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Preparing for the Holiday Season

With a market eager to get back to dining in coupled with a new expectation for online ordering and curbside pickup, this upcoming holiday season could be the most challenging yet most profitable season the restaurant industry has ever seen. If your restaurant is prepared for these obstacles and can take advantage of some marketing strategies to make your product unique, you can be a step above the rest come New Year’s Day. Here are six ways to take advantage of the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Prepare your staff

With covid cases and travel restrictions decreasing, prepare your staff for any situation to arise during a possibly very busy season. Be aware of when your restaurant has seen an increase in online ordering versus in-person dining and staff your restaurants appropriately during those times. Look into hiring new employees to help with those who will ask for time off. Above all, take care of your staff that will most certainly be working at high levels. Host more huddle-ups to boost morale and incentivize those who are working hard.

2. Prepare Your Restaurant

With the holidays quickly approaching and opting for to-go holiday meals on the rise, make sure you have a strategy in place to ensure a smooth to-go experience for your customers. Consider some meals for your online ordering system that travel well from the curb to home. With many families traveling to see loved ones, some family-style options may be a nice touch. Be prepared for more than normal traffic and order extra to-go supplies. Numerous options can be easily found in our Keith Essential Catalog. The more ready you are, the more your team can focus on providing a fantastic customer experience.

3. Set the theme

Creating a unique environment at your establishment during this part of the year has never been more important than the social media era. Think of ways to make your dining area stand out while matching up with the cuisine you serve. The more social-worthy your establishment is, the more customers will come. Don’t just stop at the decorations: think of ways to make your menu match the season. Traditional Thanksgiving desserts or a hearty soup are some options to help your guests bring the family. Additional labor solution products like Markon’s Ready-Set-Serve line will decrease prep time and increase your staff’s productivity during this busy time.

4. Have a Promotion Plan

Promotions and stories are easy ways to create awareness for your restaurant. Consider some holiday-themed shirts for a giveaway on your social media channels, incentivizing shares and tags at your restaurant, or a creative box like a holiday meal kit with items to create a dinner for you and your loved ones.

5. Gift Cards

A gift card is a great gift idea for the upcoming holiday season. Having this option is an easy way to pick up some final profits during this part of the year. Not sure if you have the capability of setting it up yourself? Our HOST services can help design the perfect gift card for your restaurant as well as much more! Learn more about our other HOST services here.

6. Don’t forget New Years

After last year’s extremely limited New Year’s Eve, this year is ripe for the picking. Consider staying open for NYE dinner and create a limited or set menu to take advantage of one of the biggest “dining out” nights of the year. Are you worried about the extra traffic? Consider some labor-saving products like pre-cut steaks from Winn Meat and ready-to-serve desserts to help your team spend less time preparing and more with the customers, providing a memorable last night of the year. Live stream a champagne toast for your in-house customers as well as those who ordered online for a unique moment for your loyal diners.

This holiday season can be a daunting task with the current conditions. Utilizing tips like these can help your team be ready for obstacles as they come about. The more you prepare, the more this season will be a success. For more ways to take your restaurant to the next level, contact your Ben E. Keith Sales Rep.