ChaChingle bells

The weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn't have to apply to your sales. If profits are falling as steadily as the snow, it's time to put on your marketing hat. Between holiday parties, office get-togethers, year-end sales meetings, hungry shoppers, awards banquets, and the general "socialness" of the season, there are a lot of ways to fill empty seats.

Here is a new marketing idea to get all of your dayparts busy and profitable, as well as a list of ideas from Trade Secrets past:

Cross Promote Dayparts: NEW! Do you draw a great lunch crowd Monday through Friday, but have a largely empty dining room on Saturday and Sunday afternoons? Or how about booked solid weekends, but weekdays that are just so-so? Try a cross promotion to keep your seats full around the clock. It's simple: Just print some gift certificates good toward the daypart that needs a little boost, and present them to guests during the busy times. For example, offer dinner guests $3 (or whatever amount fits with your average check) toward a lunchtime meal. We've offered a lunchtime cross promotion sample that you can download.

There's only 75 days left 'til Christmas
Gift certificates are pure profit builders. They sell themselves, they're inexpensive to produce, they make festive tabletop merchandising, and they're a great way to reach new customers. Check out this Trade Secret on how to do it right, and download our Special Report on implementing a gift certificate program!

Think inside the box
Take advantage of increased holiday business by making incremental sales. Help your guests solve their gift-giving challenges by offering ready-to-give goodies for sale. This Trade Secret has product suggestions and holiday templates for point of sale marketing pieces.

b2b blitz
Make it easy for employees at local businesses to chose your operation for their holiday events. Whether you're white tablecloth, casual, or quick service, there's a huge market going untapped if you don't have a Business to Business Blitz program. This Trade Secret is the ultimate "how-to."

Unclear on the concept
Take care of the people who know and love you best — your regular, loyal customers. Get in the holiday spirit. Let each server offer a free dessert to a favorite, loyal customer during each shift. Don't Bah Humbug this one. It's worth $10 a day to have 20 or more people walk out of your restaurant as your #1 fan. Employees love this idea too!

Drinks on the house
64% of Americans have used a Designated Driver Program (DDP). "Tis the season to have a little too much to drink. Encourage guests to party with you by giving their Designated Driver the VIP treatment that includes free non-alcoholic beers and beverages, plus amenities that may include free hors d'oeuvres, Gift Certificates for return visits. Be a holiday hero.

Be mine
This Trade Secret was written for Valentine's Day, but every day's a holiday this time of year. Here are some easy ideas to make your guests' holiday dinners extra memorable... everything from seasonal centerpieces to holiday sentiments placed on the guest check tray.

Visions of sugar plums
Holidays are a time to dress up, wrap gifts with fancy bows, and treat ourselves to something special. In our business, that means desserts. They're a great way to boost spirits, profits, average checks and server tips. Here are some fundamentals for putting desserts to work this holiday season.

How many in your party?
Get your share of the "special event" business and have guests celebrate their occasions with you. Learn how to make a big splash in the special event market. This Trade Secret is fun and profitable... so party on!

Bye-bye baby
It's a marketing moment. It's a sweet note. It's a powerful brand impression. It's a point of differentiation. It's basic good manners. And it's an opportunity many operators miss. Learn how to say good-bye with style. First impressions are important, but final impressions are lasting.

See also:
Gone fishin'
Holy macaroni
How sweet it is


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