November 21, 2023
Lauren Platero

12 Festive Christmas Eve Catering Promotions to Drive Sales

Will your restaurant offer Christmas Eve catering services this holiday season? If so, we cannot stress enough just how crucial it is to execute restaurant marketing strategies. Catering Christmas festivities can be an extremely profitable venture. That’s why we’re about to cover twelve tactics that can increase catering orders, boost brand awareness, and accelerate your bottom line. Now, let's get to planning!

Christmas Eve Catering: How Is It Different?

Christmas Eve catering can be a bit different from regular Christmas dinner catering due to traditions. In many cases, some families enjoy a set selection of food and drinks on Christmas Eve, while an entirely different spread is put out the next day. That’s why Christmas Eve catering menus should be diverse.

For example, many families across the United States host a very all-American dinner for Christmas Eve. This dinner may include things like a turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and pumpkin pie. Meanwhile, those of Italian descent are often found cooking The Feast of Seven Fishes, pasta, and authentic pastries for dessert. Like we mentioned earlier, holiday dining options can vary from one home to the next. 

The best way to decide on a Christmas Eve catering menu is to consider what your restaurant already serves. What kind of cuisine is it? Which dish is your restaurant known for? The answers to these questions should correspond with your holiday catering menu. And don’t forget that predictability is a safe method when learning how to get more catering orders.

12 Christmas Eve Catering Promotions to Drive Sales 

Christmas Eve catering services can be extremely lucrative. However, they won’t generate your restaurant business a lot of revenue just by being on the menu. Instead, you need to implement a variety of restaurant promotions. See below for twelve creative and festive ways to advertise your Christmas Eve catering services:

1. A Limited Edition Christmas Eve Menu

Create an enticing and delicious menu to allure past and new customers. It’s likely that most consumers will want a balance of traditional and festive menu items across their Christmas tablescape. So, including everything from classic entree food to unique holiday drinks will attract business. Plus, this is your chance to implement product differentiation within the local market.

2. Earn 2x the Points On Christmas Eve Catering Orders

Let’s start by saying that if your restaurant doesn't already have a customer rewards program, it should! Now if you do, consider offering extra points on all catering orders. This will incentivize customers to choose your restaurant over competitors. But more importantly, it’ll also result in repeat business. As customers rack up points, they’ll feel inclined to redeem them for rewards, therefore, they must come back to do so.

3. Partner With Local Wineries and Breweries

If your restaurant has a liquor license and sells different types of alcohol, try branching out to local businesses for the holidays. You can’t go wrong with beer and wine, so let customers select what kind of spirits they would like with their Christmas Eve catering order. Restaurant owners can also take this opportunity to pitch cross promotions with the local businesses.

4. A Discount On Pre-Orders Before a Certain Date

When it comes to holiday catering, restaurants typically add a high markup to the pricing menu. This means that the week of Christmas can be extremely profitable. To promote such prices even further, provide customers with a discount if they order within a certain window. This way, they’ll save some money while the restaurant can maximize revenue.

5. Add Festive Decor to the Christmas Eve Catering Bundles 

The sole purpose of Christmas Eve catering is to host a festive atmosphere. With this in mind, include decorations and festive tableware in each order. Such items can include things like a tablecloth, sturdy utensils, napkins, and plates. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even add a miniature Christmas tree to each order as a centerpiece or decor elsewhere.

6. Take Advantage of Print Advertisements

Many business people believe that print ads are obsolete and have no use. However, many consumers still enjoy browsing through flyers and pamphlets during the holiday season. It’s more interesting to look at limited edition and seasonal items, so add your Christmas Eve catering bundles to the mix!

7. Showcase the Christmas Eve Catering Dishes On Social Media

Set a day aside a couple of months before the holiday season where you prepare all the items on the Christmas Eve catering menu. Neatly plate each dish and display them in decorative settings. Then, hire a professional photographer to capture all these menu items. It’ll serve as attractive marketing collateral for social media. Then, you can begin promoting your catering menu for Christmas as well as the New Year's Eve catering menu shortly after Thanksgiving is over.

