7 Tips for Restaurants & Bars to take advantage of Small Business Saturday traffic


With the holiday season quickly approaching, so is Small Business Saturday: a day specifically intended to gear shoppers towards buying local. Since it’s beginning in 2010, both the awareness and support of small businesses has grown tremendously; in 2014, consumers spent $14.3 billion dollars at local businesses on Small Business Saturday alone, a $300,000 dollar increase from the year before.
Taking place on November 28th this year, how does your local bar or restaurant plan on meeting diners’ demands? As more and more consumers start participating in Small Business Saturday, it’s crucial for your local bar or restaurant to be aware of dining trends and traditions so that you can draw the most customers in.

Considering sales are projected to increase by $200,000 to a total of $14.5 billion this Small Business Saturday, here are 7 must-know tips for your local bar or restaurant to ensure consumers choose your business this holiday season:

1. Get inspired and plan early

According to a 2012 poll by American Express, 59% of consumers planned on dining at a local bar or restaurant to mark the occasion. What kinds of deals and specials will your business offer to set you apart from your competitors? By looking at how other local bars and restaurants in your area participate in Small Business Saturday, you allow your business to be prepared with deals and special menu items that are competitive with those around you.

2. Don’t be offline

93% of people will research a restaurant onlinebefore visiting it in person, and over 1/3 of consumers say the ability to book a reservation or order online sets the restaurant apart from its competitors. Being everywhere diners are searching this holiday season greatly increases your business’ chances of being discovered by consumers who are new to the area, and looking for something new to satisfy their taste buds.

3. Make it memorable

By offering limited-time offers or specials that entice consumers to kick off their long day of shopping by dining with you not only enhances the experience for diners, but also makes it memorable for them; meaning they’ll be more likely to visit your local bar or restaurant again in the future.


4. Be a social butterfly

With the opportunity to reach thousands of potential diners through social media, it’s imperative that your business begins promoting deals and specials you’ll be hosting at least two weeks prior to the event. By creating a hype across all social media platforms, you excite consumers about your local bar or restaurant, greatly increasing the likelihood they will dine with you on the day of the event.

5. Prep your employees

Prepare your employees for the big event by involving them in the planning process. Allowing employees to create the holiday playlist or contribute creatively by making signs or other advertisements makes them feel important and of value to the business’ overall success. The key tip here: happy employees = happy customers.

6. Extend your business’ hours

As a local bar or restaurant owner, you are well aware that things get chaotic during the holiday season as everyone rushes to prepare. By extending your business’ hours, you can accommodate more diners whose schedules don’t allow them to take part in the festivities during normal business hours.

7. Review your rights and wrongs

When the holiday season comes to a close, review what your business did right in attracting diners, and what it could improve on for next year. By keeping track of what consumers like and dislike, you have the opportunity to not only increase customer satisfaction for the next event, but increase sales as well.

For more ideas on how to maximize your local bar or restaurant’s success this Small Business Saturday, check out our comprehensive eGuide here.

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