Checklist: 6 Restaurant Holiday Marketing Ideas

Nov 1, 2023

With endless reasons for your diners to celebrate this winter, prep for the busiest restaurant season by planning for moments that go beyond the usual. Our six tips for clever marketing will keep them coming back for more all season.

1. Give them more excuses to celebrate

Spot opportunities on our calendar to make the most of the season. In addition to the holidays that most diners look forward to, add extra surprises in the form of Friendsgiving menus, or winter movie marathon themed promos.

Better yet, use our calendar as a springboard to create and promote your own occasions. You know your diners best!

2. Refresh your menu with seasonal specials

Make use of new in-season ingredients by introducing some fall and winter dishes to your menu. Seasonal veggies, cold weather inspired dishes, soups, festive beers, and flavored coffee and tea are all great additions. Don’t forget to add the items to the top of your online menu in a “Featured Items” category, and promote them on your website, email, Instagram, Facebook, and other marketing channels.

3. Engage your audience with Instagram Stories or Reels.

Videos perform better in the Instagram algorithm, meaning that they are more likely to be discovered and viewed by a wider audience than a picture (although it’s still a good idea to post those regularly, too!). To get you started with video ideas, try introducing new menu items, or going “behind the scenes” with your chef, or teaching a quick cocktail tutorial for viewers to try at home.

4. Spread the word via email.

With the holidays just around the corner, customers are on the lookout for fresh ideas and new deals. Grab their attention with a restaurant email marketing campaign to announce your new menu or offer a special to loyal patrons. ChowNow has tons of great options for engaging customers with automated email blasts, designed to drive orders at your restaurant.

5. Recommend fall and winter menu pairings.

Inspire your customer’s next order from your restaurant by marketing holiday pairing ideas to tickle their taste buds! These could include prix-fixe meals with multiple dishes, or suggested add-ons like the perfect cocktail for a winter-worthy dish.

If you use ChowNow for your online ordering, edit your online menu to display these suggested pairings next to your main menu items, so you can automatically upsell your guests.

6. Help bring the holiday cheer home.

Experiment with ways to package your dine-in experience in a takeout format, so that your customers can continue to enjoy your restaurant from the comfort of their homes. Get creative with ideas like:

  • Digital cooking, baking, or mixology classes: : Use Instagram live, Facebook live, Zoom, YouTube, or another video platform. You can sell the ingredients through your online ordering and then send the link to paying customers through email.
  • Online wine or cocktail tasting classes: As noted above, pairings are a great way to sell more while keeping things festive. Go all-out by creating a wine or cocktail pairing for your menu, and then have an online tasting class.
  • Holiday cookie decorating kits: Invite your customers to spread some joy around their homes by bundling house-made cookie dough with fun decorations for some DIY holiday cheer.
  • Gift baskets: Create delectable baskets with your restaurant’s best holiday offerings. You can even team up with a local boutique, brewery, or artist to add different gifts, like candles, puzzles, cards, craft beer, ceramics, or anything else. That way, you can get the whole community involved in the festive spirit!
Ditch multiple tablets—our new bundle puts all your takeout in one place. Grow and manage your business with Pro + Cuboh.  Learn More