The 2020 holiday season will certainly look different than what we’re used to, especially for those who work in hospitality. But, while there may be new challenges and considerations, with the help of DirectBook, it is still possible to serve your customers and increase your profit this holiday season. Here are a few festive ideas on how your venue can use DirectBook to bring in additional revenue.

1. Thanksgiving dinner catering

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but there is still plenty of time to capitalize on this holiday, and DirectBook makes it even easier. The trend for this year’s celebration will surely be to stay home and keep it small. But who wants to prepare an entire Thanksgiving dinner for just a few people? If you ask me, it seems like a lot of time, money, and effort wasted. This is the problem that your restaurant can solve with DirectBook. 

Offer your customers a simple way to enjoy the flavors of Thanksgiving with a holiday catering menu. You can create a custom DirectBook lead form and link it to all of your marketing communications, including your website, social media, and email. With the DirectBook form your customers can literally order a freshly prepared — and individually curated — Thanksgiving dinner for pickup or delivery, and authorize their credit card for payment all within minutes and from the comfort of their homes. Congratulations! Your restaurant just saved Thanksgiving. 

2. Black Friday catering

What holiday comes after Thanksgiving? Black Friday of course! OK so it’s not actually a national holiday, but a lot of people do have it off from work, and most people do shop around for deals. I think the majority of Black Friday shopping will be done online this year for obvious reasons, and online shopping can make you very hungry. Believe me, I know this from lots and lots of personal experience. 

On past Black Fridays and the weekend that follows, most people would heat up some leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner and call it a night. But I have a feeling that there won’t be as many leftovers this year, seeing as people are gathering in small groups and will only cook or order out for the number of people they are hosting. So where do you go to find a hot meal on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday in 2020? Online, of course.

Offering a pre-ordered catered dinner package at a discounted Black Friday price for the weekend after Thanksgiving is a great idea and one that can surely bring in some much-needed revenue. Start marketing your Black Friday specials now with a specific DirectBook lead form that offers your customers a few unique catered dinner options. Maybe even throw in a $10 gift card to use at a future visit to anyone who preorders by a certain date. This promotion is a great way to drum up some holiday business and make great use of Tripleseat’s new DirectBook feature.

3. Holiday catering and to-go menu options

Of course there is a lot more money to be made beyond Thanksgiving. December is full of reasons and holidays that bring family and friends together. And while catering and to-go options are typically popular around the holidays, they will likely be even more popular this year

With rising concerns around the spread of COVID-19, it is to be expected that even more people will order catering from restaurants so they can enjoy small gatherings in their homes this year. These orders may include everything from individual meal choices as well as family-style meals that are appropriate for small groups. With an easily embeddable order form, blackout date, and time restrictions, and the ability to upload as many different menu items as you like, DirectBook makes offering all of these options a breeze. 

Moreover, you can run a simple report in Tripleseat of every customer that held an in-house holiday event with you last year, create a marketing email telling them about the catering options you’re offering this year and link your holiday DirectBook form in it. They’ll be delighted to know that not only can they celebrate the holidays safely with catering from your restaurant, but they can order and pay for their catering in an easy and contactless way with DirectBook.

4. Virtual holiday experiences

Most in-person corporate holiday events will either be postponed or canceled this year, but there is still hope for virtual experiences. Virtual holiday gatherings are an easy and safe way for colleagues to celebrate together. But, let’s be honest here, we’re all a bit tired of gathering on Zoom, so simply hosting a virtual party will not suffice. This is where your restaurant can swoop in to save the day. 

Offer up your chef to host a virtual cooking experience. Guests can pre-order meal kits from your DirectBook lead form and sign up for a date and time to “meet” the chef online and prepare the meals with him or her over Zoom. You can even take it one step further with a wine pairing option or an easy-to-make-cocktail kit. If your chef is camera shy, offer up a sommelier wine tasting package instead. Or put together a quick course in mixology with one of your seasoned bartenders. Virtual experiences are a great way to promote your business this holiday season, and DirectBook makes it safe and easy for you to accomplish that. 

5. Micro holiday events

I’d be remiss if I was to leave out in house private events altogether. Sure, most people won’t be hosting large scale holiday events at restaurants, but some will still want to get out and celebrate in small groups. DirectBook can assist you with these bookings as well. 

You can create a specific DirectBook form just for in-house events or you can alter your catering and delivery DirectBook form to include an option for events booked inside your restaurant. It’s easy to add restrictions on which rooms you are offering up for private events and on which dates and times. You can also set capacity limitations to ensure you are staying within Centers for Disease Control guidelines for group gatherings. Once the customer fills out their in-house event form with everything from the date, time, and room, to their menu options and credit card information, the lead will appear on your Tripleseat dashboard, and you have the ability to accept or deny their in-house event request. This will ensure that you make the final decision on whether or not an event is deemed safe to hold for both your staff and the event’s attendees. 

6. New Year’s Eve at home

Let’s not forget about the grand finale to 2020. Given the year we’ve all had thus far, I’d say we all need to let loose and have a little fun ringing in 2021. Of course this won’t mean gathering in groups of thousands of people huddled together waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. But you can still have a ball in your home with your closest family and friends, and restaurants with DirectBook can help make that happen. 

I suggest building a few options for New Year’s Eve at-home catering packages. Include everything your customers need to have a good time: appetizers, meals, desserts, confetti, noisemakers, hats, crowns, balloons, champagne, plastic flutes, and so on. The possibilities are both fun and endless. You can even offer family packages that include specific things for kids like sparkling cider instead of champagne and kid-friendly meal options.

Set up your DirectBook New Year’s Eve ordering form with all of your package options and promote it on your website, social media accounts, and of course through email marketing campaigns. Hey, we all need a break from the noise of 2020, and ringing in a new year safely, and in style sounds like a fantastic idea to me. 

Start generating holiday revenue with DirectBook today

If your venue isn’t currently using DirectBook to book in house events and catering orders, there’s no better time than the present. There is no additional fee associated with DirectBook. You must be a Tripleseat customer and have online payments set up with one of our online payment partners: CardConnect or Stripe. For help setting up your DirectBook feature, reach out to our support team. You’ll be on your way to generating holiday revenue with DirectBook in no time.

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