The holidays can be a complete blur between juggling holiday parties, catering events, not to mention your own family celebrations. So what happens between New Year's and Valentine's Day? Don't succumb to a lull in foot traffic—embrace it. This is the perfect time to implement all of those ideas you've been putting on the back burner. Here are some of our own ideas that could work in your operation!
Consider hosting cooking classes on slow business periods during January and February. This will fill your parking lot, your restaurant and is a great business builder to get people learning about your great food, great ingredients and talented staff. Do this in conjunction with a wine or beer tasting so that your customers can try some wines or beer they may not usually try. Consider offering a theme of healthy dishes for those looking for ways to cut back on calories after the holidays. These can be great marketing pieces as well as revenue drivers.
Don't Wait For Them To Come To You
Break out your savvy marketing skills to get the word out. Start texting and emailing your customers to remind them of special events, bands, tastings or customer appreciation parties. If you have a customer database consider texting or e-mailing them on their birthday or anniversary. And don't forget Facebook and Twitter. If you have been putting off starting up a Facebook page or Twitter account - now is the time!
To go business can spike post New Year's due to people still wanting the convenience of food to go without overspending on appetizers, cocktails, desserts and gratuity. Put an emphasis on meals to go or package deals to go. Try one appetizer, two salads, two entrees and a dessert for a set price.
Post Holiday Gatherings
Run a catering special or event special on post holiday gathering packages. Either catered in your restaurant or done off-site in an office setting. Most people want to do a holiday event for their employees but fear the cost. Cutting post holiday deals drives revenue for you and allows small businesses to offer an added unexpected perk.
Most restaurants don’t have much time for research and development. Use this time to your advantage to work on new service applications, menu features, cocktail recipes or whatever it is you have dreamed of trying but never got the chance to.