“Don’t leave things to chance for the spring holidays,” urges Freddy Shier, Gordon Food Service Business Solutions Specialist. “Don’t rely on somebody’s memory of what you’ve done before. Write everything down. And start early.”
With the goal of making St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day holidays as profitable as possible, we’ve created a Holiday Planning Checklist. Use it to strategize for these holidays—or any holidays. It will help you maximize sales, guest counts and customer satisfaction.
Holiday Planning Checklist
Pre-event. Maximize your holiday business by firming up your plans at least 90 days in advance. Develop a marketing-communication plan for each event.
—Begin in-house, online and advertising promotions by highlighting:
- Service style
- Early reservation awards: Discount? Reward?
—Define your operational plan:
- Service profile
- Seating, floor plan and reservation method
- Additional seasonal hiring
- Additional tables, chairs, booster seats and other equipment
- Parking solutions with or without valet service
—Finalize your culinary plan:
- Additional employees and serving equipment needed
- Menu modifications: Vegan? Gluten-free? Allergen considerations? Signature holiday dishes?
Post-event. Drive post-holiday business by forging connections with holiday guests.
—Gather contact information from non-regular/first-time guests using:
- Real-time social-media connections
- Comment cards
- Signup lists
—Market your next event during the current holiday—e.g., Mother’s Day during Easter:
- Incentivize same-day reservations for a next-event: Discount? Special?
—Market the full dining experience in the post-holiday period:
- Use contact information to drum up business for slower days/periods
- Promote social events—wine tastings, theme dinners, etc.—to boost sales and engagement
—Emphasize the concept of ongoing connection in your holiday and post-holiday marketing plans. Communicate:
- Regular hours
- The schedule for regular menu updates and other changes
- Community engagement