How Your Restaurant Can Keep Up with Holiday Demand

Due to the pandemic, this year’s consumer holiday season may look slightly different. Some holiday festivities may have limited attendance or cancelled, restaurants and stores may encourage take out and delivery options, contactless payments will be more common, etc. 

However, demand for restaurant food, both on and offline, is still expected to be higher than average. Restaurants will have to rise to the challenge if they want to have a successful season. Below are some ways your restaurant can prepare to meet the demand. 

Provide Contactless Payment

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and even with pandemic restrictions in place, restaurants around the country can still expect an increase in business. 

Providing a contactless payment system can help to maximize your seasonal revenue. Contactless payment can be easily taken at the table or counter, and it is fast, efficient, sanitary, as well as something customers will expect this year. 

Offer Online Ordering for Pickup/ Takeout

The pandemic has made a big impact on restaurant operations, with more people opting to eat at home. Thankfully that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about their favorite restaurants, and many choose to pick up their dinner and bring it home.

To be successful through the pandemic holiday season, you will have to dedicate resources to having an efficient and simple pickup/ takeout ordering system.

You should also designate an employee or team of employees to take care of preparing and packaging takeout orders, so that in-store operations do not have to slow down.

Offer Delivery Options

With all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, having delivery options available for your customers can make all the difference. Particularly for customers who don’t have time to make or pick up dinner, offering a delivery option offers a great incentive to support your business.

Ensuring that you have proper ordering systems, delivery vehicles and trained drivers, packaging that keeps the food intact and the right temperature, and prompt service are all things that make delivery a desired option among customers.

Providing multiple ordering systems ensures that there is a format that all customers are comfortable with. Some customers prefer to order on a website, some prefer a Restaurant ordering app, and others want to phone in. Be considerate of all preferences and customers will appreciate your ability to cater to every need.

Hire Holiday Staff

It might seem counterintuitive to hire more staff for the purposes of increasing your seasonal revenue. However, with higher numbers of customers than normal coming through your restaurant’s doors, you will need to ensure you have the staff needed to give the service they expect and the quality of food they want, too. 

Being understaffed could mean long wait times for both seating and food, as well as decreased quality of customer service. This poor customer service affects your revenue as well as your reputation. Avoid damaging your reputation by hiring enough seasonal staff. 

Promote Catering Services 

Your restaurant business doesn’t have to survive solely on who comes through the door, or even the weekend delivery rush. Additionally offering event catering is an excellent revenue source and can be particularly lucrative during the holiday season. 

With office parties and Christmas gatherings happening all over your city, it makes sense to jump on the high demand and offer event catering. It is a good idea to promote your catering service prior to the Christmas rush so you can plan ahead.

Advertise Specials 

Specials are an excellent way to generate interest in your restaurant and get people through the door. Whether advertised on the website, on social media, or via loyalty apps or emails, specials catch the eye of customers and generate a buzz around your restaurant, as well as encourage increases in revenue.

Some good ideas for specials for your restaurant include happy hours, BOGO free meals, free kids meals with the purchase of an adult meal, and other similar offers.

Chris Turn

Chris has experience covering the latest trends in the small business world, and has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, creative and strategic blogger. He has a deep understanding of marketing and branding principles and how they can be applied to small businesses, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Chris has interviewed industry experts and covered major marketing events such as the SXSW Interactive conference and the Advertising Week conference. He is also a successful small business owner himself, which allows him to bring a unique perspective to his blogging and writing. His blog is known for providing valuable insights and tips on how to effectively market and brand a small business.