Christmas meal
Only three months to go until Christmas! But don’t panic if you haven’t yet planned your Christmas campaign you are not too late. In fact there is still much that can be done to ensure that your restaurant  is full over the festive period.

1. Provide an experience

Research from Neilsen and other research firms show that already consumers are gearing up to spend, spend, spend this Christmas. Even with the tightening of belts throughout 2019, December is a time that many will let them back out! Despite the advent of online shopping, last year 59 per cent of spend was still outlaid on the high street. Not only that but many shoppers tend to make a day of it treating themselves to drinks, meals out and beauty treatments; turning a chore into an event. Therefore create a campaign appealing to Christmas shoppers, make them feel special and give them a reason to come in for example the special Christmas Shopping Menu.

2. Discount smartly

The one thing you don’t want to be doing is filling your seats with discount diners if the tables could be occupied by premium paying guests. Therefore limit your discount codes and vouchers over the festive period to returning customers. Only give discounts to customers that return within a three week window of their first visit. If you find that your tables aren’t full then and only then activate a full scale discount campaign.

3. Reward good behaviour

‘Tis the season to be generous and everyone loves a freebie, so instead of discounting send opted-in customers on your mailing lists a little reward in return for their custom. However, ensure you segment your database to encourage the most profitable customer behaviour.

4. Create a gifting opportunity

Research shows that last year nearly half of Christmas shoppers took a thoughtless, panic-buying approach to their Christmas shopping, and a third of recipients didn’t like the gifts they were given. In a time when experiences are more highly prized over material items the gift of a night or lunch out ticks many boxes. Not only that but it is essentially a “recommend a friend” campaign so you can bolster your opt-in data too! Win win.

5. Ensure a data driven, multichannel approach

The key to a successful Christmas is leveraging customer data across multiple channels. By doing so you can create push campaigns to your app users if they are nearby, you can send email offers to your best customers, you can importantly identify the discount-only customers and avoid sending them offers over the Christmas period (resuming offers to them in a more depressed January) and ultimately create a strategic campaign that is in tune with booking numbers and expected walk in. Real time marketing is enabled through the pragmatic use of your data and is proven to create an uplift in incremental sales – especially during the restaurant sector’s biggest season.

If you want to know and understand more about the way data is changing the world you live in, or would like to know how data can add value to your business, please email me at


Dave Gurney

CEO, Alchemetrics - Expert in Data & Digital Marketing
enabling senior marketers to value from engaging customers online.