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Holiday restaurant promotions: Innovative Thanksgiving revenue boosters

Cover Image for Thanksgiving spread from Rye Leawood

Rye Leawood

By Tock Staff

Find out how these successful Tock customer tactics can work for you.

When it comes to the holidays, unique offerings can make all the difference. Dive into these examples of several Tock customers who have seamlessly blended tradition with innovation, resulting in a Thanksgiving that was both memorable for their guests and profitable for their businesses. Whether you’re a seasoned restaurateur or just starting out, these tried-and-true strategies can inspire and guide your preparations for the upcoming holiday season.

1. Host interactive Thanksgiving cooking classes for home chefs.

Fried chicken, tomatoes, and green beans on a table
Rye Leawood

While restaurants are adept at navigating the kitchen for the holidays, at-home chefs may need a little help, especially if it is their first time hosting. Recognizing this, Rye Leawood offered a special Thanksgiving Day Prep Class in 2022.

Led by their executive chef, pastry chef, and wine director, the class taught participants how to perfect the holiday feast, covering everything from trussing a turkey to cooking up side dishes and desserts like pumpkin pie. The class also provided wine-pairing recommendations to accompany the entire meal all for the price of $90 per person.

Tips to make this work for you

  • Tap your kitchen team for easily replicated recipes.
  • Consult your bar team for spirit preferences or pairings and ask them to ideate on specialized recipes.
  • Decide whether you prefer to host a full-day session or a series leading up to the big day.

2. Sell a Thanksgiving to-go special to drive incremental revenue.

Interior image of Trust Restaurant. Dining room includes wooden tables with place settings and an open kitchen
Trust Restaurant

Another way to cater to the stay-at-home crowd is to create take-home packages that will delight any holiday table.

Chef Brad Wise of Trust Restaurant Group created a Thanksgiving pick-up package to keep his business afloat during the pandemic. This take-home feast became an instrumental revenue-driving experience during the holidays.

Feeding up to eight people, Chef Wise’s ‘Takeout Thanksgiving Feast’ included Thanksgiving dinner, dessert, and breakfast for the following day for $475. Guests could also add on an optional wine pairing for an additional $150. Offering it as a pick-up option through Tock, in 2022, the package amounted to over $295,000 in sales.

Tips to make this work for you

  • Place advance orders for all necessary takeout materials (i.e., compostable containers, silverware, boxes, and bags for transportation).
  • Provide clear, user-friendly recipe cards for guests to follow for take and reheat packages.
  • Weigh your options for offering hot meal pickups on the holiday or preparing heat-and-eat packages a day in advance, allowing your staff to enjoy the holiday.

3. Increase guest bookings with lavish dine-in specials throughout the day.

Silver tea pot pouring tea in a cup
The Pfister Hotel

Let your guests know in advance that you’ll handle the holiday cooking this year with an all-you-can-eat affair.

Since many celebrate Thanksgiving dinner earlier in the day, hosting a midday brunch is sure to please. Take for instance The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which offered a bountiful brunch last year. Held in their newly-renovated grand ballroom, the brunch included fresh seafood over ice, an artisan Wisconsin cheese station, and freshly baked goods from the grand pastry table. Chefs were also in the dining room, preparing eggs cooked to order and carving meats served with all the traditional trimmings. To reduce no-shows, the hotel used Tock’s prepayment option at the time of booking.

Tips to make this work for you

  • Offer a prix-fixe brunch menu with festively-themed drink specials.
  • If space allows, host an all-you-can-eat brunch with cold and hot offerings, plus carving stations manned by your staff. Tap your pastry team to create indulgent desserts and upsell luxe add-ons like champagne and caviar.
  • Use Tock’s prepayment option to reduce no-shows. Pre-selling tickets can also help your back-of-house staff better stock your kitchen, minimizing food waste in the process.

4. Pair one-of-a-kind experiences with local holiday festivities.

Dining room at Stella 34 Trattoria
Stella 34 Trattoria

Be the go-to spot for guests to gather for local festivities.

Located inside the Empire State Building in New York, Stella 34 Trattoria serves up an Italian-inspired brunch on Thanksgiving Day, with stellar sights of the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views for families to watch floats and marching bands. The brunch offers something for everyone, from standard breakfast fare like eggs, sausage, and pancakes to a lunchtime buffet of roast turkey and all the fixings. Stella 34 also offers an indulgent dessert table with tarts, cookies, and cannolis. To increase sales, adults can enhance their experience with a wide selection of brunch beverages, including mimosas, bellinis, and Bloody Marys. At the same time, kids can sip on hot cocoa, cider, and various juices. This all-inclusive event is priced at $625 for adults and $335 for kids.

Tips to make this work for you:

  • Even if you don’t have a birds-eye view of your local Thanksgiving parade, you can still get in on the action. If your business is on a neighborhood parade route, upsell a special Thanksgiving Day menu for guests to warm up while they watch. Or, offer coffee, hot cocoa, and cider for parade watchers to enjoy on the go.
  • Does your city host a yearly turkey trot? Invite runners to your restaurant to refuel with brunch specials and healthy juices after the race.
  • Get football fans excited with beer and drink deals alongside burger and wing combos as they watch the Thanksgiving game match-ups.

In search of more holiday ideas that increase your profitability? Bookmark The Holiday Prep List, a go-to guide with tips, key dates, and expert resources.

Check Out The Prep List

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