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Holiday Sales Tips: Drive More Traffic to Your Restaurant with These 7 Ideas

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By Sophie Brochu

Tips and tactics for making the holidays a success

With the holidays fast approaching, restaurants, bars, and wineries are gearing up for the busy season. Curious on how to prep your business? On October 18, we had a conversation with Gavin Kaysen (Soigné Hospitality Group), Sophia Hussain (TRUST Restaurant Group), and Carolyn Satlow (Vetri Group), moderated by Nick Kokonas (Tock CEO and The Alinea Group), to discuss tips and tactics for making the holidays a success. Read on to learn how these restaurateurs are maximizing their businesses for one of the busiest times of the year.

 

1. Tock is a Sales Tool

It’s not just about reservations. With Tock, you can offer reservations, takeout, and events in one place—and you can customize each offering. The one thing restaurants can control is what they sell, how they sell it, and how guests find it.

2. Go Live Early

It’s key to get holidays and special events live 4-6 weeks in advance. Guests are looking ahead, considering costs, and wanting to solidify plans. It costs nothing to get your offerings live early, and it will help your team plan better.

“It costs nothing to put it out early. I don’t think people get tired of looking at it. I think it’s the opposite. It’s the old rule of advertising. People have to see it four or five times.”

-Nick Kokonas

3. Prepayment & Deposits

Leverage prepayments or deposits to cut back on no-shows, staff accordingly, and offer better hospitality. For special events or any high-demand experience, even a deposit as low as $5 ensures guests show up. 

“Knowing that you have those two eight tops coming in at 9:30 on a Saturday night allows for you to staff accordingly rather than not knowing if they’re showing up, and if the demand coming, it’s not about if, it’s about when.”

-Sophia Hussain

4. Increase Pricing

Like with sports events and entertainment, different days and different seats hold different values. Increase pricing when demand is high. For example, on holidays, weekends, or with second seatings.

“We’ve been toying with this idea of when you go to a concert, you pay more money to sit closer to the band and have that different experience.”

-Carolyn Satlow

5. Offer Supplements

Give guests the chance to increase your check average when booking a reservation or ordering to-go. Offer upgrades, such as wine pairings and luxury ingredients, or cookbooks and merch that guests can take home. For dine-in, this can make the experience extra special. For to-go, package it in a way that adds a hospitable touch. 

“Whenever we do any holiday experience, we always have add-ons, whether it’s wine, our cookbook that we just released, or merchandise. It gives the guests an opportunity to be able to add on and purchase that as being part of their experience.”

-Gavin Kaysen

6. Promote Widely

From digital to physical, it’s important to try to reach a broad audience. Utilize email newsletters, social media, and physical check presenters. With Tock, you can download an entire email list of all your previous customers, even the people from your waitlist.

7. Trial & Error

It costs nothing to offer an experience on Tock. It doesn’t even take much time. Get experimental with your offerings. If something doesn’t sell, you’ll have a better idea of what your guests are looking for. If it does sell, you can create similar events or experiences. It’s okay to adjust, adapt, and try new things. 

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Attend a Live Holiday Training webinar.

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