8. Conduct Restaurant SEO Efforts Related to Christmas Eve Catering

Keep your restaurant front of mind when people search for Christmas Eve catering providers. The best way to do this is through search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Fully optimize your restaurant’s website to target specific keywords. Such terms can include things like “catering Christmas dinner,” “Christmas Eve catering,” “hosting holiday parties”, and so on. Like most marketing efforts, make sure that you begin SEO strategies about a month or so before the holidays. This way, your landing pages have time to rank high on the SERP.

9. Run Paid Ads Targeting Your Ideal Customer Profile

A sure way to get your Christmas Eve catering services in front of an audience is to run paid ad campaigns. Build an ad target that consists of people who search for terms related to your restaurant’s catering services. You can also target people who are already following your social media pages. That’s ideal if you have a large following, of course. With these efforts, you can track exactly how many views and clicks your target landing pages receive.

10. Add a Tasting Sampler to the Regular Dinner Menu

Give locals a taste of your Christmas Eve catering menu by creating a sampler platter for the regular menu. Beginning late October-early November, add this item to the appetizer list. It’ll be a festive addition and plant the seed in the customer's head to order from your restaurant for Christmas dinner.

11. Include a Booklet of Coupons With Each Catering Order

Another great way to provoke repeat business is to include a coupon booklet with each Christmas Eve catering order. It’ll serve similarly to a restaurant loyalty program in that it’ll prompt those who purchase catering services to come back again and again. To prolong brand loyalty, make the start date of various coupons multiple times throughout the following year. This way, there’s always an approaching time to stop by.

12. Send Restaurant Email and SMS Alerts

Contact your current customer base directly by sending email and SMS alerts. It’s the most direct way to contact your customers and is completely controllable from the business’ end. One of the best parts about such campaigns is that they’re customizable and can be scheduled far in advance. This way, your most loyal customers will always be the first to know about holiday promotions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas Eve Catering

Whether you’re catering a public event or are letting customers order Christmas dinner online, there are many uses for promotional campaigns. But now that we’ve covered the marketing side of this concept, let’s dive a little deeper into building a menu. The following FAQ sections cover just the right amount of related information. Read on:

What Is Christmas Eve Catering?

Christmas Eve catering is the process of supplying parties with ample food for the holiday. From appetizers to dessert menu items, a restaurant or caterer will supply it all. All the host has to do is welcome their guests and enjoy the holiday!

Why Is Christmas Eve Catering Important?

Christmas Eve catering is important because it’s a foolproof way for restaurants to boost profits. It also offers consumers a convenient solution during the busy holiday season. A win-win if you ask us!

What Is a Good Christmas Eve Menu?

A good Christmas Eve menu includes the following items:

  • Ham
  • Turkey 
  • Seafood 
  • Pasta
  • Salad
  • Bread
  • Pies 
  • Cake
  • Pastries 
  • Soft drinks
  • Beer and wine
  • Festive cocktails

What Food Prep Can I Do On Christmas Eve?

Some food prep you can do on Christmas Eve for the following day include preparing side dishes for the oven and pre-slicing ingredients. This way, you can limit the amount of manual labor on Christmas Day.

What Do People Serve On Christmas Eve?

Many people serve ham on Christmas Eve. However, it’s also common to see turkey, pork tenderloin, roast beef, and a wide selection of sides. There are also many cultural influences on Christmas Eve dinner throughout the world, such as The Feast of Seven Fishes served by Italians.

Promotion Ideas for the 12 Days ‘Til Christmas

Now that you have twelve effective and festive promotional ideas for your restaurant, it’s time to start selling catering bundles! From traditional to innovative ad campaigns, use this post as a guide this holiday season. Just be prepared for a busy Christmas Eve!