The Ultimate Restaurant Marketing Checklist for the Holidays


As a restaurant owner, the holiday season is often the busiest time of year. Months in advance, your staff is taking reservations for holiday parties, and your chef is selecting the holiday specials you will be serving up. You have been through this so many times, so you know what needs to get done to get your restaurant ready for the holidays.

But with everything going on in the restaurant, you may begin to lose track of all the things that need to happen outside of your restaurant. These are things like updating your specials board, your website, social media, local listings, and advertising campaigns. The better you can present your holiday deals on those channels, the more people will want to come!

Restaurants Need Digital Marketing

Did you know that 97% of consumers search for local businesses online? It is incredibly common for people to look at your restaurant online (on platforms like Yelp, Google Maps or social media) before deciding to go there. A recent study, by National Restaurant News, found that “restaurants” were the most searched category on the go.

At KWSM, we have numerous restaurants, bars, and other brick & mortar clients that work with us to ensure everything is ready for the holidays. The checklist below is what we use with them to spice things up during the holidays. (No pun intended).

The Ultimate Holiday Marketing Digital Checklist:

  • Add the new holiday hours to your website and make them easy to find
  • Add your holiday menu to your website (include photos if you have them!)
  • Make a seasonal web page to highlight festive catering deals & events room
  • Partner with a gift card company to easily buy Gift Cards on your website
  • Update your holiday hours on all your local listings (highlight happy hour if you have it!)
  • Add the new menu to your local listings (& be sure your menu link is working)
  • On Google My Business, add your specials under the “Services” section
  • On Yelp, promote your specials using the free call-out box
  • On Yelp, upload photos of your holiday specials
  • Give first-timers a free glass of mulled wine or a Christmas cake for checking-in on Yelp
  • Ask for reviews from happy customers (ask them to comment on your festive ambiance)
  • Respond to reviews as soon as they come in (and say thank you!)
  • Update your holiday hours on all your social media (highlight happy hour, too!)
  • Make a festive Facebook banner (optimize it for your other social channels, as well)
  • Take photos of your holiday specials (the more “Instagram-able” – the better!)
  • Post 2x per day on social media to let everyone know about your holiday specials
  • “Pin” your holiday menu to the top of your Facebook page
  • Engage with your followers, be sure to “like” everything your restaurant is mentioned in
  • Add your holiday schedule in your company newsletter
  • Make a festive email marketing banner to show your spirit
  • Give a special discount to your loyal customers (after all, it is the season of giving!)
  • Update your ads schedule to only run during your open hours
  • Add Google Ads extensions, so it is easy to find your contact information & holiday menu
  • Build campaigns around holiday keywords (like “holiday outing” or “holiday party venue”)
  • Promote your gift cards, holiday events room & catering in your online advertising
  • Advertise group discounts for large parties

Feeling overwhelmed?

That is totally normal. Digital marketing is a lot of work! But we can reassure you that if you sit down and really focus, you can get through this checklist before the holiday season. If you need help getting your restaurant (or storefront) ready for the holidays, reach out to KWSM: a digital marketing agency to help you out.


81% of smartphone users have used their mobile device to search for restaurants in the past month

Is your website ready for the holiday season? Today’s consumers expect to have a flawless experience on the Internet. They want to shift seamlessly from their mobile devices to their laptops without ever missing a beat. Your website must be ready.

CONTACT US to schedule a complimentary 30-minute website audit.