National Food Holidays: How to Celebrate & Make More Money at your Restaurant
Read the Post
The spring season and warmer days are ahead. This means that holidays including Easter and Passover are just around the corner. Whether your city is fully open for indoor and outdoor dining, or still limited to delivery and takeout only, there are many ways to prepare for the spring holiday season. Plans may look different in 2021 than years past, but there’s no stopping the Easter Bunny and Elijah from coming into town.
Read on for 4 restaurant marketing promotions for Easter and Passover that are sure to drive sales this spring.
Most of the U.S. and large areas of Europe are still closed for indoor dining, making it harder for restaurants to drive revenue on historically busy holidays. However, in 2020 alone, 77% of U.S. adults planned on celebrating Easter. And no matter how small (or virtual) the Passover Seder table may be, Jews from all over the world will be celebrating the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
As a restaurant owner, make it easy for diners to celebrate at home with Easter- and Passover-themed meal kits. Pull together traditional menu items -- like lamb and glazed carrots for Easter, or brisket and matzo ball soup for Passover. Enable guests to follow recipe cards at home to put the finishing touches on these dishes. The benefits are two-fold. One, dishes can be pre-ordered and arrive cold, so you don’t have to worry about the logistical headache of delivery services. And two, taking payment ahead of time guarantees online ordering revenue if you can’t offer guests reservations for on-premise dining.
Plus, don’t forget higher-margin items like to-go cocktails and bottles of wine or champagne. Help your guests celebrate at home with batch-cocktails for groups or wine packages that’ll make their events extra special. Work with your bartenders, sommeliers and mixologists to come up with pairings for all your popular to-go options, giving diners more options to spend money with your restaurant on Passover or Easter.
You already have followers across your social media channels. Use Easter as a reason to engage with them. Drop ‘Easter eggs’, otherwise known as hints or clues, into your existing social media posts. Offer prizes for those that can crack the code. Like gift cards to use at your restaurant, discounts on takeaway orders or a special bottle from your wine cellar.
Planning to be open for in-person dining? Recreate the experience at your guest’s tables. Create trivia cards or fill-in-the-blank games for guests to complete to be entered to win a complimentary meal or offer. Encourage your guests to leave other details on the card, like a birthday or anniversary date. This will help you add more data to their guest profile -- and create more opportunities for you to engage with them through your marketing efforts.
Consumers are desperate to learn how to make matzo balls as fluffy as their Bubbies. Or to spice their hot cross buns to perfection. So offer a virtual cooking masterclass that walks them through all the steps to get fluffy matzo balls or light-as-air hot cross buns for Passover and Easter.
To sell tickets and non-reservation-based events with ease, use an event widget that allows you to customize every detail -- including distinct pricing tiers or time slots. With the right technology in place, you can easily market and pre-sell unique events and experiences directly to your guest database. And don’t forget to add photos and a description so guests know what to expect. 67% of people say images are very important when making a purchasing decision, and event sales are no different, especially in an increasingly virtual world.
Collect revenue ahead of time with PCI-compliant payments that drive dollars to your bottom line. With ticketed events, you make money even if a customer doesn’t show for the experience. Just ensure your no-show policy is clearly defined on your events page so customers can’t be upset when a refund request is denied.
**PRO TIP** Don’t forget to promote your event across every direct channel, including your website, marketing emails and social media. The more customers who know about your event, the more likely you are to sell it out. Plus, use scarcity marketing tactics, like a limited-time offer (LTO), to drive urgency. This helps get your customers to convert faster into ticket holders.
To maximize reservations for Easter and Passover, leverage a white-labeled booking widget that makes it easy for guests to book a reservation. And don't forget to add on experiences (like a prix fixe menu) and upgrades (like a bottle of champagne, Kosher-friendly wine or sweet treats). These offers can increase your upfront revenue substantially, and make it easier for your team to execute operationally while the guest is on-property. Plus, by collecting revenue upfront, you’re able to better plan for food inventory and staffing. This helps prevent food waste and ensures you have the right number of staff so guests have the best dining experiences with you.
A booking widget also captures important information from your guests that can be used for post-visit marketing. This data includes a guest's first name, last name, email address, phone number and birthdate/anniversary. Capturing this data through a direct restaurant reservation platform ensures you can continue to build long-term relationships with your guests through tailored marketing campaigns. After all, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer, so ensuring you have a way to stay in touch with guests is a must-have in 2021.
Interested in learning more about how SevenRooms can help you this spring? Reach out to learn more.