10 Business & Marketing Tips to Get You from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve
Here we are…just about six weeks out from the end of the year. For most of you, this is crunch time. But it’s also a tremendous opportunity to celebrate your loyal customers and show your hospitality to lots of new holiday revelers (who will, in turn, tell their friends – resulting in new business for you all year long!)
1. Thanksgiving Week: This year is expected to be a busy travel year, with close to 50 million people on the road, up from last year. Here’s where they’re going, according to AAA. What does that mean? Make sure your signage and online presence is in tip-top shape and that your customer experience is so wonderful that people will be raving to their friends and family all weekend long! Make sure local hotels and motels have your promotional materials. (No time this week? Be sure you do it prior to the December holidays!)
2. Give and receive. Many local charities are in need this time of year. Make your establishment a drop-off point for canned goods, coats, or gifts for kids in need.
3. Black Friday: Consider offering a shopper’s special. Promote it to your email list or via social media.
4. Small Business Saturday: You’ll find lots of tips and marketing materials right here. If you’re located in the middle of a high-traffic shopping area, make sure your neighborhood retailers are referring people to your establishment. Perhaps you even want to have an “after hours relaxation party” for the people who work at those stores.
5. Take a short breath between November 28th and December 1st. If you haven’t yet, make a week-by-week plan for menu, bar specials, and staffing. Create a calendar of activities, events, and specials, and post it in your venue and send it out to your customers and via social media. If you don’t have an email list, make sure you have a business card raffle or guest book set up during the holidays so that you can alert your fans to what’s coming up.
6. Think about the various customer groups you appeal to. Families, singles, local companies, and out-of-town travelers are all distinct groups that you may serve. Focus on those groups you would like to attract and offer specials that appeal to each of them.
7. Monitor your online reviews. With increased traffic, you’re likely to disappoint somebody during the holiday season. Be quick to respond to any feedback (negative or positive) and let your customers know you care.
8. Manage that inventory! You don’t want to disappoint a customer by telling him you’re out of his favorite cocktail ingredient or that the special that’s highly reviewed on Yelp is not available.
9. Stay active on social media throughout the holiday season. Post pictures on Instagram and Facebook of your venue in its festive state, and record short videos of your staff sending holiday messages or recommending cocktail specials. Here are the latest statistics on social media usage. A great aspect of social media is that you can use it to communicate almost immediately to prospective guests about late hours, entertainment or food and/or beverage specials, and other fast-breaking news. Remember that lots of college students are home for the holidays and looking to earn extra money. Now is a great time to enlist an intern to help you with your digital marketing!
10. Make sure that this holiday season is one to remember, for all the right reasons. Make sure every customer feels valued, cheered, and gets home safely. Keep your team feeling valued and happy amidst the holiday rush too.
These six weeks will fly by, but each one can be filled with joy and business growth if you stay focused on what you do best: creating festive and unique experiences for every guest who walks through your door!