The holiday season can bring big business to restaurants as guests grab a bite between shopping sessions, take family from out of town to their favorite local spots, and lean on restaurants to provide some or all of their holiday meals. This higher-traffic season presents opportunities for restaurants to capture new guests and keep in touch with regulars at a time when they’re already primed to spend money dining out. But capitalizing on this requires knowing your guests and having the right tools to connect with them.
Read on to learn about the different technology tools that can help drive more revenue and grow your restaurant’s fa-la-la-owing.
Online ordering is a no-brainer for restaurants nowadays, as 63% of diners order takeout or delivery two or more times a week. However, if you’re not hosting online ordering directly from your website, you could be missing out on long-term gains for your restaurant like increased revenue and stronger guest relationships. In addition to reducing spend on third-party commissions, direct online ordering lets you own the guest contact information captured at the order button so you can build relationships with customers through marketing and special events in the future.
With many consumers leaning on restaurants for all or part of their holiday meals, ordering events are the perfect way to quickly increase sales while making your restaurant a part of guests’ holiday traditions. Ordering events are limited menus available for a specific timeframe and are often tied to seasonal celebrations and social occasions. You can create special holiday menus or bundles for guests to order online in advance (capturing their email in the process), schedule a pick-up date, and send emails to promote the event or remind guests of their orders.
PopTip! See how one restaurant, Henri’s Bakery & Deli, generated 627 orders and earned over $40k in revenue through ordering events alone.
Digital Gift Cards
While sending someone a gift card might seem like an easy way out, a digital gift card to their favorite local restaurant can actually be pretty thoughtful—oh, and it’s good for your revenue too! Digital gift cards drive users to your online ordering; once there, your menu can entice and upsell with featured items and holiday specials and, if they’re not a follower, collect their contact information, opening the door for marketing opportunities in the future.
With 72% of the highest sales days happening between November and December for restaurants, the holiday season can often come with long waits for guests. However, with the right waitlisting tools you can turn what used to be a frustrating experience for guests into an engagement opportunity. Aside from collecting contact information for future marketing efforts, waitlisting can text or email guests to let them know their table is ready—meaning they can wait while getting their shopping done or while sitting at the bar. Waitlisting can also send customers a link to your menu in advance, so your restaurant can turn tables faster since guests arrive already knowing what they want to order; ultimately leaving your guests and your bottom line merry and bright.
Automated Phone Answering
An influx of hungry holiday diners likely means your staff will be too busy to answer the phones. With 42% of guests moving on to another restaurant if they call and get a voicemail, unanswered calls can mean missed reservations and orders. Fortunately, with tools like Popmenu Answering, your restaurant can have an A.I. phone assistant that works 24/7, fielding common questions with custom responses and sending guests a link to make a reservation or place an order online.
PopTip! See how Popmenu client, Monk’s earned over $30k in Online Ordering Revenue with Popmenu Answering.
How owning guest data makes a difference
It goes without saying that the more guest data you have, the more you know about their preferences and behaviors, the more effective your marketing will be.
It’s also important for tracking your progress. Measuring the impact of your restaurant’s marketing efforts during the holiday season can be tricky, that’s why it’s important to make the most of every interaction (and to ensure you’re capturing and owning your guest data!). For example, when you manage guest contact information from the same place you manage online ordering, you can see how much revenue your messaging earns your restaurant from orders placed on your website—making it easier to track your return on investment from marketing efforts.
Popmenu offers all of the aforementioned tools in a single platform, and lets restaurant’s own the data that they collect—making it the perfect stage for restaurants to market and grow their business year round, not just during the holidays.
Want to kickstart your marketing this season? Check out the Popmenu Holiday Hub!