The holidays of 2020 are going to be… memorable. And your restaurant Christmas marketing campaign may (and probably should) look very different from last year’s. With the pandemic still having a huge effect all around the world, your restaurant marketing for Christmas, Thanksgiving and the times in between need to be a bit more creative.
In this blog post, I’d like to show you how we tackled this for our client Bistro BON and what we arranged for them. First, I’d like to talk about a special home-delivery idea we organized. Then, I’d like to show you the images we made for this restaurant’s Thanksgiving and Christmas promotions.
What to do when all restaurants are offering takeaway and delivery?
Since restaurants are closed right now in the Netherlands (where the client is located), we had to come up with something ‘special’. Everyone is offering takeaway and delivery services. Simply put: the market is oversaturated. People won’t order in every single day, and with so many restaurants offering these services now next to all the places that were already doing this, there’s just too much choice.
A strong following and consistently posting on social media helps. It pushes people to order directly with you and makes your brand stay top-of-mind. By telling people over and over again about what you order, it will surely stick. But what is the message you want people to remember?
Because truth be told: we don’t want to get spammy. And it’s easy to achieve just that if you post about your takeaway and delivery menu every single day, with the sole purpose of promotion. Especially in these times: you want empathy, sympathy.
One way to get empathy and sympathy is by showing that you don’t want to sit still. Be open and honest, and get creative. Surprise people in a pleasant way.
Creative Restaurant Marketing: the parmesan cheese wheel pasta at home
So, for Bistro BON, we came up with a fun idea. Just before restaurants had to close again they ‘launched’ a new item on their menu: the parmesan cheese wheel pasta. Delicious pasta hurled and twirled inside a huge parmesan cheese. As one of the first (if not THE first) to have this on the menu in their city, we were certain it’d be a success.
But then restaurants had to close their doors. Unfortunate timing to say the least. So, how could we tackle this ‘problem’? How could we stay top of mind? We came up with a list of possibilities. Of course, we decided, we’d serve complete dinners at home with Thanksgiving and Christmas. But what else?
That’s where the parmesan cheese wheel pasta came into play. What about driving around town in an old car with the cheese and pasta in the booth? Let people order upfront, heat up a plate themselves and then serve them right at their front door?
YES. We were so excited about this idea. Now we ‘just had to create the promo’. I went sourcing the internet for fitting images and quickly stumbled upon a small problem: there were no illustrations of parmesan cheese wheel pastas, nor combined with the car we’d be driving.
Graphic Design for Restaurants to the Rescue!
Okay, I know I just wrote that I stumbled upon a minor problem but honestly: this wasn’t a real ‘problem’ for us. It just meant going back to the drawing board ourselves. Which is something we LOVE to do at Tremento.
So I sat down, wrote out the idea, found some inspiration around the net (a photo of the car, examples of parmesan cheeses, etc.) and then hit up Lawrence, our main graphic designer here at Tremento. We talked through the idea and he got to work.
We tried a few variations, one of them with the red-white-yellow flag that people from our client’s city resonate with a lot. This version was a bit too chaotic though. We put a French flag at the front of the car because the restaurant is a French bistrot, and we came up with a French name for the dish (‘spaghetti au fromage’).
To incorporate the logo, we then added a bottle of red wine with the restaurant’s logo on the label. We finished the posters with some text and whoooosh, there it went, onto their Instagram pages.
Check the pos there: https://www.instagram.com/p/CHav4_FrMdF/
Restaurant Thanksgiving Marketing Ideas
Next up was Thanksgiving. Only one week after the planned Spaghetti Au Fromage stunt. We went into full promotion mode and came up with a couple of awesome templates. We took the ones in our Tremento Shop, adjusted them to the client and added a few elements in the same style as the Spaghetti Au Fromage poster.
We then planned the Thanksgiving posts for this restaurant consistently throughout the week.
You can get similar templates to the one above right here.
Restaurant Christmas Marketing
For December, we are – as we are writing this article – working on a Tremento Advent Calendar which we then want to use for our social media clients. We adjust the calendar to each client so that both the content and look of it fit the client well.
We will also be selling this Hospitality Advent Calendar in our shop.
For Bistro BON though, we had to start earlier with the Christmas promotions. No such thing as waiting until after Thanksgiving, because many other restaurants in the city already started to put out messages about their Christmas menus.
So we went ahead and created the templates needed to promote their Christmas ‘buffets at home’. We then used the same illustrations for the advent calendar, which we will also partly use for the client throughout December – since one of the advent calendar templates is now based upon their style, anyway.
You can see the promotional images we made for Bistro BON for Christmas down below. All illustrations were handmade by Lawrence, our graphic designer here at Tremento.
Restaurant Christmas Marketing: Social Media Ideas
The holidays are often fun, busy times for restaurants. This year may be no different, even though the pandemic is still going on. Actually, the holidays might be busier than ever in terms of marketing yourself. You need to consistently post about your offerings and be creative to stand out from the crowd.
Hence we came up with the advent calendar. Our Hospitality Advent Calendar works well for restaurants, cafes and coffee shops, but also for hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses. The advent calendar is fully editable with canva.com and all images are perfectly sized for social media (1080 x 1080).
You can put your own texts and images into the advent calendar. But… what are you actually going to put in there?
24 Restaurant and Hotel Christmas Ideas for Social Media
Here are some of our ideas for your Hotel or Restaurant Christmas Marketing:
- Happy Christmas quotes
- Christmas movie tips
- Christmas songs or playlist
- Christmas GIFs (funny ones, brighten up the mood!)
- Decoration tips
- Recipe tips (food and drinks!)
- Discount codes
- A giveaway
- Repost a follower
- Pictures from your area or food
- Christmas gift tips
- Christmas to-do tips
- Christmas festivities tips (if there are actually still events happening nearby: tell people about them, be an advisor)
- Throwback to Christmas in your youth
- Christmas story (share a complete short story)
- Christmas YouTube favorites
- The prettiest Christmas photos from around the world
- Your own wishlist
- Christmas poem
- Your own Christmas interior
- Christmas news
- And of course: your own Christmas deal(s)!
So that’s 24 ideas for 24 days. But.. you don’t have to use all of these. You could easily just pick 7 and repurpose them. Share a Christmas movie tip every Monday of the advent calendar, a quote every Tuesday, a shout-out every Wednesday, and so on.
The key to Restaurant Christmas Social Media Success in 2020
The key to success with social media and marketing during Christmas is consistency and creativity. So don’t be afraid to share a selfie of yourself on Christmas morning, or a frustrated selfie of you baking a Christmas cake. Make a timelapse of the setting up of the Christmas tree, dance to your favourite songs and share your top Christmas memories.
Especially this year, with covid going on, people want to see happy posts. End the year on a good note. So make sure to be positive. Don’t play the victim – we are all victims here. Covid isn’t fun for anyone. Why not make the best out of Christmas – and help your followers and fans do the same whilst you’re at it? 😉
Make your Hotel or Restaurant Christmas Marketing in 2020 a Success
Curious to see what else we’re doing for our clients when it comes to Restaurant Christmas Marketing? Want to see more ideas and stay in the loop? Then follow along on Instagram @trementohospitality.
Need some graphic design done for your restaurant or hotel? Then get in touch. We can’t wait to work together on your graphics! From logo design to menu cards, posters to stickers and so on: we got it. You can check out our portfolio here and get in touch here.
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