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Boost Your Holiday Sales: Smart Holiday Restaurant Promotions That Work

By Nikita Nielsen · 4. March 2024

Navigating the holiday rush in the restaurant industry can be challenging.

With the right holiday restaurant promotions, you can turn this hectic time into a period of profit and festive cheer🎉.

This guide is your toolkit for success, featuring menu transformations, unique events, and smart marketing tactics to captivate and keep customers coming back.

Prepare to turn the holiday rush into a triumph for your business!

Key Takeaways

  • Updating restaurant menus with holiday-themed items and traditional dishes with modern twists can attract customers seeking a festive dining experience, including offering vegetarian and vegan options.
  • Implementing holiday specials like limited-time offers, bundle deals, and loyalty program incentives can boost sales and create a sense of exclusivity and urgency for diners.
  • Creating a warm holiday ambiance through decor and hosting events, such as trivia nights or charity collaborations, enhances the customer experience and can drive traffic during the festive season.

Festive Menu Makeover

holiday special holiday special

One way to attract customers during the busy holiday season is a festive menu makeover.

By incorporating popular holiday cocktails🍹 like mulled wine and peppermint hot chocolate and seasonal ingredients such as cranberries and pumpkin, your menu can enhance the festive experience.

Creating special Christmas-inspired dishes and adding seasonal twists to classic dishes provide a standout festive dining experience.

Traditional Holiday Dishes

Traditional holiday dishes hold a significance during the festive season and are anticipated by patrons.

By incorporating popular holiday dishes into your restaurant’s menu, you can attract customers looking for a taste of nostalgia. Some examples of popular holiday dishes include:

  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Vegetables
  • Apple pie

Additionally, infusing your brunch menus with the holiday spirit by adding special items such as gingerbread waffles, candied bacon, and reindeer or snowman-shaped pancakes can further boost your appeal in creating a winter wonderland atmosphere.

Unique Festive Creations

While traditional dishes are a must, unique festive creations can make your restaurant stand out.

A dish such as Cranberry and Orange Glazed Pigs in Blankets adds a sweet and tangy flavor to a classic favorite, making it ideal for holiday dining.

Similarly, Turkey Schnitzels with cranberry compote provide a crunchy alternative to traditional holiday turkey🍗 dishes, offering something different for diners.

To make your establishment even more appealing, consider implementing some Christmas restaurant ideas to enhance the festive atmosphere.

For dessert, why not serve a Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding, transforming a traditional Christmas bread into a luxurious, creamy dessert suited for the holiday season?

Enticing Holiday Specials

food food

Creating enticing holiday specials is another way to attract customers. Whether it’s through limited-time offers, bundle deals, or incentives via a loyalty program, these strategies can significantly boost your restaurant’s holiday sales.

Implementing promotion ideas for restaurants during the holiday season can be a game-changer for your business.

Limited-Time Offers

Creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity through time-sensitive promotions and special holiday menus is a proven tactic to attract customers. Some ways to do this include:

  • Offering a limited-time Christmas menu
  • Providing free appetizers, drinks, and desserts with the holiday menu
  • Creating exclusivity and anticipation for the holiday menu

These Christmas promotion ideas capture the spirit of the holiday and can help attract more customers.

Furthermore, developing time-sensitive promotions, such as offering discounts to diners with a same-day receipt from a local retailer, creates a sense of urgency.

Bundle Deals

Bundle deals, which bring together multiple offerings or experiences, are aimed at providing value to customers and boosting sales for restaurants during the holiday season.

These could include an extra perk, such as a bottle of wine or a small gift, alongside a holiday meal composed of traditional Christmas trimmings and popular dishes.

Moreover, offering family bundle deals that include a multi-course meal for a group provides convenience during the busy holiday season, often resulting in higher perceived value.

Loyalty Program Incentives

Loyalty program incentives are a great way to keep your loyal customers coming back during the festive season.

A special holiday tier can be added to the loyalty program, offering members the chance to earn rewards more quickly during the festive period.

Offering double points on traditionally slower days, such as the day before Christmas Eve, can incentivize more visits and drive restaurant traffic.

Creative Christmas Events

Christmas event Christmas event

Creative Christmas🎄 events can also play a crucial role in attracting customers. Whether it’s a holiday-themed trivia night, live music performance, or charity collaboration, these events can make your restaurant the go-to destination for patrons during the festive season.

Holiday-Themed Trivia Nights

Hosting a holiday-themed trivia night can attract customers looking for a fun and interactive group activity, such as Christmas parties.

Trivia nights with a Christmas theme can foster a sense of community and friendly competition, making the dining experience more enjoyable and memorable.

