Restaurants Make 2023 Holidays Bright

It’s the most wonderful time of the year as people gather for holiday parties and meals with family and friends. According to an OpenTable diner survey, 80% of people will dine out this holiday. It’s a busy time for everyone and going out makes life easier. Here are some tips to stay on the restaurant list they’re checking twice.

Ambiance Counts

Get your holiday playlist together to keep the season jingling. It’s time for seasonal lights and decorations. You can even consider a theme like Ugly Sweater Night to draw folks in. Your festive touches become snap-worthy moments for social media posts. You’ll want to add some holiday sparkle to your website too. That’s often one of the first places people see your holiday cheer.

A Seasonal Menu

Does a festive menu matter? You bet your eggnog.  And you don’t have to turn everything upside down to do it. Changes can be as simple as adding pecans and cranberries to a side dish. And how about a pomegranate glaze? Or why not get ambitious at the meal’s finale with a treat like a yule log? Think about sips too. Hot beverages are always a hit at this time of year. 

Focus on Your Staff

It’s a great time to let your staff know how much they mean to you. A gift, bonus, or a party can go a long way. You want to help them see their family and friends while making sure that shifts are covered. So, post rules around holiday time off to prevent being short-staffed and avoid merry mix-ups. It’s not an easy balance to strike, but you can do it with positivity and a plan. 

Promote Reservations

Knowing how many people will show up and when helps match staffing numbers to holiday traffic. Think about putting a reserve-now message in your check presenters, on table signage, on social media, and in your newsletter to help your regulars get the holiday reservations they want.  And don’t forget limited-time special offers. According to a Popmenu survey last year, “35% of consumers said that special promotions are one of the top reasons they choose a restaurant.”

More Holiday Tips:

  • Keep restaurant gift cards ready and get the word out through OpenTable gifts. 
  • Update your online ordering presence for guests who prefer home delivery.
  • Help guests keep shopping until a table frees up with an online waitlist.
  • Have holiday mocktails ready for designated drivers, moms-to-be, and others not imbibing.

Stay Updated Online

Most of your customers will see you on Google first. So, think about your Google business profile. You’ll want to keep your restaurant hours and online ordering options updated with any seasonal shifts. 

If your patio is closing for the season, let everyone know that as well. And if you want to extend your patio season, talk with one of our experts. Our patio enclosures help keep guests more comfortable for more days of the year with heaters and the right plan. The warmth of the season really can feel that way for real. Happy holidays to all!