It’s December. That means aside from twinkling lights, holiday parties, and lit up trees, you’re also likely seeing an uptick in traffic.Why? Because December is the time to celebrate with friends, family, and colleagues. And what better way to celebrate than to go out for a drink or dinner.

But there’s a downside to all the celebratory foot traffic–and that’s called the January lull. While the restaurant industry tends to thrive during the summer months, winter brings with it cold temperatures and tighter post-holiday wallets. So what can you do to ensure that December’s customers don’t completely abandon you come January?

Here are five tips to take advantage of this month’s holiday rush:

  • Make each visit special. It may seem silly to spend money decorating your restaurant in holiday flair when you have to take it down in a month’s time, but the experiences customers remember are the ones that went the extra mile. Put up some lights, do a special holiday drink, and add a cheerful ribbon to your napkins. It may seem small, but if it’s big enough to be Instagram-able, it’ll help bring customers back.
  • Provide a customized experience. Chances are, you have more new customers during the holidays than other times of year. Engage them when they step in the door, and continue the communication when they step out. The most efficient way to do this is to use a service like Zenreach, which gathers customers’ email addresses and sends automated emails inviting them back.
  • Add extra amenities, like WiFi. While December is a lot of fun, it’s also incredibly stressful. Your customers are juggling work with personal lives more than ever, which likely means they’re answering a lot of email outside of the office. Make it easier for them to spend more time in your restaurant or bar by offering free WiFi. Sending email with a glass of wine is a lot more pleasant than doing it at your desk.
  • Create specials and limited-time offers–for January. Advertise these in-location via signage or receipts and send emails priming your customers for the great deals coming up in the new year. This is also a great way to test new menu items and concepts.

There’s no reason for January to be all doom and gloom. Use our tips to take advantage of December’s new customers and turn them into loyal visitors–right in time for Valentine’s Day!

Have questions on how Zenreach can help you grow your email list and automate marketing?

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Customer Loyalty Restaurants