This can also increase midweek patronage as they provide a unique and engaging reason for customers to visit on typically slower nights.

Live Music Performances

Live music performances significantly contribute to a lively and enjoyable dining experience in restaurants.

By featuring local musicians and bands, your restaurant can draw larger crowds, provide support to the local arts community, and enhance the festive atmosphere.

Additionally, live music performances contribute to creating an inviting ambiance that appeals to both regular patrons and new customers seeking entertainment during the holiday season.

Charity Collaborations

Showcasing your restaurant’s commitment to social responsibility through charity collaborations not only offers positive publicity but enhances the restaurant’s brand image.

Organizing charitable events during the Christmas season can position your restaurant as a community leader.

For instance, hosting events like a Christmas dinner for a local shelter or partnering with charities can foster a sense of unity and purpose.

Social Media Marketing Magic

leveraging social media leveraging social media

In this digital age, maximizing your restaurant’s online presence with social media marketing cannot be overlooked.

Whether it’s through festive visual content, engaging contests, or influencer partnerships, the power of social media can significantly drive business to your restaurant during the holiday season.

Festive Visual Content

The use of high-quality, on-brand festive visuals on social media enhances your restaurant’s online presence during the holiday season. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Update your social media with holiday-themed cover photos
  • Use attractive visuals and persuasive copy in social media promotions
  • Implement festive filters and stickers

By following these tips, you can foster customer interaction and boost engagement during the holiday season.

Engaging Contests and Giveaways

Running social media competitions with holiday-themed prizes can encourage user-generated content, a powerful tool for promoting a restaurant.

By leveraging holiday-themed hashtags in your social media contests, you can track participant engagement and increase your online visibility.

Collaborating with suppliers or local businesses for these contests can also provide better prizes and reach a wider audience, amplifying your promotional efforts.

Holiday Decor and Ambiance

Creating a warm and inviting holiday atmosphere is essential to enhance the dining experience and attract more customers.

With the right interior and exterior decorations, your restaurant can evoke the holiday spirit and set the perfect mood for festive dining.

Interior Decorations

Embellishing your restaurant’s interior with festive lights, a Christmas tree, or candles is a surefire way to create a festive atmosphere.

Incorporating sophisticated elements like neutral or black Christmas decorations can offer a refined holiday touch to the restaurant’s decor.

Festive-themed favors provided with holiday meals can add holiday cheer and make customers feel special during special holiday events, encouraging a memorable dining experience with gourmet gift boxes.

Exterior Displays

Your restaurant’s exterior is the first thing that customers see, so make it inviting with eye-catching outdoor displays and window decorations.

Whether it’s a giant Santa Claus or festive window display, these elements can make your restaurant stand out and attract families and passersby, increasing business during the holiday season.

Catering and Takeout Options

Finally, catering and takeout options for office parties and family-sized meals offer an additional revenue stream during the holiday season.

By offering these services, your restaurant can tap into the demand for convenient festive dining options for home gatherings and corporate events.

Office Party Catering

Catering holiday parties, such as office parties, can help restaurants generate additional revenue during the holidays.

Creating holiday catering packages and promotional offers tailored to office parties can fulfill client needs and potentially be the deciding factor for companies when selecting a catering service.

Family-Sized Takeout Meals

Offering family-sized takeout meals for the holidays caters to the demand for convenient, festive dining options for home gatherings.

By allowing customers to pre-order holiday meals, restaurants can efficiently manage inventory and operations during the busy festive season.


In summary, the holiday season presents an opportunity for restaurants to attract more customers and boost sales.

By implementing creative Christmas promotion ideas, such as a festive menu makeover, enticing holiday specials, creative Christmas events, social media marketing magic and merchandise sales, holiday decor and ambiance, as well as catering and takeout options, your restaurant can stand out and become the go-to destination for patrons during the festive season.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you do the 12 days of Christmas business?

You can create a 12-day holiday marketing event where you announce daily giveaway winners for specific items, with customers signing up for a chance to win. It’s a great way to engage your audience and generate excitement around your business.

How can a festive menu makeover attract more customers during the holiday season?

By offering traditional holiday dishes, unique festive creations, and vegetarian options, a festive menu makeover can attract more customers during the holiday season. This diverse range can appeal to a wider customer base.

Why are enticing holiday specials important for boosting restaurant sales?

Enticing holiday specials are important for boosting restaurant sales because they create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, attracting more customers and increasing sales. Offering limited-time offers, bundle deals, and loyalty program incentives can make a significant difference in sales during holiday seasons.

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