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The Craft

The ultimate resource for alcohol beverage news, trends and reports for bars, distributors and suppliers.

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With 2023 rapping at the door, it’s time for bars and restaurants to start planning their New Year’s Eve celebrations. 

The celebrations cap the end of a busy holiday season for bars, restaurants and retail shops, providing one last surge in end-of-year revenue. However, preparing for a big holiday event can be a daunting task. From conceptualizing the theme to logistics to staffing, a lot of pre-planning happens before anyone steps through the door. But one of the most important parts of planning a New Year’s Eve bash is promoting it. 

Without a proper marketing plan, a bar or restaurant’s New Year’s Eve offerings may be a dud. To ensure bars and restaurants get the most out of their New Year’s Eve, we put together a checklist of ways they can best plan and promote their offerings this year. 

Plan Your New Year’s Eve Event Theme 

Before any bar or restaurant can start promoting its New Year’s Eve events, it must first decide what types of events or offerings to offer. Guests are looking for a unique, memorable experience. Consider ways that you can set your New Year’s Eve event apart from others. Planning a dress code or themed event is low-hanging fruit. Here are a few thought starters.

Examples of New Year’s Eve Party Themes

  • Black Tie
  • Retro-theme
  • Roaring 20s
  • Disco
  • Masquerade Ball

 

Plan New Year’s Eve Event Type

Once a bar or restaurant has solidified its New Year’s Eve event theme, the next step is to consider what type of event(s) to offer guests. This can be anything from seeking a full or partial ‘private’ buyout to selling tickets, taking reservations only, or opening it to the public. Not every bar or restaurant is the same. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for others. Things to consider are how many people your space holds, how service typically works,  decide if you plan to serve food or not — and if so, if it's a special menu or prix-fixe. Does a ticket gain access to an open bar or does it include a complimentary glass of Champagne? These are small yet important questions to ask as you plan your event. 

Ways Bars Can Promote New Year’s Eve Events & Celebrations

Spread The Word Across Your Digital Channels 

In today’s world, whether on social media, the website or via email, it’s essential for bars and restaurants to be active online. First, let’s start with the website. This is the best place to house all relevant information regarding New Year’s Eve events and offerings. It’s also where operators can link to special menus, tickets for purchase or reservation platforms. It’s also a place to send social media followers to learn more and take action. 

 

Once the event is hosted on the website, it’s time to leverage other digital marketing tools and channels to spread the word. Email marketing is a powerful tool for bars and restaurants. If you already have an engaged and loyal email subscriber base, create email campaigns promoting New Year’s Eve events and offerings. Be sure to include multiple touchpoints as the holiday approaches, creating a sense of urgency to take action. 

Social media channels are also a handy tool to spread the word about New Year’s Eve events and offerings. Leverage Instagram posts and stories like Gage & Tollner to tease the event and drive followers to RSVP. If your marketing budget allows for it, consider “boosting” or putting advertising dollars behind posts to further their reach. The more impressions, the more opportunity to fill seats. 

Gage & Tollner promote New Year’s Eve reservations on Instagram

Last, if you have a PR team at hand, strategize a way to pitch New Year’s Eve events coverage to local newspapers, magazines, online publications and blogs. As consumers look for ways to enjoy the holiday, they’ll take to the internet to find happenings near them. Inclusion in a listicle or article will further the chances of them finding and booking your event.

Consider Fun Ideas to Enhance the Guest Experience Over New Year’s Eve

Whether guests are excited about the prix-fixe menu options or the complimentary glass of Champagne to toast at midnight, little details make New Year’s Eve events more exciting. 

While these ideas may not make sense for all concepts — especially more fine-dining establishments — they’re ways that create an even more lively atmosphere that excites and enhances the guest experience.

  • Foster more memories. Rent a photo booth or hire a photographer for the evening
  • Set the tone. Hire a professional DJ or live band to curate the evening’s soundtrack
  • Offer a complimentary amuse-bouche. Hand out cocktails as guests arrive, such as a glass of bubbly or a special pre-made cocktail or punch.
  • Go all out with the decor. Cover the space with New Year’s Eve decorations and be sure to include plenty of noisemakers and party horns.
  • Gift New Year’s Eve party bags. For smaller parties, greet each guest with a party gift bag that includes complimentary items like chocolates. 

 

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