In the spirit of Thanksgiving here in the U.S. this week, Karen and I and the entire Restaurant Branding Roadmap team would like to begin by thanking you for being part of our community. Whether you’ve been with us for years, or you’ve just recently joined, we appreciate the space you give us in your inbox, the time you take to explore our site and social media channels, and your insightful questions – we love hearing from you. We look forward to helping you build successful brands and restaurants in the years to come.

As November is coming to a close, the world is kicking off the 2015 holiday season. This is certainly a time to be merry as the holiday spending contributes to a big chunk of restaurant and hospitality annual revenues. In the US, The National Retail Federation reported consumers spent over $602 billion in 2014 and they are anticipating a strong yearend for 2015. With over 90 percent of Americans celebrating some type of holiday, whether it be Christmas, Kwanza, or Hanukah, this time of year is the ideal opportunity to finish your year with a bang.

Here are four ways to add some jingle to your bottom line.

1) Create an atmosphere of joy.
Leverage the holidays as a way to build your brand distinction and personality. Don’t just add thoughtless, cheesy plastic garland and broken ornaments. Instead, add holiday décor that compliments your brand. Think about the colors, the materials, and the message. Restaurant Hospitality asked some top restaurateurs for their holiday decorating tips. There are some great ideas here.

2) If you sell gift cards, promote them.
This means educating your staff, adding banners to your online properties, posting on social media, adding reminders on your menu and at the table or bar, and creating a display near your checkout area or in the waiting areas.

If you are not offering gift cards, you are missing out on a nice revenue opportunity. Studies have shown that 30% of all gift cards are never redeemed and of the 70% that are, consumers actually spent more than the value of the card. For more stats and success stories on gift cards, check out this excellent article in FSRmagazine.com.

3) Conduct responsible drinking refresher training with all of your staff.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report that the number of traffic accidents and fatalities involving alcohol significantly increase between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Don’t let your restaurant be a part of this tragic trend. Have phone numbers ready for cab services. Empower your staff to cover the cost of a taxi for drinking-impaired customers if required. It’s a lot cheaper than the consequences from an accident.

4) Show gratitude to your best customers.
Recognize your loyal patrons with some holiday cheer. This can be as simple as a card signed by all of your staff, to a gift card for a future night out at your establishment, or surprising them with a round of desserts or cordials.

We hope your Thanksgiving is awesome and the holiday season brings you bigger guest checks, more loyal customers, and a stronger brand!

Do you have a question for us? We’d love to answer it here on the blog. You can email us jring[at]restaurantbrandingroadmap[dot]com or reach us on our Facebook page or Tweet us.

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