Small Business Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. For some, it may be an exciting time of year, and for others, it may be daunting. If you’re part of the latter population, you are probably stressing out over what to buy your significant other or where to make dinner reservations. If you’re a small business owner, the holiday can mean something entirely different than candy grams and hearts – it’s a day that can be maximized for profit and foot traffic – if you plan accordingly.

In 2017, consumers were projected to spend $18 BILLION DOLLARS on Valentine’s Day. This shows that the holiday is a dream for businesses, so you want to think strategically in order to get a piece of the pie. Did you know…

In this blog, we give small businesses four ideas to help you feel the love from your customers this Valentine’s Day.

1.       Run a promotion: Everyone loves a good deal, especially when they’re trying to plan an impressive date. Have you considered running a holiday-specific promotion? Salons and spas can offer special packages just for couples with the goal of doubling foot traffic. Restaurants can offer prix-fixe menus for Valentine’s Day with special meals just for the holiday. You can even entice guests by offering a percentage off of their next meal for dining with you on Valentine’s Day (and this means they’ll probably come back again, which is great for customer loyalty). Throwing in a champagne toast or complimentary chocolates for each table can show you want to go the extra mile to give customers an impressive experience.

2.       Create a contest: Incentives can drive awareness to your brand and inspire people to interact with you socially. Valentine’s Day is all about relationships, so consider coming up with a contest that incorporates social media. Motivate couples to share their “how we met” stories for a chance to win a free dinner or salon service. If you’re a pet service, you can ask owners to share their favorite memory with their pet for a chance to win. Ask people to use your hashtag, tag your company on social media, and share their story. Then, choose one lucky winner to enjoy the prize. Running a contest gives the potential to create buzz and engagement around your brand and can inspire more people to follow you.

3.       Offer a unique event: In the era of Instagram and live-streaming, dinner and a movie may not be the most impressive date plan. Couples, millennials in particular, are always looking for the most unique way to spend a night out and share their experience on social media. As a restaurant owner, consider hosting a cooking class or series of them around Valentine’s Day. You can even host a paint and sip or floral arrangement class at your location. Giving an opportunity for couples to work together and take home a souvenir may help you stand out from the crowd. As a salon, you can host a “couples makeover” event where they can spend the day getting a whole new look. You can even consider hosting a meet and greet for singles (who says Valentine’s Day had to be all about couples anyway?) Thinking outside of the box to create an exceptional event can go a long way in attracting crowds.

4.       Make it memorable: What is the last thing your guests will remember at the end of their evening with you? For many, Valentine’s Day evokes a sense of nostalgia. For others, the holiday is all about hope and looking forward to the future. Everyone has a memory of the holiday as a kid or is looking to create new ones. Play off of the nostalgia by incorporating some fun. Treats for your guests to take with them can be a great touch, or even setting up a photo booth for couples can add an extra element of fun to the night. Consider creating a special playlist to serve as a backdrop to conversation or set up a complimentary chocolate tasting for guests. Valentine’s Day only comes around once a year, so it’s a great opportunity to add another level of creativity to your marketing strategy.

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and with so much money being spent on the holiday every year, you want to make sure to maximize your potential to make a profit. Unique and creative ideas, special promotions, and the extra attention to detail can help you bring couples (and singles alike) to your location for an unforgettable night out. Hoping to get your business discovered online ahead of the holiday? Contact SinglePlatform to find out more about how we can help you stand out everywhere that matters.

8 Reasons Your Restaurant Needs to Take Advantage of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is right around the corner; it’s time to start planning for it.

Occurring every year on the second Sunday of May, Mother’s Day was established in the United States in 1908 and is now celebrated throughout the country as a federal holiday.

Mother’s Day has become an important day not just for families but also for restaurants that can capitalize on these celebrations.

Here are eight reasons why your restaurant should be prepping for Mother’s Day this year:

1. Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year to dine out, with nearly 50% of Americans spending at a restaurant on Mother’s Day.

2. 49% of Mother’s Day restaurant diners will choose to have dinner out, 33% for lunch, 24% for brunch, and 8% for breakfast.

3. Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year for brunch reservations.

4. Compared to a typical Sunday, Mother’s Day reservations increase by 3X.

5. Mother’s Day boasts more group dining reservations than any other day of the year.

6. 73% of diners will make reservations at a restaurant they’ve never tried.

7. 75% of diners will book reservations within the week before Mother’s Day.

