The restaurant industry can be challenging, especially during the winter months. The third Monday in January – last Monday – is often referred to as “Blue Monday”. It is a day that is said to be the most depressing of the year. It can also be a difficult time for restaurants as people tend to be more focused on their finances and health after the holiday season. However, there are ways to grow patronage and keep your business thriving during this time of year.
Offer specials and discounts.
One way to entice customers to dine out during the winter months is to offer specials and discounts. Consider offering a post-Blue Monday special, such as a discount on entrees or a two-for-one deal. You could also offer a loyalty program for regular customers. As reported by Chris Campbell of CTV News, Windsor, Ontario’s Artisan Grill let their first 100 patrons eat for free on Blue Monday!
Create a cozy atmosphere.
People tend to crave comfort during the winter months, so make sure your restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere. Use warm lighting, comfortable seating, and even cozy blankets to create a welcoming environment. It would be wise to embrace comfort food as well. Winter is the perfect time to showcase comfort foods on your menu. Offer hearty soups, stews, and casseroles that will warm customers up on a cold day.
Promote your restaurant on social media.
Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your restaurant and reaching new customers. Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to showcase your menu, specials and events. You can also use social media to connect with customers and build a sense of community around your restaurant.
Host events and create a sense of community.
Even though it’s cold and dark outside, it’s still important to create a sense of community within your restaurant. Host events like trivia nights, karaoke or live music concerts to give customers a reason to come out and socialize. This can also be a great way to bring in new customers.
Partner with local businesses.
Building relationships with other local businesses can be a great way to promote your restaurant and attract new customers. Partner with a local gym or yoga studio to offer discounts to their members. You could also collaborate with other local businesses to host events or fundraisers.
Optimize your online presence.
Many customers will research a restaurant online before deciding to dine there. Make sure your website is up-to-date and easy to navigate. Encourage customers to leave reviews on sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Respond to any negative reviews in a professional and courteous manner.
Offer takeout and delivery services.
In addition to dining in, many customers prefer to take their meals to go or have them delivered. Make sure your restaurant is set up to accommodate takeout and delivery orders. This can be a great way to increase revenue during the winter months.
Allow your customers to order online.
Take advantage of Unity Payments’ complete online ordering software solution! Easily set up your menu, make live menu updates, manage inventory, process takeout and delivery requests, schedule pick-ups, create promo codes and more! For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-661-3761 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.