How Your Restaurant Can Make the Most of Holiday Parties

For restaurants, the holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year. Not only are diners more willing to indulge, they’re also more likely to book or order from your restaurant for a holiday party.

As long as you’re focused on delivering festive experiences attendees won’t soon forget, these three simple strategies will help you get the most out of every holiday party your restaurant hosts this year.

Prepare for large delivery orders

While your restaurant might offer the perfect venue for a party, some holiday party hosts might have a different location in mind and prefer food delivery. If this is the case, your restaurant will need to prepare for a potential influx of large delivery orders. To cater to the holiday party crowd, consider adding special menu items or group platters, which offer diners a variety of finger food choices without interrupting their socializing at the party. Also prepare your delivery staff for holiday orders. During peak party times, such as Thursday nights, have extra drivers on the clock to handle the high amount of orders. Also equip drivers with the proper catering packaging — including hot plates or other means to keep food warm for an extended period of time during the party, as well as extra napkins and utensils. Bonus points if the packaging is festive or holiday-themed.

Make catering menus easily available

Chances are, when your restaurant hosts a holiday party, a large number of guests will be trying your food for the first time. Even those who dine at your restaurant will likely be getting a first taste of your catering menu. First, make sure the food is a hit, from the preparation to the presentation. Second, allow your guests to pick up a catering menu to take home after the party. That way, the next time they’re looking for an event venue or the perfect delivery menu for a large group, your restaurant will be top-of-mind.

Build your email list

If your restaurant marketing strategy includes communicating with diners via email (and it should), then you know the importance of a high-quality and growing email list. Holiday parties are a fantastic way to collect new emails, but you will need to give before you receive. Give your guests an incentive to provide you with their email addresses – such as 20 percent off their first delivery order, a two-for-one catering platter or free lunch through a business card drawing – and you will receive a steady stream of email sign-ups throughout this holiday season.

Offer gift cards

Nobody, it seems, is ever done with their holiday shopping. Many of your holiday party guests will be very happy to cross one more name off their lists with a gift card from your restaurant. You can even sweeten the deal by offering a discount, such as $45 for a $50 card. Remember, gift cards are often high-value referrals to potential long-term patrons. Not only that, but even if your holiday party guests don’t give the card to someone as a gift, they can use it for a future visit.

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