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Making Your Restaurant Welcoming for The Winter Holiday Season

Thanks to holiday shoppers who are out picking up last-minute gifts and people either going to parties or planning their own special events, there is a good chance your restaurant is likely seeing an upturn in online and in-house orders at this point of the holiday season. Many of the customers you will see are familiar diners, but some of them will be first-timers. The impression your restaurant gives at this time of year can go a long way toward turning a first-time customer into a repeat customer. One of the best ways to reach this goal is by providing a warm, comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.

If you want to spruce up your atmosphere to give your restaurant a little more of a down-home feel, here are some tips to keep in mind:

In-House

When customers come to your store, especially during the crazy holiday season, they are likely looking for an easy, calm and friendly vibe that can give them a bit of a rest from the hustle and bustle outside your doors. Help them achieve that feeling by trying the following:

  • Pay attention to your decor. Hanging up paper and cardboard holiday decorations is okay, but that minimalist approach will not get you far. Make your restaurant truly inviting and relaxing with soft colors. Turn your place into a cozy nook that gives your patrons a chance to unwind and relax.
  • Take care of your waitstaff. The way your staff interacts with the customers will play a large part in whether or not your patrons will have a relaxing and enjoyable time So, provide your employees with a relaxing and enjoyable work atmosphere. When your workers love what they are doing and where they are, the feeling will get passed along to your customers.
  • Pay attention to your food. This is the best time of the year to try special menu items that are reminiscent of home cooking. Pick homey dishes that simulate foods people associate with large family dinners and recipes that have been passed down for generations. Do not forget to include comforting desserts. These cold months are perfect for chocolate, peppermint and other winter flavors. Heated desserts are especially welcome. If the warm, sweet flavors of your desserts make customers feel like they have been transported back to grandma’s kitchen, then you have done your job.

Online

The down-home feel you create does not have to stop at your doors. Extend it to your digital ordering platform, too. Even online ordering can get in on the feeling of the holidays and offer your customers a pleasant, welcoming experience.

  • Even online, you have an atmosphere to consider. Use this time of year to give your website and mobile app a holiday-themed makeover. Use soft, relaxing colors and an easy-to-use interface that makes online ordering comfortable and enjoyable.
  • Give your customers a hassle-free experience. If your online ordering system has experienced any problems you have been waiting to fix, now is the time to do so.
  • More likely than not, you will have some big orders coming your way, and you do not want to have to turn those customers away because of a clunky ordering system that that is not user-friendly.
  • Do not keep your special menu items for in-store customers only. Hype up the holiday cheer by highlighting the same special dishes online. In fact, go a step further and create a few “online only” specials that will encourage online ordering. Customers love to log in and see new and exclusive items that are being offered only to them and no one else.
  • At this time of year, people love to host parties, and catering becomes a must! If you do not have some large-party items available, it is not too late to create something so customers can quickly and easily host their own parties with your food. Not only will you create a satisfied, repeat customer, but it is perfect for word-of-mouth advertising!

There are many ways you can make your restaurant ready for the holidays. Whether it is online or in-house, with a little bit of thought and preparation your customers can expect to get the same warm, welcoming feeling that they get when visiting friends and family!

If you need help getting your website or mobile app ready for the busy holiday season, contact Orders2me today to see how we can help you.