As a restaurant PR agency we know that for the hospitality sector, the ‘party season’ is a key commercial calendar moment when entertaining and spending is at a high. However, Christmas is also an important opportunity to disrupt consumer booking behaviour and drive new acquisition and future brand loyalty, as guests are willing to try new venues and look further afield from their usual restaurant repertoire.
The holiday season in hospitality is hugely competitive because of this and so there are some key steps needed to ensure you safeguard your business, maximise your restaurant PR coverage and therefore bookings and revenue.
- At any point during the year, a PR campaign needs to be completely tailored and aligned with your specific business to communicate your company’s unique positioning and values. At Christmas, this is more important than ever.
For example, every Christmas season we see a proliferation of ‘alpine pop ups’ across London, something that generates both consumer and media fatigue unless a creative strategy is applied to create an exciting talking point that will gain cut through. One of Palm’s hotel clients presented us with an alpine pop up, sponsored by the same Champagne brand that was across two other alpine pop ups within a small central London radius. In order to gain cut through, we came up with the creative of launching London’s first vegan fondue collaborating with a cult vegan cheese brand. This allowed the story to go far, across print, broadcast, digital and social media.
Consider an Immersive Experience.
- A rising trend, accelerated by the pandemic, is the demand for events that go beyond a traditional ‘going out’ experience, adding a dimension that creates memories and social sharing opportunities.
According to Experiential Architects & Cultural Strategists, the Meredith Collective (https://www.meredithcollective.co/), the three brand pillars of immersive experience are ‘Design of Environment’, ‘Narrative’ and ‘Purpose’. This is key, as any immersive events need to stay true to the venue’s brand identity, create an opportunity for meaningful storytelling.
Serve Seasonal Specials & Festive Feasting Menus.
- Creating limited edition dishes or cocktails that play into festive serves and seasonal ingredients is key to ensure inclusion in key media round ups, or recipe placement, which increases at this time of year as consumers entertain at home.
Whether you’re a traditional restaurant, serving UK Christmas faves, or serving a cuisine that doesn’t fit those ingredient profiles (eg a sushi restaurant), having a festive feasting menu will be important to attract office groups or friends and family bookings that want a ‘special’ indulgent meal.
Harness the Power of Influencers.
- In tandem with a robust PR press campaign, aligned influencer partners can provide huge value by creating compelling content to show off your offering.
Choosing the right influencers with the correct audiences, however is absolutely key to driving value. To get ROI, provide them with a clear brief so that they understand your restaurant brand positioning, key messaging and aesthetic direction.
Reposting user generated content, whether it’s video, reels or still images is a powerful testimonial to your offering. Be clear on your hero dish or cocktail – is there something that would work best for social sharing? It could be a flaming Christmas pudding or a super indulgent spiked hot chocolate – be clear on the signature serves that have the potential to go viral.
If you’d like to discuss your restaurant communications plans with our team, contact Emily on email@example.com