Do you own or operate a restaurant? Are you in charge of marketing your restaurant this holiday season?

November through January 1st is an important (and notably busier) time of year for the hospitality industry as people go out more with friends and family, take rests during shopping trips, and eat while on vacation. So whether your restaurant is full of tourists or residents doesn't matter—as long as it's bustling, keeping servers, bussers, and cooks busy while the host seats a constant rotation of customers.

Still, by learning about holiday marketing for restaurants, you can increase your odds of filling up reservation books.

These are some of the top tips for incentivizing guests to visit you this year and beyond!

Add Holiday Specials to Your Restaurant Menu

This tip is perhaps one of the most important.

If you're delivering delicious, mouthwatering holiday specials this season, you'll draw in not only new guests but regulars, too.

Holiday specials apply to all parts of the meal. From the appetizer to the cocktails, all the way through dinner and dessert, you've got several places to include something fun and festive. You might even consider doing a whole prix fixe menu, which encourages guests to dine on multiple courses for a fixed price.

Promote Restaurant Gift Card Sales

Gift cards are the perfect last-minute gift.

How can you ensure people are buying gift cards from you?

Start advertising early and often. You might even offer incentives—such as a free $5 or $10 gift card for every $50 gift card bought. Figure out what your restaurant can afford to do to promote gift card sales. Be sure to keep a stack of logoed envelopes and gift cards right out front—near the host stand or front door.

Treat the Customers on Your Nice List

You can't forget about your regulars—the ones who have been "nice" all year. So how can you make repeat customers feel special?

Using your email list, send out thank yous to your guests. This could be something as simple as a "Happy Holidays!" greeting with a special note. Or, if your restaurant can afford it, perhaps you offer something here, too, such as a free dessert with every entree purchase.

Your customers will be glad you thought of them (and they certainly won't mind an excuse to use a discount).

Get Festive With Your Online Branding

If you've been waiting for an excuse to revamp your webpage a bit, now's a perfect time. Give your customers something to look at when they come online to make reservations or view your menu.

You can do this in several ways—offering gift ideas, making fun countdowns, crafting a custom Christmas logo, displaying your holiday hours, and decorating your social media accounts.

Have a Private Holiday Event

What better way to spread holiday cheer than by hosting a joyful event?

Advertise your space for other restaurants, businesses, and networkers in your area. For example, you can host private events during off-hours or closed days at your restaurant or even deliver your food and drink elsewhere, acting as a caterer.

You can also choose to include holiday specials during events, or perhaps you showcase all your specialties.

Holiday Marketing for Restaurants: Yule Be Glad You Did

This year and the last have been unpredictable ones for the hospitality industry.

Take control of the unpredictability in any way you can by learning about more ways to stay busy this holiday season. Your guests and your staff will appreciate all the effort you invested in using holiday marketing for restaurants. (More likely—your staff's wallets will be grateful, and your guests' bellies full!)

At ROMA, we're experts at bringing more guests to your tables. Click here to learn about all our services, from strategy to social media and more.