It has been a long hard winter, don’t look now but spring is here…we think? In that light here a few best practices for restaurants to get ready for the surge in spring time business.

Prepare the Patio

If you have a patio or any outdoor seating it's time to get it ready! Powerwash tables, chairs, and the patio itself. Get your staff and equipment prepared so that any day it is over 60 degrees and sunny you are prepared to allow your guests to sit outside. Lunch is a key time to be ready for outdoor dining because folks that have been cooped up in an office all day want to feel the sunshine on them.

Check the HVAC and Refrigerated Storage

Now is the time to do a walk through and inspection of your air conditioning and refrigerated storage in the restaurant. Check for debris that has gathered near the air intake fan, change any and all filters on your HVAC units. Check the gaskets on all of your refrigerators and freezers. The rule of thumb is if you can pull a dollar bill through the gasket seal when the door is closed, you are losing money. It is always advisable to have a professionally certified HVAC technician give all your equipment a once-over. A little maintenance now can prevent a catastrophe from occurring when that first truly warm day hits.

Refresh Your Menu

Seasonal menu changes are always a good practice to provide new options for your guests. Take a look at the Market Trends, review your menu,  and get rid of “dog” items that don’t sell and replace them with fresh new seasonal offerings such as salads, grilled seafood, or light wraps. Do a menu analysis with your Performance Foodservice sales representative to make sure your menu prices are set at an optimal level for profit. Most likely some prices will need to go up, but have the courage to do so to protect your profitability.

Take a Walk

...around your restaurant and look at things from your guests' point of view. Is there any cleaning or dusting that needs to be done? Any light bulbs that need replacing? Any signage on the restaurant that needs fixing or updating to reflect new hours or offerings? Any seats or tables that need a little maintenance or freshening? These are all things to check on before the “seasonal surge” hits.

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