There is still time for restaurants to develop a plan to capitalize on the coming holiday season. But at a time when the economy is uncertain, consumer spending is in flux, and inventory is unreliable, it’s critical to lean on your marketing programs, as well as your data, to generate interest and sales in the places where they are most likely to bring in profits. Consider what combinations of offerings and experiences your restaurant can promote this season – including onsite events, offsite catering, VIP dining packages or other high-end experiences, meal/dessert/wine subscriptions, gift cards, and items you can sell at retail. But before launching a wide range of programs, study your audience. For your most loyal guests, offer a personalized offer now that helps you gather data for upcoming promotions. Launch an offer to help convert regular guests to your loyalty program so you can better study their purchasing patterns too. What audience best suits each promotion? What channels can you use to reach them? What holiday menu items have been most popular with those guests in the past – and where are the best places to feature those items again? Where can you generate the best combination of value and experience with the resources you have available – and how should you allocate your budget accordingly? What promotions are best left to another season or year?