Summer vacation season is here, but not everyone is planning on traveling far. Staycations are a popular alternative for many Americans who prefer to spend their time off closer to home. However, many staycationers still want to feel like they are on holiday even if they are sleeping in their own bed every night.
Here are a few suggestions on how restaurant and bar owners can take advantage of the staycation trend take to attract vacationing locals during the summer months. Not only is it a good way to earn buzz, but it can also help generate some extra revenue during a time of year that can be slow for many restaurants.
Hold Special Events and Promotions
A festive event can help guests feel like they are in another city. Consider creating a special menu geared towards a specific location. For example, you could hold a French wine and cheese night, host a special dinner featuring cuisine and signature drinks from New Orleans, or feature a tiki cocktail menu paired with Polynesian food. Take it a step further by decorating the restaurant to match your theme and give guests the feeling that they’ve been transported to a far-away destination. Here are some more tips to help you prepare for your special event.
Partner With Other Businesses and Make It a Package Deal
Reach out to other businesses in the service industry to create an even more immersive experience. For example, you could create a spa brunch to give guests a side of pampering along with their eggs and mimosas. Contact a local massage company to see if they would be interested in offering 10-minute chair massages at your restaurant in exchange for the exposure to potential future customers. You could also partner with a nail salon to give mini-manicures, a skin care specialist to offer express facials, and a nutritionist to share healthy eating tips.
Host a Pop-Up
One way to build excitement and create an element of an out-of-the-ordinary experience is by hosting a pop-up at your restaurant or bar. The sky is the limit when it comes to themes. You could base them around a special cuisine or food item (bacon, grilled cheese, Icelandic food, etc.), a movie, book, TV show, video game, you name it, you can build a pop-up around it. While pop-ups historically occurred in unique spaces, such as a rooftop, library, or photography studio, recent trends have shifted to creating a façade inside your own space, bringing customers directly to your reimagined restaurant or bar.
Market Your Event
Once you’ve decided on what type of experience you want to provide for guests, it’s time to promote it. Don’t forget to emphasize your theme, and the exclusivity / limited nature of your event. Start by promoting it on your social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Make sure to also update your website and provide any necessary links if customers will need to make a reservation or buy a ticket in order to attend. If you have a mailing list, plan on sending at least two or three emails to promote it to your customer base. You should also promote it to appeal to foot traffic. Depending on how unique or extravagant your event is, you might also want to contact the local media to see if they’d be interested in covering it.
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