The holiday season can bring an undeniable demand for restaurant dining, and being prepared is the key to success. We understand the importance of seizing opportunities during this festive time. So we are serving up five ways restaurants can maximize the holiday rush.
According to a recent study we conducted on holiday dining trends, a staggering 64% of consumers plan to order from their favorite local restaurants to complement their at-home holiday meals. The majority of diners tend to order some or all of their of holiday meal from restaurants — a clear signal that restaurant operators should be adequately staffing and preparing their kitchens for a surge in orders. We’re here to help you navigate this season’s holiday rush.
1. Create a Festive Restaurant Environment for Holiday Rush
Guest experiences reign supreme in the dining landscape, especially during the hectic holiday season. A whopping 64% of consumers prefer casual dining establishments during this period, and 49% favor dining in at these restaurants, drawn by the convenience and affordability during an expensive time of the year.
Adapt the ambiance and decor of your restaurant to reflect the holiday season. Create a warm and inviting atmosphere to enhance the dining experience.
2. Prepare for the Seasonal Surge
To capitalize on the increased demand around the holidays, restaurant operators should ensure adequate staffing and meticulous preparation for the holiday influx. Diners want to integrate restaurant meals into their holiday plans, with 64% ordering at least one meal item from a restaurant and 37% ordering their entire meal. When it comes to which holidays bring in the most demand, New Year’s Eve (52%) and New Year’s Day (44%) were the most popular for dining out.
Ensure your restaurant’s technology is up-to-date and capable of handling increased traffic. Make sure you’re point-of-sale system, online ordering platform, and reservation system is up to the task.
3. Curate Your Holiday Menu for Dine-In and Take-Out
To stand out from the competition, consider crafting holiday-themed meals and combos that are available for dine-in, delivery, and carryout. Encourage your guests to enjoy your delicious holiday dishes with their loved ones, be it around their table or yours.
Make sure your seasonal/holiday menus are up-to-date and accurate on all ordering and delivery platforms you use. This includes changes in pricing, availability, and any special holiday-themed items to avoid confusion or disappointment.
4. Maximize Convenience: The Driving Force Behind Third-Party Delivery Services
The quest for convenience drives increased demand for third-party delivery services during the holidays. 45% of respondents said they are likely to use delivery services like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and GrubHub rather than ordering directly from restaurants around this time of year, pointing to the importance of standing up a seamless, first-party online ordering and delivery system to avoid those hefty third-party commissions.
Streamline direct ordering from your restaurant with an in-house online ordering and delivery system. Drive guest engagement by promoting and providing holiday coupons to encourage diners to order directly from you.
5. Spread Holiday Cheer via Tipping during the Holiday Rush
Amid the discussions about tip fatigue industry-wide, our data reveals a different story during the holiday season. 58% of diners plan to maintain their tipping habits, and 38% intend to increase their tips despite the overall costliness of the season. Gen-Xers (43%) are leading the charge in tipping more over the holidays.
Ensure your restaurant staff is geared up to deliver a memorable dining experience during this holiday rush so they can capitalize on the spirit of giving.
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