• Now is the time to start brainstorming holiday promotions for your pizza restaurant, such as a special Christmas menu or holiday parties.
  • Also consider partnering with a local nonprofit to host a food drive for people in need in your community.

Recipe: Kick off the holidays with a Thanksgiving pizza

By Megan Prevost

The Christmas season is fast approaching, which means it’s time to start brainstorming holiday ideas for your pizza restaurant. Reworking your marketing strategy to fit the holiday season is a great way to increase your revenue, draw in more customers, and promote your restaurant as a fun, festive place to spend the holidays.

There are so many options out there, from parties to festive menus and ugly sweater contests. Here are six ideas for making this Christmas season special at your restaurant!

  1. Make a Christmas menu featuring festive food and drinks. Changing up your menu for the holidays is a great way to entice customers to stop by to check out the new food and drinks. It can also help save money. Seasonal ingredients are often cheaper, and because these options are fresher, they taste better too. Furthermore, traditional winter foods may also have higher margins. Soups, meat loaf and pies are cheap to produce, meaning they might cost less to make than some of your other menu options while still creating higher margins. The same is true of holiday cocktails like winter beers and hard ciders.You can make an awesome holiday menu from scratch or use a menu template to make a fun, festive and creative holiday menu for your restaurant.
  1. Create a prix fixe menu. Prix fixe (or fixed price) menus are often successful around the holiday season. On one hand, restaurants get to craft a delicious multiple-course meal for all of their guests to enjoy. On the other hand, the work for the kitchen staff is much less fast-paced and stressful than if a full menu were to be available. Prep can be done in advance, and cooks will get into a rhythm making the same things. On top of that, servers don’t have to worry about an entire menu, and managing tables is much easier for them.Your prix fixe menu should have a few options for each course, but no more than two or three. You want to strike a balance between allowing customers to feel like they still have a choice and not overwhelming the kitchen staff.Prix fixe menus can also generate buzz for your restaurant, drawing in a crowd on holidays when people would otherwise stay home. Prix fixe menus are great for Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day. Those who already love your restaurant will be enticed to come in and try new, limited-edition menu items. Not only that, but prix fixe menus also give your customers the opportunity to celebrate the holidays in a meaningful and memorable way, with good food and good company.
  1. Give back to the community. Hosting a food drive is a great way for your restaurant to give back to the local community. It’s also easy and requires almost no preparation on your part. By working with a local charity to collect food (most frequently cans or non-perishables), you can really help out in your community. Depending on where you’re located, you may also be able to donate leftover food from your kitchen at the end of the night to local homeless shelters or food pantries.Additionally, you can offer a discount for those who donate to the food drive. For example, every donation could count for a 5% discount or a free small food item.On top of partnering with a local charity to collect food, you can also donate your time. Close your restaurant for a day to serve food at a soup kitchen or hand out premade meals with your employees. Not only will it feel good to help people, but you’ll also give your restaurant a good reputation in the community, which may drive in new customers. Don’t forget to document your work with your employees on your Instagram or Facebook accounts.
  1. Partner with local artists and musicians for holiday events. Partnering with local artists and musicians is a great way to build mutually beneficial relationships with other small business owners or creators. By allowing artists to sell their artwork in your pizzeria, you may get new customers that follow the artist but had never been to your restaurant before. The same is true of partnering with musicians.Hosting events and partnering with local entrepreneurs is a great way to drive traffic. Advertising events like concerts and art galleries will bring people in the door for the event, but they’ll stay for the excellent pizza. Artists can showcase their holiday-themed work, and musicians can cover holiday tunes, adding to that festive holiday feeling!
  1. Offer catering packages. Catering packages are another moneymaking option for your restaurant around the holidays. You can set up easy-to-order catering packages that allow people to throw a fun and relaxed holiday party at home and not have to cook for hours on end. You can also craft smaller to-go packages for families who don’t want to cook on Christmas Day. By including all the staples, they’ll get a restaurant-grade meal without having to do any of the work. These catering packages may attract more customers on days when your restaurant normally would have been closed or less busy. They allow people to spend time with their friends and families at home while still enjoying your delicious food.Depending on your state, you can also offer cocktails, making catered parties super-simple for businesses and financially beneficial for you.
  1. Host a holiday party. Finally, hosting a holiday party is one of the best (and most fun) ideas for your pizzeria. With a holiday party, you can bring all of the above fun ideas together and get more people in the door, leading to higher food and alcohol sales.These types of parties are sure to get your customers (and employees) in the holiday spirit. You can have ugly sweater contests, Christmas-themed games, visits from Santa Claus and so much more. If you wanted to, you could also offer a prix fixe menu or a buffet during your party. There are so many options, and you can really personalize your party so it reflects your brand.

You should promote your holiday party on social media as well as through signage, flyers, table tents or tabletop inserts.

No matter what you choose to do for your restaurant this holiday season, get creative and have fun. Your customers will love seeing your personality shine through!

Megan Prevost is a marketing content writer for MustHaveMenus, and her work has appeared in The Daily Fandom and FanSided.

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