Ditching the dishes on Thanksgiving is a new American tradition. According to a study by the National Restaurant Association, nearly one in 10 Americans will choose to eat at a restaurant rather than cooking a buffet-style meal at home.
Furthermore, a growing contingency admit to going to their favorite restaurant to pick up part of their holiday meal, while over four percent of patrons will get their entire meal from a restaurant.
For restaurant owners who choose to open for business on Turkey Day, this presents a great opportunity to drive sales revenue. Here are five ways to drive sales and give customers a break from cooking, shopping, or both.
- Promote a “Friendsgiving” Event
The holiday season is often spent in the close grips of your family, leaving little time to spend with friends and colleagues. Catering to those who want to celebrate with people outside of their family is a great way to get new faces into your restaurant. Try putting together a special menu for groups who choose to celebrate Friendsgiving with you. Hire a photographer to take seasonal pictures of your guests that they can share on social media. Remember: A good host is one who accounts for all the ways their guests will celebrate the holidays.
- Give Back to Your Community
‘Tis the season of giving, after all. Whether you donate a portion of your sales to a local charity or get out and volunteer at a local food bank, it’s important to show your community that your business is about bettering the neighborhood, not just making money from them. Encourage your employees to take a few hours out of their week to volunteer. If you aren’t sure where to go, post a poll on your social media accounts and let your customers help you make the decision.
- Design a Holiday-Themed Catering Package
Most holidays are spent gorging incredible dishes with loved ones. But, Thanksgiving takes the cake as the holiday that produces the most indigestion per capita. This is great news for restaurant owners who want to boost their Fourth Quarter sales. Offering a special catering menu is a great way to get your customers the food they need to entertain and boost your sales simultaneously.
- Include More Fall Flavors in Your Menu
Apple Tarts. Cider. Cinnamon. Pear. Pomegranate. Butternut Squash. And, of course, Pumpkin Pie. These are just a few of the flavors of fall. Don’t be one of the other restaurants who serves pumpkin-spiced-something on your menu. Get creative! Your customers will truly appreciate your efforts.
- Raffle Off a Thanksgiving Meal
Everyone loves a good raffle. Especially if the prize is a free meal. On top of that, a free meal is a great way to reward your most loyal customers without having to give something to anyone who walks through your door. Have your customers drop off a business card to enter the contest. That way you can collect a horde of potential catering customers.