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The holiday season means something very different for restaurants than it does for retail stores. While retail stores see a rush of holiday crazed shoppers, restaurants often experience a decline in the winter months. With colder temperatures and tighter budgets, consumers feel less compelled to eat out.

But it’s not all doomsday for restaurants. In fact, it is easier now more than ever to combat seasonal changes and thrive during the holiday season.

Here are five tips to prepare your restaurant for a prosperous holiday season.

1. Market Community, Market Nostalgia

Unleash the power of marketing. This is the time of year to show customer appreciation with loyalty offers and wow them with your exclusive meals and services.

Consumers spend a good portion of the year anticipating the warm and fuzzy feeling associated with the holiday season. Tap into the spirit with window displays, festive decor, and seasonal banners that cater to your target market.

2. Exclusive Holiday Promotions

Plan your special promotions and sales ahead of time and take advantage of social media to get the word out. Facebook is a great marketing platform, Twitter is a great way to give live updates, and Instagram can reveal the more personal, behind-the-scenes story behind your restaurant. Got a rewards program? Gift return shoppers with a special discount when they hit your sales targets.

3. Change Up Your Menu

Freshen up your restaurant’s offerings, and offer a new dynamic menu for the holiday season. Pair holiday classics with ingredients unique to your restaurant, and with Revel’s Exporting and Importing Products function, managing your menu is easier than ever. With the spreadsheet template, replacing products or adding new ones is as easy as pie. Definitely a fall favorite. Be sure to promote your new menu on your social channels and drive engagement with your regulars and reach new diners.

4. Prep Your Kitchen

Make sure your back of house is ready. With changes to the menu, avoid inaccurate or slow to counter orders. If you’re still processing orders on handwritten tickets placed in a row for the kitchen staff, that slow process leaves a large margin for human error. By installing a Kitchen Display System (KDS), you can sync the front of house with the kitchen through the POS. A KDS eliminates antiquated paper tickets and gives your expediter the most efficient tool for calling out orders.

5. Offer Alternate Ordering Options

75% of restaurant owners surveyed that report that changes in weather result in a 10% sales decrease. Keep your sales strong with online and mobile ordering and expand convenience and choice to your customers. In today’s increasingly connected world, customers can easily order food without ever having to leave the house. Whether through their desktop computer or smartphone, customers find online ordering simple, quick, and convenient.

Make omni-channel ordering seamless by integrating it directly with your website and POS. For first time customers, this helps remove all of the barriers that might inhibit them from trying your your restaurant.

Avoid the winter blues and deploy these tactics to best arm your restaurant for the holiday season.  Learn more about Revel System’s Restaurant POS, and see how a feature-rich business management platform can boost sales during your slow months. 

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