If there is any time out of the year that is better to take care of your loyal customers, Christmas is that time. Today I’m going to tell you how to run a Christmas restaurant promotion, or bar promotion, that will give you the greatest return you could ever ask for and get your customers to fall in love with you and your business even more.
This is actually a promotion I learned from my Dad growing up in this business, which he still does year after year at each of his bars.
As you know, it’s our loyal customers who are the lifeline to our businesses, that is is you’re not in a area that is booming with tourism. We have to take care of our loyal customers, we have to show our appreciation to them being so loyal. Christmas is the best time to make that happen and at least in my area, I see very few bars and restaurants doing this.
The second week of December on one of your slowest nights of the week, plan out a Loyal Customer Holiday Bash where you provide them with a free meal and a chance to get some gifts.
You might be thinking, this is going to cost me a fortune. Honestly this can all be done for around $3 to $4 per person and you can limit this to as many people as you want. The few dollars you spend per loyal customer will well make up for it over the thousands of dollars they spend with you every year. But the truth is, you’re actually going to make a big profit the night of this promotion.
What I do every year at one of my bars is we do a buffet of hot ham, roast beef, cheesy potatoes, baked beans, and pasta salad. This costs me around $350 in food costs depending on the price of meat at the time.
I will do free food for the first 75 people in the door and those first 75 in door will get a ticket one through seventy five so that when we make the announcement that the food is ready, we can call out the first 20 so things don’t get so crowded. This also helps get people in the door even earlier to start having a few drinks.
Another important tip here. Because you’re going above and beyond with gifts and food, you don’t need to have drink specials. You charge full price on all your drinks. One of my past clients actually increases his prices by .25 cents that night on all his drinks with no complaints.
A few weeks before the event, we hit up our beer and liquor vendors for some mirrors, glasses, chairs, and coolers to giveaway. Because I’m a big believer in over delivering, I’ll send my wife out to spend a few hundred bucks on other gifts we can give away.
On average I’ll personally spend around $500 for this event but since I’ve been focusing more and more on sponsorships and joint venture partnerships with local businesses owners, this year we probably will only spend $200 at most. I’ll get products and services donated for the gifts and try to get the meat donated.
The way to promote this would be to personally invite your loyal customers in, use your e-mail list, and you could even use Facebook ads where you only target your e-mail list. On average 20 to 25 percent of your e-mails ever get opened, so you can use Facebook ads that only go to your e-mail list.
Click here if you would like Nick’s help setting up promotions like this in your bar or restaurant.
Your loyal customers deserve a party like this and it’s such a minimal cost to make this happen. Don’t think of this as a cost, think of this as an investment, an asset that will keep delivering profits.
Today our customers have more bars and restaurants than ever to choose from. It’s not hard to lose them fast to another competitor. With that said, show your appreciation and keep that relationship stronger than ever with them.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.