The end of the year is once again drawing closer, and it’s time for a bit of reflection. How have we grown? What have we learned? Where do we go from here? The answers to these questions will direct our path in the months ahead. In these moments of reflection, it is helpful to also focus on what we have to be grateful for and celebrate it.
After all, as important as it is to learn from our struggles, we must also celebrate the many victories, both small and large, that we have won over the course of the year. Furthermore, we need to share it with the customers who have been a part of our journey this year. What does that look like? Here’s some tips on ways you can demonstrate your gratitude for your success and share it with customers during the upcoming Thanksgiving season.
#ThankfulThursday Social Media Campaign
A popular way to show gratitude through your social media channels is the #ThankfulThursday hashtag campaign. Every Thursday leading up to Thanksgiving in the United States, post content with the hashtag #ThankfulThursday. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it should express meaningful thanks for the people and events that have shaped your success over the past year. Creating a custom #ThankfulThursday for your restaurant is also a smart move. For example, #thankfulthursdaysatricksplace, integrates your business name, or #ThankfulThursday #burger&friesohmy, adds a special hashtag for your business.
Use this opportunity to highlight hardworking staff members, the unsung heroes in the kitchen, and your management team. Use your hashtag when you post photos, snippets of text, publish live videos and create video blog posts that are pinned on your social media pages. Leave them up for the week honoring what and who you are thankful for. Alternatively, you can post multiple items throughout the day on Thursdays, too. Encourage your customers and followers to participate, too. When they post using your unique hashtag along with #ThankfulThursday, offer a discounted appetizer or small percentage off their next bill.
Make it Real
Use a whiteboard or sandwich chalkboard and write the current #ThankfulThursday quote or expression of gratitude on the board. Talk about it with customers, and talk up your hashtag campaign on social media. Encourage employees to participate as well, and make everything about celebrating all that we have to be grateful for even once a week. Incentivize it with your employees and with your customers with discounts or special perks. You will know the best way to implement these ideas for your business.
Focus on becoming a positive force for good in your community, and make gratitude and thankfulness a core value for your business. People will respond in kind.
Use Your Online Ordering System to Promote #ThankfulThursday
Do not forget about your customers who order online or via a mobile app when implementing your #ThankfulThursday campaign. Just as you would with customers walking in the door, you need to draw your online and mobile customers into the #ThankfulThursday conversation. The obstacle here is making it happen without complicating or slowing down your convenient online and mobile ordering process.
Include an online-only discount for customers who use your custom hashtag or share a brief #ThankfulThursday post on their order. You may have to make a few changes to your site or mobile app to make it happen effectively, but it is a minor change that can yield fantastic results as far as customer participation and an uptick in online business.
The most critical element to making #ThankfulThursday work for you this year is in the sincerity with which you implement your program. You have to keep it real to get real results, and any disingenuous content or blatant advertising using the hashtag campaign is going to fail badly. Keep in mind that this initiative is a life appreciation program that can benefit your business, not a marketing strategy less-than-cleverly disguised as a celebration of gratitude.
Engaging with your customers through your social media channels and in your restaurant is only going to be effective when you are sincere. Showing gratitude also establishes you as a member of the community who truly values the customers who choose to order from your restaurant even when there are so many other choices available. Keep your heart in the right place, make it all about sharing what you are most thankful for as an individual and as a business, and your efforts will result in a natural revenue generator no matter how you look at it.
People want to do business with restaurants that exhibit genuine positivity and gratitude. Give thanks for what you have, and you will notice your customers will express their thanks for your restaurant and all you do for them.