Create an event an people shall come.

  • Stephanie
    October 31st, 2010

    E-mail lists, people! I signed up for Chili's e-mail list and once a month, I get an e-mail with a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert with purchase of an entree. The markup on food at restaurants is so high they're not losing any money on it and I'm certainly in there often for my free chips and queso dip! So even if a restaurant only offered something once a year - during the holidays - the extra sales would add up quickly.

  • Kim
    October 31st, 2010

    Stephanie, that's certainly a no-brainer and I'm surprised more restaurants don't do this. But my uncle, who owns a pub, did something a little different. He actually donated a percentage of all his sales the week of Christmas to a homeless shelter and advertised is extensively beforehand. Not only did his business pickup, but he got local press coverage.

  • Romana Abedelah
    November 3rd, 2010

    Interesting article, and the website seems nice all-around also, I been to a few pages before commenting, I usually don’t comment unless I find there is something worth-it on the site. Great site, and thank you for the quality.

  • Altimeter Watch
    November 4th, 2010

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    November 5th, 2010

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  • Altimeter Watch
    November 13th, 2010

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