Many factors have an impact upon the success of your restaurant. Out of all of them, seasonal variations are one of the most obvious. Understanding how different times of the year can affect your establishment can help you come up with strategies to make the most of the peaks and minimize the valleys.
The Effects of Weather
In general, people are much more likely to go out to eat when the weather is mild. In contrast, winter brings out the human tendency to hibernate at home, compounded by driving conditions that are often difficult. Providing a food delivery service can, however, provide a lucrative source of business during times of inclement weather.
If your restaurant is located in an area where tourism is popular, you probably have already discovered the benefits that vacationers bring. When traveling, most of us don’t have the best cooking accommodations available, nor do we want to take time during our holiday to prepare food. This translates into a golden opportunity for restaurant owners in the area. Make the effort to market your business to tourists while they are around because when they leave and the season is over, your profits may drop significantly.
Major events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas give many people an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Often, parties and meals take place in people’s homes, thus markedly reducing business for many upscale eating establishments. At the same time, some of the convenience-oriented or fast food eateries see an uptick in business from people who are grabbing a quick meal on the go.
While these patterns may seem totally beyond your control, you can minimize the sting of lower numbers by providing your loyal customers with incentives to come during slow times. Many who might otherwise stay at home might be attracted by a 25 percent discount or a buy-one-meal-get-one-free promotion. If your point of sale equipment contains a feature that enables you to accumulate contact information on your loyal customers, it will be even easier to spread the news about your promotion.
As a restaurant owner, your ultimate goal is to have a steady stream of customers year round. Keep them coming in with high-quality, live entertainment or a DJ. When a slow time is on the horizon, offset it by giving your dedicated patrons good reasons to have a meal at your eatery and to bring friends. Although discounts and customer loyalty incentives can bring an immediate cost, they represent an excellent investment in your long-term future. And after all, aren’t happy customers and financial stability two of the most important attributes of a well-run restaurant?