It’s Christmas time which means you’ll be rubbing your hands in glee at the prospect of increased sales – hopefully yes, but not always. Here are some thoughts you may want to consider to attract more customers to your restaurant this holiday season.

1. Share your menu with the press

If you have something different or special on the menu, make sure you send a PDF copy to all the press who will be looking for content to fill their ‘top 10 places to book your Christmas meal’ type articles.

2. Put your menu on the website

Make sure your menu is promoted on your home page with a link to ‘book a table’ so people can book straight away. If you have a customer database, send them an email with the menu and a link to your bookings. Then check your Google Analytics to see how many opened it and clicked on the link.

3. Host an event to promote your menu

Invite some regulars from a local office or arrange a bloggers evening where you have an early Christmas celebration. Set the table and provide crackers and wine, and let your guests have a special tasting of your menu before it launches. They will spread the word online and to all of their colleagues, and this should secure you some bookings.

4. Use an A-board

Have a great A-board outside of your restaurant to promote your menu – lots of people walking by could be interested in what you have to offer.

5. Use social media

Promote your menu with photos of the food. You may wish to do a photoshoot  so it looks festive and more appealing. Talk about the quality of the food and where it comes from if this is something you can promote.

6. Hold a competition

Use Twitter or Facebook to hold a competition where a local office can win a Christmas lunch for six people on the house. This will be shared by everyone who enters and can promote your menu to more people.

7. Offer an early bird treat

If you are struggling to get bookings, you can offer an early bird treat – for instance, a complimentary bottle of Prosecco for the table if booked before a certain date.

8. Train your staff

Finally, make sure that your team is ready, willing and able to handle all the bookings you will get with great service, and friendly and efficient staff. It can take a lot of work for you to fill your restaurant and only one staff member to spoil it.

Vikki O’Neill is a successful marketing consultant who has worked with some of the leading restaurant groups in the United Kingdom, including Sticks’N’Sushi, Wagamama, Patisserie Valerie and Giraffe, and she has launched over 75 restaurants worldwide. Feel free to check out Vikki’s website for more restaurant marketing insights. 


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