Tis’ the season to start thinking about holiday bookings. While most retailers see a spike in sales – which can account for as much as 30 percent of their annual sales volumes according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) — many restaurants lose money during the holiday months.
In 2014, an independent study conducted by Thanx, Inc. showed that restaurant revenues can decrease by as much as 45 percent during November and December.
So, how do restaurants drive business during a time of year when consumer spending, at least in this sector, traditionally takes a dip? Ramp up marketing efforts to target individuals appointed to organize this year’s office holiday party – they’re the Office Managers, Administrative Assistants and Marketing pros.
Accurate and Timely Information is Critical
Accurate and timely information is important when doing business with busy professionals. Make sure websites are up-to-date with photos, room dimensions, calendars, a group size cost estimator, menu offerings, booking and cancellation policies. Furthermore, you should add a prominent web page that details this information. Expect customers to call in to confirm bookings and make sure your website information is accurate. All staff should be trained to deliver not only correct, but also consistent information. It’ll make doing business with you a lot easier.
Boost Web Presence and Online Marketing Campaigns
You’re marketing to busy, time-constrained professionals. They’re short on time with a short list of questions. Simply put, whether they’re familiar with your business or not, they expect to find you after a brief internet search. Be sure to optimize your website and online ads for SEO. Add high-ranking, relevant keywords to web copy and meta descriptions. Then, ask search engines to recrawl your website. And be sure to use the same keywords across social media campaigns.
Adapt to Any Time, Anywhere Marketing
Marketing is becoming increasingly ‘on-demand.’ Today purchase decisions happen through a funnel and across multiple channels. Various research studies have concluded that retailers must adapt to omni-channel marketing in order to meet consumer demand. Deloitte calls it “e-tailing” and says, “omni-channel retailing means being available at any time anywhere, making it convenient for the customer.” When dealing with holiday bookings, restaurants can take a page out of the retailer’s playbook. The easiest way for a small business to adapt is by having a responsive website design that converts seamlessly to mobile-friendly. Busy professionals won’t go on a scavenger hunt for information. Relevant information needs to be accurate and highly visible across the web.
Implement a Complete Online Booking System that Up-Sells
Make booking your event space easy and convenient by using a simple cloud based solution that integrates with your website. Your system could be up and running in as little as 24 hours. It’s best to choose a system that offers chat and 24/7 online support. Most importantly, it needs the ability to up-sell through add-ons. The add-on feature allows customers to add extras to party bookings. An extra might be open bar, premium liquor open bar, cell phone charging stations or a delicious dessert cart, at prices you set.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Grassroots Marketing
Now that you know your audience, capture their attention by reaching them where they are. Consider sponsoring after-work and professional mixers. Community engagement, direct mail campaigns and word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing are all powerful outreach tools. In addition, local chambers of commerce and professional associations can make great allies.
For more information about online booking software,up-selling and recommended service providers, read Book More Holiday Parties Through Online Software That Up-Sells.
Strategic Funding provides needed operating funds to small businesses. Strategic Funding has helped hundreds of industries including: restaurants, personal services, construction, medical, manufacturing, agriculture, retail stores, automotive, and food stores.