The New Year is a great time for new beginnings, and an even better time to reconnect with your customers. While it seems like some families are staying in more or saving money in the New Year, there are many ways to drive business at the start of 2017 and keep it thriving throughout the remainder of the year. Let’s take it season by season:
WINTER – Once you’ve finished putting the restaurant tree back into storage, start thinking about the rest of the (hopefully short) winter. Make sure your social media sites and online sites are up to date with new hours, updated seasonal menus, and upcoming events. One event in particular that almost every restaurant participates in is Valentine’s Day – a date perfect for restaurants targeting both couples and singles. Consider having a prix fixe menu, different dining time slots, and complimentary glasses of champagne for the ladies.
SPRING – There is a lot of excitement around this time of year, as the snow is beginning to melt and people are dying to be outside again. For sports bar, highlighting deals during March Madness always attracts a crowd, and April’s Tax Day is a great time to run a 10.40% off flash sale. People love a good sale and it’s only one day – so not much of a risk for business owners! Earth Day is another day when restaurants can do their part to help the environment by using recyclable materials or highlighting “greener” menu items. Mother’s Day brunches bring spring to a close right before things really start to heat up.
SUMMER – The start of summer brings graduation season into full effect, so start promoting your restaurant as the ideal venue for any graduate. Many restaurants tie this into Father’s Day with unique “Dads and Grads” campaigns, pushing catering specials and gift cards. Summer catering remains hot all season long, with July 4th as another big holiday for take-out options. Families and friends want to be outside – so cater to that!
FALL – Short as this season may seem, a lot is happening around this time of year. The kids are going back to school and Halloween and Thanksgiving happen back to back. Be prepared for the autumn season with crisp back to school deals like “Kids Eat Free” nights on slower days, and start positioning your restaurant as the place to be on Thanksgiving early on. You’d be surprised how many empty-nesters or non-travelers like to dine out on this holiday.
As long as you are catering to your customers, staying consistent with your marketing efforts, and providing great service, you’re bound to have a profitable 2017!