Eat, shop, eat, and repeat - this is what you should expect from Americans during the holiday season.
As a restaurant or cafe owner, you might assume that Black Friday is solely the domain of big box retailers and e-commerce giants. However, with some strategic planning, your business can also reap the rewards of one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Look no further than Starbucks, whose stores are consistently jam-packed on Black Friday, with customers eager to get their holiday-themed beverages. By offering deals and promotions specifically tailored to Black Friday shoppers, your cafe can position itself as a welcome respite from the frenzy of the shopping rush. An easy way to boost sales and reach deal-hungry customers is through your online ordering app, where you can offer special Black Friday perks for mobile orders. With the right combination of creativity and convenience, you can make Black Friday a profitable event for your business.
Black Friday: A Missed Opportunity for Restaurants?
Black Friday: An Opportunity for Restaurants
Black Friday is typically associated with retailers and brick-and-mortar stores. However, restaurants and coffee shops also have the potential to benefit from the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S. According to industry experts, Black Friday can be a missed chance for restaurants and cafes to boost sales and gain new customers if they don’t plan properly.
Restaurants may face difficulties capitalizing on Black Friday due to misconceptions about the day being solely for retailers. However, with adequate preparation and marketing, restaurants and cafes can drive more business on Black Friday. Brands should start planning deals, specials, and promotions in advance to spread awareness. They can offer special menus, discounts, giveaways, and bundles to attract deal-seeking customers.
Starbucks is one chain that sees major success on Black Friday by offering seasonal drinks, and special deals via their mobile app and keeping all locations open for extended hours. Restaurants should follow suit by promoting online ordering and pickup options, loyalty programs, and keeping locations open longer. These strategies, combined with an increase in foot traffic from shopping, can lead to a profitable day.
How Starbucks Dominates Black Friday Sales
Starbucks capitalizes on the holiday shopping season by implementing various creative marketing strategies for Black Friday that drive sales and boost brand loyalty.
Seasonal Specials for Repeat Business
Starbucks captivates customers with limited-time seasonal beverages like Peppermint Mochas and Gingerbread Lattes, as well as festive food options. The demand for these holiday drinks and treats is high, encouraging repeat visits. For example, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has become a cultural phenomenon and annual tradition for many.
Discounts and Promotions to Lure Customers
On Black Friday, Starbucks goes the extra mile to make customers' visits worthwhile. They run promotions that include free gift cards and discounts on items like holiday tumblers. For example, in 2021, customers could enjoy a free $5 gift card with the purchase of a handcrafted beverage and food item before 11 a.m. They also offered discounts on Verismo coffee makers. To attract shoppers and make your place a Black Friday hotspot, consider designing your own special deals and discounts that customers can't resist.
Use of Mobile App for Extra Convenience
Through its own app, Starbucks allows customers to place orders in advance, skip the lines, and enjoy a hassle-free experience. To replicate this convenience and offer additional promotions, restaurants should invest in their own online ordering apps. Your app can not only enhance the customer experience but also feature exclusive perks for mobile orders, such as free add-ons or percentage-off coupons. This can be a powerful tool in driving sales and building brand loyalty, even during the Black Friday madness.
Creative Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales on Black Friday
To boost sales on Black Friday, restaurants should know how to sweeten the deal with creative marketing strategies. Social media campaigns, deals, and revamped online profiles can help capture new customers.
Social Media Promotions
Launch social media ads or boost posts, run contests, and start hashtags before Black Friday to increase brand exposure. For example, Starbucks utilizes the hashtag #RedCupContest, offering free reusable cups to participants. This generates excitement and reaches new audiences.
Early Bird Marketing
Don't wait until Black Friday itself to make your move. Start your promotions a week or two in advance to pique customer interest and establish your name in their minds. Send out engaging email newsletters, make frequent social media posts, and update your website with all the juicy details about upcoming deals and events.
Exclusive Offers and Savings
Attract customers on Black Friday by offering limited-time discounts, coupons, or special menu items. For instance, you could dish out $1 off espresso drinks before 10 a.m. or BOGO panini deals at lunch. Make sure to update your online ordering platforms, websites, and social media pages to spread the word about these fantastic deals.
