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Consumer Trends

How to maximize delivery sales during the holiday season

holiday packaging
Photograph: Shutterstock

Pumpkin spice has been featured on menus for over a month–a sure sign that the holiday season and flavors are almost here. The holidays don’t just bring seasonal flavors, they also add plenty of extra tasks to already packed to-do lists. With more hectic schedules full of social obligations that require additional cooking, prep and shopping, consumers are more likely to reach for their smart phones for convenient meal solutions. Restaurant chains are taking their off-premise ordering up a notch by partnering with third-party delivery platforms to help reach more customers and increase their sales.


Consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on restaurant food for their meals. Delivery orders are driving incremental occasions rather than cannibalizing dine-in or carryout occasions 1 , so operators offering delivery have the chance to increase their overall sales—not just trade dine-in occasions for delivery orders. Here’s how to make the most of delivery sales this season.


Promote catering

Holidays mean more and more people coming together to celebrate and as such, restaurants should introduce and promote catering orders. For example, in 2018, Taco Bell offered delivery of its then-new 12-taco Party Packs for the holiday party season, available through third-party delivery platforms. Additionally, Cracker Barrel offers Heat n' Serve Holiday Family Meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as large-order catering around the holidays.


Aside from large-format catering orders, customers may also choose to order standard portion sizes of the main course, innovative sides or desserts to supplement their dinner party menus as an easy way to alleviate their time spent in the kitchen. Such occasions and party-pack sizes can be advertised in store with signs, on the restaurant’s website and app as well as on in-app marketing of third-party delivery platforms such as Uber Eats.


Introduce seasonal offers

In addition to offering portion sizes to cater to large gatherings of friends and family, restaurants can take advantage of the festive nature of the holidays by offering limited time offers with flavors that customers crave during the fall, winter and holiday seasons.


For example, fast casual chain Zoup! recently offered a “flight” of soups to showcase three different soups with a crusty bread while Black Bear Diner introduced a Candy Cane Chocolate Cream Pie to its menu. By partnering up with a third-party delivery platform, restaurants can set up their own in-app marketing to let consumers know about any limited time offers for the holidays.


Engage on social media

Having more robust catering options and craveable limited-time offers can only work in restaurants’ favor if customers are aware of them. To that end, restaurants should engage on social media, promoting their menu items with details as well as images. Virality on social media can lead to a huge surge in popularity, as seen recently with some chains’ offerings selling out after photos were shared across several platforms. What’s more, promoting on social media can redirect customers to other convenient ways to order items – such as a link to find the restaurant’s menu on Uber Eats. 


As a top app in the food and drink category, Uber Eats can help restaurants reach more of these time-strapped customers, offer more convenient off-premise ordering as well as a chance to market special holidays offers to make the season that much jollier.

To learn more about how Uber Eats can provide the top quality service restaurants need, visit https://www.ubereats.com/restaurant/signup.


1 Technomic’s 2018 Takeout & Off-Premise Consumer Trend Report

This post is sponsored by Uber Eats

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