9 Restaurant Event Ideas to Consider This Holiday Season

Monday November 27, 2017

With Thanksgiving behind us and the December holidays and the New Year right around the corner, now is the time to create your restaurant’s holiday marketing plan to capitalize on the extra traffic of family gatherings, parties, hungry shoppers and gift card sales.  Here is a list of 9 holiday event ideas to drive sales and create memorable experiences for your guests:

  1. Christmas carol sing-a-long:  Nothing gets people all gooey inside like nostalgic holiday tunes.  Frank, Bing, Nat, and Burl.  Pass out lyrics and invite your staff and guests to jump in and sing along throughout the evening while they eat and drink your holiday inspired culinary creations.
  2. Live holiday music:  A string or brass quartet will add ambiance to an evening of elegant food and merriment.
  3. Giving to your community: Consider donating a portion of your holiday food and beverage sales to a local charity benefitting those in need.  The USDA estimates that 1 in 6 people in America face hunger. Local food banks are especially busy during the holiday season helping the poor and working poor with free food.  Contrary to what you might think, the best gift you can give is cash, which they can use to buy food in bulk.  Visit one of these web sites to find a food pantry in your area:
  4. Create holiday inspired appetizers/desserts: Unleash your chef’s creativity by inviting him/her to invent limited time only appetizers or desserts with holiday themes and ingredients.
  5. Get into the holiday spirits:  Create limited edition cocktails with holiday inspired ingredients such as candy cane, ginger snap, mulled wine, spiked & spiced hot chocolate.  Design a brand new drink or put your holiday twist on a classic, such as a mojito with cranberries or pomegranates.  Either way, your guests will enjoy a flavorful pre-meal adventure.
  6. Ugly Christmas sweater night:  Let’s face it, we all have one.  That dreadful sweater with holiday needlepoint your Aunt Anna gave you in high school. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has taken the world by storm.  Get in on the action by inviting your staff and restaurant guests to wear their most awful holiday sweater one night this season.  Let people vote and give a free drink or dessert to the wearer of the worst holiday sweater.
  7. Holiday trivia night:  Restaurant patrons play a holiday inspired trivial pursuit against each other. One savvy trivia winner per game wins a coupon for a free dessert or appetizer to use on their next visit.
  8. Coupon for a free dessert/appetizer in the New Year for every gift certificate purchase of $100 or more.
  9. Leverage a larger event in your area:  In Altoona, the historic Mishler Theatre has holiday shows and other events starting on December 2nd. Consider offering theatre goers a themed special that they can enjoy before or after the show. Just have them show their tickets to get the special! Check your area’s local events calendars to see what your restaurant might leverage to increase sales.

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