December Focus:

  • It’s more important than ever to influence and inspire confidence in your frequent diners and regular guests during the festive trading period, so clearly communicate and demonstrate your health and safety measures.
  • Make it as easy as possible for your guests to book with you.
  • Always keep your regular guests at the forefront of your mind.
  • Keep engaging with guests online with a digital ‘countdown to Christmas’.
  • Stock up on celebratory fizz and make sure you have a good range for your guests to choose from. Ensure your team are comfortable with popping corks and your wine flutes are sparkling!
  • Showcase a great range of seasonal drinks, including cask ale, to entice your guests to treat themselves and make sure your back bar is looking festive and fabulous!
  • Join up with other local Christmas events.
  • Make sure everyone knows your pub is the perfect place to meet for Christmas Eve drinks or a meal before the big day!
  • Thoroughly brief your team members on the operation of the Christmas Day serve to ensure a smooth running day and happy guests. It’s essential that your team are well-trained, familiar with all the key tasks, and motivated to do the best job they can.
  • Wish as many guests as possible a ‘Merry Christmas’. As well as seasonal messages in your pub, this could be via scheduled social media posts or a pre-scheduled email newsletter.

Festive Activities

Holding festive events and offers in the lead up to Christmas is a great way to create a buzz about your pub during the holidays. Look into supporting other local Christmas events if you’re not holding your own. Below are some ideas to consider this month:

  • Christmas Cocktails – Drinks spend is likely to increase as cocktails and Prosecco become more popular, so why not create a Christmas cocktail promotion to run over the holidays? To reduce pressure on your team, it is worth creating a small themed cocktail list that your team can make quickly but will still impress your guests. Don’t forget to think about mocktails and other enticing alcohol-free options for your guests who don’t drink alcohol and the designated drivers. Make sure all cocktails and mocktails are well tested and shared on social media!
  • Festive Markets – If you’re not holding your own Christmas Fair, why not create a special offer of Christmas food/drinks/vouchers on the date of your village or town’s Christmas Market?
  • Christmas Raffle – Hold a traditional Christmas raffle for guests, either in your pub or on social media.
  • Christmas Gift for Children – If families with children visit your pub regularly, think about offering a Christmas gift for children. This could be a unisex gift, pre-packed and sealed for safety, and could be a booking incentive for parents and an exciting treat for children.
  • Christmas Quiz – Put together a Christmas pub quiz with themed questions and prizes. This could be for guests to complete at the table between specified dates over Christmas, or you could hold a Christmas Quiz Night, or an online quiz on social media.
  • Support a Local Charity – Seasonal events and activities could be used to fundraise for a local charity and give back to the community.

Seasonal Marketing

Digital marketing channels offer fast, affordable and measurable ways to promote. Print materials and offline promotions such as vouchers and raffles are a great way of showcasing your Christmas offer within your pub.  It is important that your messages through all online and offline marketing channels are consistent with the same tone of voice.

  • Website – Make sure your website is kept up to date with menus, information, news, and events throughout the Christmas period and be sure to highlight this on your home page. It’s a good idea to have a separate section on your website for all things Christmas, including an accessible/visible Christmas menu and clear booking process information.
  • Social Media – Keep active on social media to promote your events and offers and to keep guests engaged. Hold festive competitions and offers such as ‘win a beer for the best decorated Christmas tree’ by asking guests to share photos of their own Christmas decorations. Make sure you include regular links to take guests to your website.
  • A-boards, Chalkboards & Posters – Create promotional A-boards outside your pub which are eye-catching, but clear and easy to read, and use contemporary signage and displays that reflect the theme and style of your Christmas offer. A-boards, chalkboards and posters should be kept up to date and should be clearly visible at the entrance of your pub to advertise your Christmas offer. They should add consistency to your offline marketing and strengthen your message.
  • Bounce Back Vouchers – Don’t forget the ‘bounce back’ opportunity! Take advantage of the increased footfall this month and give your guests an incentive to come back to you in the New Year. Bounce Back vouchers are a fantastic way to entice guests to make repeat visits and reward them for their loyalty over the festive season. They are also great for Christmas raffle or quiz prizes.

Wishing you a happy & healthy festive season!

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