Everyone needs to eat. Everyone also likes a break from cooking all the time. Restaurants provide the perfect opportunity to eat without having to put in the work of planning, preparing, and cleaning up after a meal. Not all seasons are kind to all restaurants though. Winter can be an especially rough time for restaurants, many of whom see their sales numbers fall. So what can you do to boost your restaurant’s success?
Introduce Seasonal Items
Do you have any seasonal items on your menu? If not, there’s no time like the present to start. Warm, hearty dishes with a seasonal flair can pique consumer interest and entice customers to return to try something new. You can add specialty drinks as well. There’s no need for a complete menu overhaul, but adding one or two seasonal dishes plus one or two seasonal drinks can add some welcome variety without putting too much pressure on your employees.
Make Delivery an Option
If your restaurant offered outdoor seating during the warmer months, you’re practically guaranteed to see sales numbers drop if for no other reason than that no one is going to want to occupy those seats. Consider offering delivery to make up for that loss. The added convenience of having food delivered can encourage customers to order from you even when it’s freezing outside. Keep in mind that vehicle maintenance can be more demanding in colder months. That’s something you should account for if you’re using company vehicles.
Offer Seasonal Deals and Discounts
Everyone loves a deal, and with all of the gift-giving that happens during the winter months, there’s no better time to offer seasonal deals and discounts. There are tons of different approaches to choose from, depending on what makes sense for your restaurant. Offer a special seasonal happy hour. Use a punch card program with a reward for your loyal customers. Offer discounts on delivery to encourage customers to utilize this option. You could even run a gift card promotion and market it as an easy way to get a great gift or stocking stuffer.
Running a restaurant is hard work. Keeping a restaurant running successfully during winter months can be even more difficult. Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to keep people coming in your doors. Pay special attention to your marketing campaigns. Be thoughtful in designing them so you can leverage them to generate as much business for your restaurant as possible.
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