8. 62% of diners will choose a casual dining restaurant on Mother’s day, 25% will choose fine dining, 15 % will choose a buffet, 8% will choose fast-casual, and 2% will choose quick service.

Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate moms as well as increase your restaurants’ revenue. Make sure that you’ve prepped for the day well.

Have you updated your menus? Try offering a festive special or an all-inclusive Mother’s Day brunch package. Some restaurants may consider a moms-eat-free promotion. No matter what you’re doing, make sure to tell your customers about it now while they are picking which new restaurant to try this year.

Need an easy way to update your menu online on all major listing sites, including: Google, Yelp, OpenTable? Reach out to SinglePlatform to get started!

Sources can be found here and here

Attract More Diners This Halloween

It’s that time of year again. Pumpkin spice lattes and apple cider donuts are on the top of everyone’s mind and Halloween is right around the corner. While the kids in your town are getting excited about picking out costumes and planning trick or treating routes, your restaurant needs to make the most out of this Halloween.

Spooky Decor

From jack-o’-lanterns to skeletons, Halloween is the perfect time to add some festive decorations to your restaurant. Not only will the provide a fun mood to your restaurant but it will inspire Halloween lovers young and old to stop by for a bite.

Kids Menu

While people of all ages can enjoy Halloween, it really is a holiday focused on kids. Make your restaurant a child-friendly place by offering a kids menu with a few Halloween inspired twists. You can offer mac and cheese with bat-shaped pasta or rename your hot dog entree ‘Witch’s Fingers’ to add a fun and spooky element.

Coupons for Costumes

Take a note from Chipotle’s Boorito promotion and offer deals or discounts to customers who come in costume. Not only will this increase foot traffic on Halloween, but also will provide some really fun material for your social media accounts. A picture of a restaurant full of happy, costume-clad diners is gold for your Instagram.

With these three tips, your restaurant is sure to see an uptick in diners this Halloween. For more tips and tricks to make your restaurant the best it can be, sign up for our newsletter.

Baltimore Restaurant Week

Originating in New York City in 1992, Restaurant Week has become an annual event celebrated by diners and restaurateurs alike. With over 70 cities participating, Restaurant Week has grown tremendously over the years.

Kicking off their own Restaurant Week, 78 restaurants in the Baltimore area will offer discount prices on special prix fixe menus from July 22nd to the 31st. This event is a strong way for restaurants to capture new customers with the hope that a meal during restaurant week will turn into a loyal diner. The cost of lunch at participating restaurants varies between $15 and $20 and the cost for dinner is between $30 and $35.

Due to the popularity of this event, diners are encouraged to make reservations prior to visiting the restaurant to guarantee a table during Restaurant Week. Diners can easily do so over the phone or through reservation sites such as OpenTable.

Check out these restaurants that are doing Baltimore Restaurant Week right:

Birroteca

Serving up Italian cuisine comprised of ingredients from local ranchers, farmers, and watermen, this place is known for their vibrant atmosphere and artisan pizza. Check out their Restaurant Week menu here.

Bond Street Social

Known for their outdoor space and fine dining twist on every day comfort food, Bond Street Social was voted one of the top 100 hottest restaurant bars in the country by OpenTable in 2013. Check out their menu here.

Brew House No. 16

Located in a former firehouse, Brew House No. 16 is a gastropub that doubles as a microbrewery, serving both American and International beers. Check out their Restaurant Week menu here.

City Cafe

Offering an original menu centered on American comfort food, City Cafe offers a multitude of tastes in a modern setting. Serving lunch and dinner courses during Restaurant Week, check out the menu here. 

Encantada

Partnering with local ranchers, farmers, and watermen, Encantada serves modern American food in a space located in the American Visionary Art Museum. Serving brunch, lunch and dinner, check out their menus here.

Germano’s Piattini

Specializing in Italian cuisine and serving their dishes family style, Germano’s Piattini offers more than just food; they also host dinner shows and cabaret in the upstairs part of the restaurant. Check out their Restaurant Week menu here.

Still can’t decide? Check out a few more of our favorites:

•    Gertrude’s
•    La Tavola
•    The Nickel Taphouse
•    Sabatino’s

Learn more about how SinglePlatform helps restaurants get discovered online.

