COVID-19 has completely made the world rethink how we do festivities. The last real celebration most of the world got to enjoy was Valentine’s Day in February 2020, before curfews, restrictions, and lockdowns were put in place. Since then, cultural and national holidays and festivities such as Songkran, Eid, independence days, Deepavali, Halloween, and even Christmas have taken a muted tone.
Dining, however, remains central to the holidays, so restaurants will be top of mind as diners approach the end of the year. It’s been a tough year for restaurants and diners alike, so celebrating New Year’s Eve the best way possible seems like the socially responsible thing to do. We’ve pooled together some ideas on how to make New Year’s Eve extra special.
1. Let diners explore the world through your menu
Restaurants continue to be the place where diners can tap onto new experiences, even when they’re unable to travel. Now’s the time to pull out something fresh and unique! Take to social media with promotions and content that capitalise on unique ingredients, techniques, and even personalities. Zero in on a wine estate’s terroir, write about a chef’s childhood food memory, or lay down fun facts of a seasonal ingredient.
2. Create a take-home countdown kit
With curfews and restrictions, not all restaurants are allowed to open past midnight — and what’s a New Year’s Eve celebration without a good old countdown? Create a take-home countdown kit so diners can arm themselves with everything they need to recreate the countdown experience at home, even after they’ve left. Include streamers, confetti, a bottled cocktail, or snacks. Bonus points if you brand these kits to make them extra photogenic.
3. Be there for diners on New Year’s Day
If you’re not allowed to open past midnight on New Year’s Eve, be there for them on New Year’s Day instead. Think: Bottomless boozy breakfasts, hangover recovery smoothies, and dry January debuts. If you have new menu plans for 2021, let 1 January be a day your loyal diners get a sneak preview of that. Leave little notes of positivity and beginnings at your diner touchpoints, and consider offering discounts to your first 10 diners as goodwill. As the first place diners start their 2021, it’s a great chance for restaurants to set the tone for the first day of the new year.
4. Share 2020 reflections on social media
Ah, 2020. Whether you look at COVID-19 as a blessing in disguise, or as a peek of hell that broke loose, it’s something that has united the world over. As social media has proved itself to be an essential tool of connectivity, use this to your advantage. Invite the whole team — chefs, waiters, bartenders, accountants, baristas, management — to share their reflections. By getting personal, diners see your restaurant not just as a place to eat, but a place with heart.
5. Update your listings and availability on all online platforms
Reliability is still the number one thing diners look out for when choosing a restaurant. It’s frustrating when diners want to plan for a celebration, but can’t find reliable information online. Restaurants should ensure that all online platforms are updated with their opening hours, menus, and availability so that diners can have access to information at their fingertips. Speak to your Chope representative to ensure that you’ve uploaded your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day details.
Looking ahead into 2021? Check out our e-book, Restaurant Technology: 2020 and Beyond as we dive into trends and insights that’ll set the tone for the year ahead.