In terms of the retail calendar, Christmas is an outstanding opportunity to increase your sales. People are already loosening their purse strings as they go Christmas shopping… and loosening their ties as they prepare for the end-of-year holidays!
As a hospitality venue, this is the time of year to step up your marketing in order to maximise your profits. Whether you’re a local coffee shop or urban cocktail bar, there are seasonal specific tricks to getting people in the door.
The top-level goal is this: work with the already-existing hype of the season. Avoiding clichéd promotions (no more snowflake decorations!) and instead tapping in the unique Australian festive season will connect you with your customers, and invite them into your venue.
The best – and most cost effective – way to market your venue over this time is online, via your social media channels.
The Australian Christmas is unlike anywhere else in the world. Images of snowmen, pine trees, festive jumpers and hot cocoa don’t really translate to our steamy tropical December! So, consider how your Christmas promotions relate to the season.
When creating artwork or posts for your social media channels, use the summer season as inspiration instead. Fruity cocktails, chilled desserts, or Aussie updates on traditional classics (frozen eggnog cocktail, anyone?) is a fun and interesting way to hook attention of those scrolling your posts.
Image credit: @sohosundays
Family/kids specific language
With school finishing in the weeks before Christmas, December is a time for family-based activities.
Can you create social media posts that appeal directly to kids, or parents of kids? Look to your menu and promotions – is it inclusive for young kids and teens? If you don’t have a kids menu or kids deals, create one! As families relax into the festive season, they are more likely to consider eating out – and having options for the kids is often a deal breaker for parents choosing where to go.
TIP: If families aren’t the right market for your venue focus on targeting group bookings, the festive season is always a good excuse for people to have large group gatherings!
If there was ever a time to forget the healthy food movement, this is it! As people relax into the festive season mentality, they will eat more, and drink more, than any other time of the year. Go hard with your luxe or ‘splurge’ items.
Using enticing photography, crank up your usual offering to appeal to those looking to spoil themselves or their kids. Super-sized milkshakes, half price shots, or two-for-one steak deals are all an easier sell when people are ready to let loose. (Come February, however – aka diet season – it might be best to focus on your salad menu…)
Gifting made easy
Online shopping is growing in popularity in the pre-Christmas sales period, so make sure you are putting yourself forward as an option. Gift cards, event deals, take-home meals, customised items (such as Christmas puddings), or Christmas-Day/New Year’s Day deals are all great options for cafes, bars, and restaurants.
Use your social media feeds to promote these deals – both Instagram and Facebook offer sponsored posts that can get your deals in front of prime audiences.
Australians will be visiting their social media pages often in the lead up to Christmas. Whether they’re organising events, posting pictures of their silly season, or shopping online, this is a great opportunity to market your venue.
Use the Christmas theme, but use it wisely: make sure it’s customised for an Australian audience, and keep your messaging light and cheerful!