Planning for Christmas 2019: Hospitality and one of the busiest periods of the year

Jason Fagan
Written by Jason Fagan, Community Manager


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It may still be the midst of the Summer and we are all praying for more good weather however, the festive season won't be long coming around and that means we all need to gear up. Here in Socio HQ, there have been rumblings of Christmas planning for our clients, gearing up with targeted advertising, email campaigns, adding website pages and of course social posting. The mere mention of Christmas during the Summer is enough to send some into a cold sweat but the reality is if you want the business you need to start getting ready.

First things first, the one thing we all look for. When does Christmas day fall and what timeframe does that give restaurants for "big revenue nights"? Christmas Day this year is on a Wednesday. Therefore making Thursday 19th, Friday 20th and Saturday 21st the big nights that everyone will want.

The first to the race are the office parties; scouring the internet looking for function rooms and large spaces to hold their annual "sesh". The target market is generally the office organiser...so they want the facts, the menu, the main course options and of course, the price per head.

Following closely is the annual get-together of friends; they want big tables, rounds are preferable and again they want to know the price.

So where do you start?



Update your website

As we mentioned, a Christmas section on your website is important, but most importantly, it needs a menu; and price. The likes of Locks Restaurant in Dublin 8 already have their Christmas menu up and of course, the price. We also discovered that they are already fully booked on the "big dates". OXO Tower in London have their page up along with the number of people they can cater for, different packages available and an enquiry form.

If you are stuck for time, you can try something like Avalon in Donnybrook who have a little note and a contact email address for enquiries. Not ideal, but it will do the trick for now. If you want to try something with your Socio site drop an email to the web team and they can help get it going.

So, in short, tip number one is to get the menu planned out. If you don't have the time, just use your one from last year and call it a sample menu. Customers just want a guide...and a price.



Do the odd Christmas post

Tip two, start VERY GENTLY mentioning your Christmas menu on your social channels.

We'd suggest not using any graphics, no one wants to see a Chrstmas tree in August; but some pictures of your Christmas dishes will help put your business in users minds. Here are few examples from our own work at Socio and others from Irish restaurants that we like.



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Get emailing

Email marketing, there's no denying its effectiveness if your emails contain value and entertainment. Sending out an email at the same time as your social posts go live is another way of reaching your following. Always include some excellent imagery and if you really want to gain bookings, try and include your menu and price...people want the facts!

Keep it short and simple with something catchy in the subject line so people are intrigued and open it. We offer email marketing here at Socio so if you want some help with this just send us a message here.

"The C Word", hey you opened ours 😉

Now we will see some results!



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Advertising:

Do you want to keep your social pages free of Christmas for the time being but understand it still needs to be promoted? Well, that's possible and it's where targeted advertising comes in. These are ads that run through your social channels but not on the profile itself. When you run ads you can define your exact target market and serve them with ads. Paid advertising gets even more defined, have you an email list of people from last Christmas? Send it across to your Community Manager and lets specifically serve them with ads. Has Socio built your website for you? Great, we can use data collected from your website and serve the visitors with retargeting campaigns. By doing this you're promoting the festive period but keeping your main pages free of anything Christmas related. It is a fantastic way to drive results and remember to speak with us if you need help. We don't charge our clients for any advertising campaigns, what the ads cost is all we charge you.

So, there you have it, Autumn 2019 kicks off on September 23rd and you don't want to find yourself frantically running around panicking due to low booking numbers or customers taking you by surprise asking for this kind of information. Get on top of it early and reap the reward.

And remember to contact us if you are interested in our services but not a client already. Click the button below and a member of the team will be in touch within 24hrs.



Jason Fagan

Author: Jason Fagan

Marketing Executive with a focus on social and lead generation. Jason joined Socio Local having worked for himself for a number of years which has provided great insight into a multitude of different sectors. When he's not in the office you will usually find him in the mountains on some sort of 2 wheeled transport.

Email: community@sociolocal.ie