Prepare your restaurant website for the holidays

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Learn how to create the perfect holiday promotions for restaurant customers sharing a meal at home, dining in, or searching for that special gift.

The holidays are just around the corner - and customer demand for special holiday meals is at an all-time high. Is your restaurant prepared to meet the holiday rush? This article will explain how Sociavore's all-in-one restaurant management platform can help scale up your output to increase sales during the holidays. We'll explain how to create a holiday menu on your restaurant website, use reservations to manage crowds, and offer digital gift cards for sale on your restaurant website.

How to create a holiday menu with a unique pickup and delivery schedule using Sociavore

In this tutorial, we'll explore how to set up a new online ordering menu on your restaurant website for the holidays. Creating a special event menu with online ordering will enable customers to place pre-orders days or weeks in advance of the holidays. You can use Sociavore's online menu settings to control inventory limits, collect pre-payment for online orders, and spread order pickup & delivery times throughout the day.

Step 1: Setup a new holiday online ordering menu

Click here for detailed instructions on how to set up a new online ordering menu in Sociavore

Sociavore allows you to create and publish unlimited menus on your restaurant's website. Your new menu will be displayed alongside your other existing online ordering menu(s) on your website, letting your customers choose between your holiday menu or your regular menu for carryout or delivery. When the holiday season is over, turn off visibility or delete the special menu, leaving your regular menu intact.

Make your holiday menu special by including unique dishes, packages, or bundles that vary from your regular menu. For example, group options into a family bundle that serves 2 adults and 2-3 kids. Or, create a special prix fixe dinner menu with modifiers and let guests pick an appetizer, choice of entrée, and dessert.

Go beyond the meal to deliver a memorable take-home experience. Don't forget to include add-ons such as cake, chocolates, or a bottle of wine. You'll increase your average ticket size, and your customers will enjoy the convenience of one-stop shopping for everything they need for a special holiday meal.

Step 2: Create a special pickup & delivery schedule

Click here for detailed instructions on how to setup pickup schedules for online ordering in Sociavore

Sociavore's customizable pickup schedules make it easy to manage customer demand for special events. Choose a specific day & time frame you'd like customers to pick up their holiday takeout orders. Setting a cut-off time to place orders will give you the lead time needed to staff and prepare your kitchen. You can even limit the number of orders allowed per pickup interval and stagger pickup over several days. Special instructions for carryout or curbside pickup are sent directly to customers with their order confirmation.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to set up delivery zones and schedules for online ordering in Sociavore

Use Sociavore's delivery scheduler to provide a full-service holiday experience without paying hefty third-party platform fees. Choose your specific delivery zones and coverage on Google Maps, and decide what you'd like to charge for delivery to each zone. Then, select which days you'd like to offer delivery and cut-off order time. Sociavore will take care of the rest - all you need is a vehicle and a driver.

Step 3: Promoting your special event menu online

Create excitement and awareness about your new holiday menu on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. Make it easy for customers to place online orders by including a direct link to your new menu's website address in any social media posts and online ads. Use Sociavore's free QR code generator to help customers find your special event menu by scanning posters, flyers, or mailouts with their smartphones.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to connect an e-mail service for a newsletter signup form

Send out an e-mail newsletter inviting customers to place online orders for the holidays. Use your preferred third-party e-mail marketing platform to connect with all of the customers who have signed up for newsletters on your restaurant website. Include ordering instructions such as order cut-off time, pickup or delivery options, and a direct link to your new menu's website address.

How to use reservations to manage holiday crowds

Click here for detailed instructions on how to set up reservations in Sociavore

With Sociavore's management system, you retain control over managing your tables. Customers will enjoy the convenience of booking a reservation for dining in by simply visiting your website at their convenience. You'll save time answering calls and e-mails by letting Sociavore handle reservation requests and questions. 

Customize your pre-booking notes, party sizes, and booking lead times according to your holiday staffing numbers and desired occupancy. Use the Sociavore Dashboard to confirm or deny reservation requests and message guests directly. Sociavore will take care of informing guests of your cancellation and late policies, informing your staff of new reservation requests, and sending automatic e-mail reminders to customers.

How to offer digital gift cards for sale on your restaurant website

Click here for detailed instructions on how to create and sell digital gift cards in Sociavore

Digital gift cards are a fantastic long-distance gift when you can't celebrate the holidays in person. Sociavore makes it easy for customers to buy a gift card for a favorite restaurant from anywhere in the world. Digital gift cards can be personalized with a custom message and redeemed during the holidays or any time throughout the year. These digital gift cards are e-mailed directly to the recipient and can be used to dine in or place online orders through your restaurant website. 

Selling digital gift cards provides your restaurant with a quick cash injection, even when operations are limited. You can promote digital gift cards to your loyal customers as a great way to treat loved ones while also showing support for your restaurant. You can even run a gift card campaign by incentivizing customers with a reward or "bonus" whenever they purchase a digital gift card for themselves or someone else.

Our team at Sociavore is ready to help you make your restaurant's holiday menu a success! Do you have questions about how to get started? Please start a conversation with us by clicking on the orange Chat button at the bottom right corner of the page, or e-mail us directly at hello@sociavore.co.

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