Holiday Season RestaurantWith the Holidays right around the corner, many restaurants are getting ready for their busiest time of the year. For local restaurateurs, the holiday season is the perfect time of the year to focus on increasing their revenues.

To have a successful holiday season the biggest thing you can do for your restaurant is prepare ahead of time! No matter the size of your restaurant, here is a list of ideas and to-do’s to begin planning to make the holiday time easier and more profitable:

1. Introduce Holiday Menus

At least one third of consumers say they seek out seasonal menus during the holiday season. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or beyond, specialty menus can set help your restaurant stand out during the holiday season. Set a prix fixe menu, or add appetizers, entrees, desserts or cocktails specials throughout the season.

2. Get Involved in the Community

The holiday season is a time for giving and charity. Partner with other businesses in your area to create easy bundles for holiday shoppers. A dinner is extra special when limo service to and from the show is bundled with it. Is there a movie theater nearby? A lunch and a matinee pairing is both a great gift idea or an easy escape from holiday shopping. If you care about your community, your community will give you back the business.

3. Promote Gift Cards as the Perfect Holiday Gift

Make sure that you have ordered or re-ordered gift cards for your operation. Set up a big display area at the front of your restaurant, and package each gift card in a box or gift bag with a bow and ribbons. Offer a promotion with the gift card this can help you boost business in the post-holiday winter months.

4. Handle the Holiday Crowds

Dining out is a favorite pastime of consumers no matter the time of year. However, the holiday season—with its many group celebrations of different kinds—will likely bring even more traffic into your restaurant, creating new businesses opportunities. Restaurants will need effective and reliable point-of-sale (POS) systems to handle the holiday crowds, improve table management and reduce wait times for tables. Your POS system is the heart of your establishment. Your holidays—and your customers’ holidays—will be happier when you harness the technology to its greatest advantage.

5. Organize your Staff

Have your staff fill out holiday request forms way in advance so that you are not stuck with half your staff taking the same days off. It is essential you manage your staff’s vacation days properly as you do not want to be understaffed on your busiest days.

6. Get Social

Share everything from dessert recipes to holiday hours on your restaurant’s social media channels. It’s important to stay top-of-mind, so consider boosting posts during the holiday season.

Organization is essential to successful holiday service. Customers will be extra sensitive to mistakes during these important occasions. Make sure your POS system tracks every aspect of your business, including inventory management of must-have food items.