Enhanced Online Presence
Revamp your location pages, menus, and profiles on sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook before Black Friday. Post enticing photos, share your deals, and make it easy for people to find your business. Many use services like Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats, so ensure your information is up to date on those platforms as well.
Offer Online Ordering and Loyalty Perks Through Your App
Offering online ordering and loyalty programs through mobile apps is a smart move for restaurants, especially on busy holidays like Black Friday. An online ordering platform integrated with the right point-of-sale (POS) system, like Per Diem with Square POS integration, enables customers to place orders in advance for pickup or delivery. This convenience, paired with loyalty perks and deals, gives customers an incentive to choose your business over competitors.
Drive Sales Through Convenience and Deals
On high-volume days like Black Friday, an online ordering system helps reduce wait times by allowing customers to preorder and pay ahead of arrival to pick up their items. Not only that, offering special discounts or freebies through your loyalty program, available only to mobile app users, spurs new and repeat customers to take advantage of deals by ordering through your app. For example, take a page out of Niko Niko Boba's book, where they reward a free drink to the first purchase made through their newly launched app, while Coffee Dose offers $5 off the next order for using a special code only on their app.
Actionable Tips to Increase Restaurant Revenue This Black Friday
To capitalize on the increased consumer spending surrounding Black Friday, restaurants should implement targeted marketing strategies. According to studies, U.S. Black Friday sales reached $35.27 billion in 2022, a 4% increase from 2021. Additionally, consumers spent 23% more in restaurants the weekend following Thanksgiving and Black Friday in 2022 compared to 2021, demonstrating the potential for restaurants to boost revenue this year.
Partner with DoorDash White-Label for Seamless Delivery
DoorDash Drive offers a comprehensive delivery package that includes both delivery drivers and cutting-edge logistics software to manage deliveries for your restaurant. The beauty of this partnership is that, despite leveraging DoorDash's resources, the delivery experience retains the essence of your brand. You can offer delivery under your restaurant's name, keeping the entire process customized to your identity.
Also, Consider offering discounts on popular menu items, or bundle deals only available for digital orders placed over the Black Friday weekend. With more people opting to avoid crowded stores in favor of shopping online from home, restaurant delivery and takeout have become more appealing.
Extend Your Hours
To accommodate shoppers taking breaks from long shopping excursions, keep your restaurant open later into the evening or open earlier for breakfast. Let customers know about extended hours through social media posts and updates to your location’s business profile on sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Opening earlier or staying open later, even for just one extra hour, provides more opportunities for customers to stop in.
Creative Marketing on Social Media
Run social media contests, post behind-the-scenes photos of your team preparing for the busy weekend, or share mouth-watering images of featured specials to spread awareness and drive interest in your restaurant. Geo-target social media ads to users in your immediate area to capture more local customers. Paying to boost social media posts or run ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram over the Black Friday weekend may lead to a good return on investment based on higher user engagement.
By offering online ordering specials, extending operating hours, and ramping up social media marketing efforts, restaurants can make the most of the Black Friday shopping weekend and end the year with strong sales. Following the lead of successful chains like Starbucks, which sees its locations packed with shoppers taking breaks on Black Friday, independent restaurants and small chains should not miss the opportunity to participate in this retail holiday.
As you have seen, Black Friday isn't just for retailers anymore. With some strategic planning and marketing, your restaurant or coffee shop can also reap the benefits of one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Look to the success of Starbucks as an example and roll out creative promotions, limited-time offers, and social media campaigns to spread the word. Make it easy for customers to order ahead with your mobile app and provide extra incentives for them to do so. While Black Friday may have started as a day for finding deals on electronics and clothing, consumers today expect dining and experience options as part of their shopping excursions. Don't miss the opportunity to make your business a part of new traditions and gain new customers. With the right approach, your restaurant can turn Black Friday from a day of crowds and chaos into a day of sales and success.