Restaurant decorated for the holidays

The holidays are an important time for the hospitality industry. The busy period presents an opportunity for eateries to leverage the festive season to attract more customers through unique holiday offerings as well as to increase brand loyalty by providing a great customer experience. Preparing for the holiday season with appropriate operational systems is important to ensure a great experience for customers and staff alike.

Digital ordering is no exception to this rule. But too often, a restaurant’s online presence remains static while the in-store customer experience draws guests in with special seasonal offerings and deals. Even worse, some hospitality businesses change hours or pricing during a holiday period, but neglect to update these settings and communicate those changes online to their customers. This can unfortunately cause confused, upset customers or worse – unexpected online orders printing to an empty kitchen!

We know that this is the first holiday season to include digital ordering for an unprecedented number of restaurants and cafes, so we put together 3 tips to help your digital ordering operate smoothly this holiday season.

1. Set holiday hours or surcharges today

Want to make sure orders aren’t coming into your kitchen outside of your restricted holiday hours? Most digital ordering platforms offer at least the basic functionality to change your operating hours for online ordering customers. At the very least, you should be able to change your hours manually. Many digital ordering platforms, such as MOBI, have a special Holiday setting, which lets you set custom hours or surcharges for specific dates throughout the year.

Make a note to do this now, before the holiday rush is in full swing. You can set it, forget it, and enjoy your holiday rush knowing you don’t need to revisit the MOBI Holiday setting until next year!

2. Share your unique holiday menu online

If you offer special holiday menu items, don’t let your online ordering customers miss out on the chance to add these special items to their orders. The admin work to add seasonal menu items, or swap in an entire special menu from your POS, might differ across online ordering platforms. MOBI makes it easy to swap in a temporary seasonal menu with no interruption to your customers online. Your items are synced directly from your POS and curated to display where you want, when you want. So share your holiday offering with your diners, both in-store and at home!

In a study of 400 adults, “[nearly] half…said they will order a holiday-themed dish…one to two times from October to January, while four out of 10 indicated they will order a holiday-themed dish three or more times during the holiday season”.

(Full Service Restaurant Magazine)

3. Digitally promote your special holiday offers & drive loyalty after the holiday season

You’ve got special holiday products on your digital menu, and your customers are keen to partake. Now tie it all together by creating a holiday marketing campaign to communicate your holiday offer to your customer base. You don’t need to have a dedicated Marketing department to create a simple digital marketing campaign. MOBI Loyalty which is free for all MOBI customers, offers a fully integrated voucher console that lets you create a range of deals such as:

  • % off entire order or a specific product
  • 2 for 1 deals
  • Free delivery
  • Combo deals
  • more
“Limited-time offers and special holiday-time products are a good way to bring people to quick serves during the holiday season” – Mark Siebert, CEO iFranchise Group

Don’t just create the promo code- make sure your customers use it by embedding it into your social media and other marketing channels. Try creating a custom URL link, so your customers can directly access the featured products or categories in your online menu, rather than having to navigate through and find them. You can even pre-load the promo code into the order. To get started, check out our MOBI Holiday Marketing Guide.

Once a customer has used this link, you can track their visits and usage if your online ordering is integrated with Google Analytics. Your team can access the list of your customer details with one click from your Mobi2Go Sales dashboard. This is an essential list for rewarding your existing customers with a special holiday deal and enticing them to return after the holiday season ends.

While these efforts might seem like one more to-do item on top of an already busy holiday season, they will safeguard your customer experience, provide peace of mind, and help your brand capitalise on the festive season.

From our team to yours, all the best for the holiday season & cheers to a healthy, happy new year!

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