The keys to avoiding clichés in your Christmas marketing are simple: creativity and content.
Aim to capture the imagination and generate content, and always be sure that your marketing links up with what you are doing in the restaurant itself. The cardinal rule? Do not compromise your restaurant’s identity just for the sake of accommodating Christmas. Quite apart from anything else, it looks lazy and lacklustre. Instead, take the basic ingredients of “Christmas-ness” and exercise your creativity to see how you can make them work for you.
Basics = Joyful, Fun, Vibrant, Comfortable, Family-orientated.
Christmas, and the run-up to Christmas, is all about feeling. Once you have passed the age of Santa and toys, for most of your customers the festive season begins to be about a general sense of warmth and wellbeing. The key to achieving prime seasonal success? Tap into those feelings and try to replicate them in your restaurant. This can be achieved by something as simple as having Christmassy accessories for your staff – to keep the tone light, and silly – or by running special family offers and deals for groups, to emphasise the conviviality of the season.
Basics = Turkey, Cranberries, Roast vegetables, Spices, Wine
Here is where you can really have some fun. Does your restaurant cook a specific cuisine? Rather than opt for a standard Roast Turkey dinner, why not interpret Christmas through that cuisine? If your cuisine comes from a country which celebrates Christmas, then it can be as simple as highlighting and capitalising on the Christmas foods we do not normally eat in the UK. For example, our client Bel Canto is serving salmon, boeuf en croûte and the traditional French bûche de Noël. All delicious, all authentic French customs, but not what we Brits tend to do!
Last year, our client Chakra took it in the opposite direction, and interpreted Christmas food in their own unique, Indian way. There was Turkey curry with ginger, roasted masala potatoes, and roast butternut squash Galouti.
Take the ingredients of Christmas and make them work for you.
Basics = Snow, Christmas Trees, Red and Green, Gifts, Fairy Lights
The other festive trappings can also be used to your advantage. Use them in your visual marketing, in the décor of your restaurants, even in the way you present your food – if you want to get really creative! Just try to think laterally – how can you represent snow, gifts, Christmas trees in a way which is clever but clear?
Why not borrow from other Christmas traditions here and entice your customers by offering them Christmas “gifts”? Try a “12 Days of Christmas Approach” offering a different deal or extra over twelve of your quieter days in the run up to the 25th. This could be anything from a free glass of wine to a one-off chance to try a special Christmassy dish. Whatever approach you take, use Email Marketing to remind people to make the most of the Christmas season by trying out your unique offering.
Stick to those Christmas basics and keep it FUN! Christmas is a chance to be jolly, so make the most of this, even if you are traditionally a more serious enterprise. Pose Nativity scenes with your staff for Instagram, Snapchat them singing their favourite Christmas songs, engage your followers on Facebook and Twitter by discussing favourite Christmas traditions, and make everyone’s mouth water by sharing high quality pictures of your food.
Blogs are where people can come to find out more information about what it is you are doing, and it is a real opportunity for you to show off the full extent of your restaurant’s creativity. Talk about the inspiration behind your Christmas menu, why you are serving what you are serving, discuss Christmas stories and traditions, and share fun Christmas recipes with your readers.
Perhaps a more banal element of Christmas marketing, parties and corporate events could be your bread and butter this season, so make sure they are all perfect and ready to go. The ideal Christmas package will be well thought-out, clear and easy to understand, good value for money, and come at a range of different price points.
Need help marketing your restaurant this Christmas? Get in touch HERE to see how we could help.