Are you a restaurant owner or director? Do you want to increase your restaurant group bookings this Christmas and beyond? If so, then this blog is for you.
The festive period is a great time to get people together and celebrate the year’s achievements. It’s also an excellent opportunity to have fun with colleagues and clients by going out for dinner or drinks.
According to the National Restaurant Association, 69% of consumers visit a restaurant during the holiday season. That’s a lot of people! And you can leverage those numbers for your establishment.
So how can you capitalize on this trend and boost your restaurant group bookings? Here are some ideas:
A great way to encourage groups is by offering them something unique to which they cannot say no. For example, if you have an upstairs area normally closed off, why not offer it as an exclusive area for groups of 10 or more? This will help capture their attention and make them want to book with your restaurant over competitors.
But that’s not it!
There are countless other offers that will be impossible for groups to resist. Below are some recommendations you might want to consider;
Special discounts or deals can act as a magnet that attracts groups to your establishment. For example, if your restaurant has been open for some time and has a reputation for tasty food and exemplary service. You may consider gifting “buy one get one free” offers on certain days of the week (such as Mondays).
Here are some ideas on how to offer discounts:
- Food and drink– This is a great way to encourage people to dine with you, especially if the food or drink is something customers usually enjoy. You can offer discounted meals, drinks, or a combination of both.
- Special occasions- Weddings and birthdays are the most common special occasions when people book restaurants. If there’s an upcoming event in your restaurant industry that will attract more customers than usual. It could be an opportunity to offer discounted prices on food or drinks on those days and any other day (or night) during the week leading up to the event.
Themed evenings are a fantastic way to boost your restaurant group bookings. You can have themed evenings for specific days of the week or themes that change by season. Here are a few great ideas of what you can do:
- Saturday night – theme: family night
- Sunday lunch – theme: date night
- Monday evening – theme: movie night
You don’t need to stick with just one idea. Try as many ideas as they come!
Offer something not already available.
If another restaurant is nearby offering the same thing, your potential customers might go to your competitors as they’d still get the same offer. You don’t want this to happen!
It’s best to be creative and offer something unique. If whatever you’re offering isn’t available elsewhere in town, customers will have no choice but to come to experience your unique offering.
Offering a special menu will go a long way to attract groups. For instance, if you have a dish you know is popular with groups, why not offer it as an option on your regular menu?
You could even offer it at a discount or maybe free if ordered in advance. The key is to give the group something special so they feel like they’re getting more value for their money than just a regular meal.
Complimentary appetizers for every nine guests
Offer a small dish to start the meal, such as a cheese platter or some olives and breadsticks. You can also offer it during brunch or lunch to entice customers looking for something light.
Offer a private chef.
Catering can be expensive, but having a private chef come in and cook for your guests can make it much more affordable! This is especially good if you have multiple events happening at once and don’t have enough staff members available to do all the cooking themselves.
Make sure you have enough staff available each day of the week until Christmas Eve (or Christmas Day if applicable). If you don’t have enough staff, this could result in delays, preventing potential customers from booking with you altogether!
Capturing the audience
Want to catch the attention of your audience and have them get in touch? Here are some tips that might help:
Use social media
This is one of the most effective ways to promote your restaurant. Social media is all about visuals, so use attractive images in your posts. You should also include hashtags relevant to your restaurant and its location, as well as a link to your website. This will help you get found on search engines like Google, leading to more bookings and new customers.
Create an email list
People love to be updated about offers that come up and every type of goodie! Email offers an avenue to generate interest in your restaurant by getting people informed and educating them about your restaurant and the industry in general.
Create an email list by setting up an opt-in form on your website or Facebook page where customers can sign up for updates about upcoming events at your restaurant or special offers available only for subscribers. Once they’ve signed up, ensure you send them regular emails with helpful information about what’s happening at the venue and what specials are running at different times of year (such as Mother’s Day).
Keep in touch with your regulars.
Restaurant group bookings are often made by regulars who already know your business well. If they haven’t booked with you, they may be unsure how many people will come along or what time they’ll arrive. So you must regularly keep in touch with them and let them know when a table is free or if any other issues arise. You may even want to offer them a discount if they call up and book early enough in advance.
Make sure your restaurant is accessible.
Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. If your guests are having trouble navigating your website, they may lose interest and look elsewhere. This can be frustrating for both parties involved and could result in lost revenue.
Make sure you have clear contact details, including email address and phone number, on every page of your website so that customers can get in touch with you quickly if necessary. Also, ensure it’s easy to book online via the web or app, as this will help attract more online bookings than having an old-fashioned paper booking system!
Send out newsletters to keep existing customers coming back
If you want to keep your customers returning, newsletters are a great way to do it. Newsletters offer a way to promote special offers and discounts on food, drinks, and desserts. You can also use them to promote events such as themed evenings or Friday night happy hours.
So there you have it, the top ways to increase your restaurant group bookings this Christmas. With a few simple steps, you can be sure your restaurant will be the go-to place for all your colleagues, friends and family this holiday season! In the lead-up to Christmas, many businesses will go out for a meal for team bonding.
If you’d like to get extra group bookings for the remainder of this year and beyond, get in contact with one of our experts here to discuss how Winpos can propel you to success.