Tips to Increase Festive Season Bookings in Bars and Restaurants

The festive season is upon us – and with it comes the hordes of Christmas parties, family do’s, friendly meet ups, and festive dates for both old and new couples aplenty. As a business in the hospitality sector, the festive season is a time when bookings are generally high and when you might find multiple large party sittings drinking your bar dry on a near weekly basis.

But how can you harness the power of your business now, to make sure that you never have a quiet business day this Christmas season?

Well, for many restaurants and bars, it all comes down to the combination of design and experience – and how the two unite to create a cohesive and memorable occasion for diners and guests alike.

The importance of design in increasing festive bookings

Look at it this way – nobody wants to head out for a festive meal only to find that their chosen restaurant has completely foregone the season in terms of their decoration and design. Restaurant design is often used by businesses around the world as a way of creating an environment and nurturing a dining experience which extends off the plate and encompasses the setting and atmosphere. And when it comes to the festive season in particular, that means Christmas music, twinkling lights, colourful displays, and little details which infuse Christmas magic into every booking.

Consider the way you use your space and business floor plan

Whether you are running a bar or a restaurant, knowing your floor plan and how to maximise its potential is important all year round – but never more so than at Christmas when you find yourself hosting and facilitating both rowdy groups and more intimate celebratory meals and events.

While altering the layout of your space to create different areas can be a great way to maximise the potential for every group, it is important that you don’t…

… Don’t over promise or try to do too much

Festive drink

Customers who are booking a Christmas event at your bar or restaurant will know the kind of vibe they are looking for – and if they tell you what that is, don’t over promise if their preference does not align with your business and other bookings for that day or night.

For example, if a Christmas party group wants a rowdy club-like atmosphere, don’t accept the booking if this doesn’t fall under the umbrella of your overall bar design and environment.

Accommodate leisure space – and make sure distancing can be followed

This really taps into two main points, but both focus on the way you use the space available to you. Remember that some guests and customers will still be looking to distance themselves from others, and so providing enough space for them to do so if of the upmost importance when it comes to ensuring your space is accessible to all.

In addition, factor leisure space away from the main bar or restaurant area into your layout, for those who need a quiet moment.

Think practically

We all love an ornate glass decoration and elegant velvet seats, but when it comes to the festivities of the Christmas season, it is often better to fill your bar or restaurant space with more durable, spill-friendly, and practical furnishings and accessories.

While not necessarily a way of maximising bookings, this will make turnaround much easier to manage for your team, thus allowing you to present a fresh and well kept space for every day of the festive period.

Work experiences into your bar and restaurant marketing campaign

If there’s one thing that’s sure to maximise bookings during the festive season, whether you are a bar or a restaurant, it’s the experiences and exclusive features that aren’t available at other times of the year.

This could be as simple as a festive set menu with a free festive cocktail as a starter, or it could be as decadent as a complete winter wonderland set-up with Santa visit, reindeer, and a free gift. The way you handle and manage this will depend on your business and your target audience, but the concept remains the same – create something unique and exclusive to drive demand and build FOMO among those who haven’t yet booked.

Here at Carroll Design, we work with bars and restaurant across the hospitality sector, creating standout and memorable spaces to serve their customers and build their business all year round. The festive season is an opportunity to reach a new audience and create demand for something special – all while boosting profits and optimising your business presence.

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