Holiday Menu Tips

It’s time to get your menu in gear for the holidays. November and December are packed with profitable dining occasions, from Halloween to New Year’s Day. According to the National Restaurant Association, diners spent more than $92 billion at restaurants during November and December in 2013. Use these tips to help your operation run smoothly during this year’s holiday season:

  • Explore LTOs—Diners are interested in ordering holiday-themed dishes. They are consistently attracted to seasonal ingredients, especially chocolate, pumpkin, cinnamon, gingerbread and cranberry. Center dishes around these flavors to increase traffic during the months of November and December. Diners also plan to eat more desserts, decadent entrées and appetizers at restaurants during the holidays, so use indulgent LTOs with higher profit margins to your advantage.
  • Deals can make a big difference—Cost is a key factor in diners’ food-away-from-home decisions throughout the holiday season. Menu specials can help you attract more consumers to your operation. Nearly 75% of diners say they prefer a “buy one, get one free” entrée special during the holidays over any other type of promotion.
  • Use digital channels to promote your menu—To differentiate your operation, simply offering deals and LTOs isn’t enough. Promote menu specials in a way that resonates with your patrons. Millennials expressed more interest in visiting restaurants on Halloween, Black Friday and New Year’s Day than any other age group. Attract these 18–24-year-olds by using social media and other digital channels to advertise your seasonal offerings and discounts.

Make your menu more profitable this holiday season, and create special offerings that will attract new guests and keep them coming back for more. Find E-Z Menu Ideas and Recipes starring turkey to inspire the best holiday entrées, sandwiches, salads, breakfast dishes and more.


Holiday Dining Habits, FSR Magazine, September 2014

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