Attract the Most Diners on Independence Day

It’s Independence Day weekend in the U.S. and  people are celebrating this day outside of their home more than ever. 41 million people in the U.S. spend their 4th of July celebration outside of their home. When people celebrate they need food and that’s where your restaurant comes in. Make sure your restaurant is catering to patriots this 4th of July weekend. Below are some ways restaurant owners can make the best out of the 4th of July:

1.    Offer Holiday Favorites

Boost foot traffic on the 4th of July by teaming up with local businesses nearby. More than 103 million diners in the U.S. drink beer on the Fourth while 150 million hot dogs are consumed. Chicken and beef are also purchased in the millions the week of Independence day. With that in mind, make sure your restaurant is offering all of these Independence Day bestsellers. Consider partnering with a local brewery for beer specials. Make your restaurant the one-stop spot for all of your diners 4th of July favorites.

2.    Let Diners Eat Outside

The 4th of July is a holiday typically celebrated outdoors with 80% of the U.S celebrating at a cookout, picnic, or barbecue. Since the holiday falls in the middle of summer every year, celebrating in the sun makes sense. Make sure that your customers can enjoy your food and the sunshine at the same time. Offer meals that are easy to take on the go and are large enough to feed a crowd. If you have the capacity, the 4th of July is the perfect time to incorporate outdoor seating to your restaurant.

3.    Deals, Deals, Deals

Deals and promotions always help to get diners in the door and the 4th of July is no exception. Consider adding some festive promotions to your restaurant to attract more customers. Give away a free hotdog with each drink purchased or give half off on domestic brews. These deals are best promoted on social media where you can pair them with colorful and eye-catching pictures.

SinglePlatform can also help you get more business on the 4th of July. Learn more about our features here. 

3 Ways to Get Dads to Dine With You This Father’s Day

Considering 76% of Americans will celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, your restaurant has the perfect opportunity to not only attract customers, but increase sales as well. Give fathers and their families the gift of both quality time and meals by using these three tips to entice dads to dine with you this holiday:

1.  Discounts For Dads

Market your restaurant to dads in your area by offering them discounted prices on menu items when they dine with you on Father’s Day. Whether you offer half-priced drinks or a free dessert, a discount motivates families to celebrate the special day at your restaurant.

2.  Capitalize on Quality Time

Almost half of dads surveyed said they would prefer spending more time with family than receiving gifts on Father’s Day. Show dads the role your restaurant plays in bringing families together through promotional content on social media. By appealing to dads’ softer sides and inviting them to share the holiday with your restaurant, you give them the quality time they are looking for.

3.  Be Kid-Friendly

For many growing families, eating out can be more exhausting than enjoyable. This Father’s Day, ensure your restaurant is equipped to entertain kids of all ages at the table. By providing crayons and coloring books—or board games for those looking for more interactive fun—you give dads the ability to relax and unwind while the kids remain entertained and satisfied.

By preparing your restaurant with the tools and resources that create a memorable Father’s Day experience for dads everywhere, you ensure a successful holiday for both your restaurant and the families who visit you. For more tips and trends that keep your restaurant in the know, find SinglePlatform on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. To get our industry news straight to your inbox, sign up for your newsletter below:

8 Reasons Your Restaurant Needs to Take Advantage of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is right around the corner; it’s time to start planning for it. Occurring every year on the second Sunday of May, Mother’s Day was established in the United States in 1908 and is now celebrated through out the country as a federal holiday. Mother’s Day has become an important day not just for families but also for restaurants that can capitalize on these celebrations. Here are eight reasons why your restaurant should be prepping for Mother’s Day this year:

1. Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year to dine out, with nearly 50% of Americans spending at a restaurant on Mother’s Day.

2. 49% of Mother’s Day restaurant diners will choose to have dinner out, 33% for lunch, 24% for brunch, and 8% for breakfast.
3. Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year for brunch reservations.
4. Compared to a typical Sunday, Mother’s Day reservations increase by 3X.

5. Mother’s Day boasts more group dining reservations than any other day of the year.
6. 73% of diners will make reservations at a restaurant they’ve never tried.
7. 75% of diners will book reservations within the week before Mother’s Day.
8. 62% of diners will choose a casual dining restaurant on Mother’s day, 25% will choose fine dining, 15 % will choose a buffet, 8% will choose fast-casual, and 2% will choose quick service.

Mother’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate moms as well as increase your restaurants’ revenue. Make sure that you’ve prepped for the day well. Have you updated your menus? Try offering a festive special or an all-inclusive Mother’s Day brunch package. Some restaurants may consider a moms-eat-free promotion. No matter what you’re doing, make sure to tell your customers about it now while they are picking which new restaurant to try this year.

Sources can be found here and here

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