Discover 3 techniques to resist the low season: build loyalty, reduce your costs and increase your turnover through targeted promotions.
Whether it's winter by the sea, summer in the mountains, or simply persistent bad weather, most restaurateurs experience periods of low activity. At these times, you are fighting for fewer customers, so the competition is even stronger.
Here are the 3 ways to help you stand out and stay afloat while waiting for better days.
Start by contacting neighboring businesses to offer them to host their events in your restaurant (parties, company meetings, etc.). There are many organizations that will want to use your restaurant in partnership. Hosting these events is a great way to increase traffic, and also to attract new customers to your restaurant.
Create a loyalty program for people living or working directly near your restaurant. It's a great way to build relationships and bring in new customers.
Take advantage of privatization platforms, such as ReserveunBar or Privateaser . These platforms will allow you to connect with people who would not usually come to your restaurant. They are useful in bringing new people to your establishment.
In low season, you have to limit your expenses and reduce your staff if necessary.
The important thing is to clearly establish the rules in advance: your business is subject to seasonality, and when the time comes, you will be forced to part with some employees. Give them inspiration and motivation for their work, while explaining to them that performance and commitment will be two determining factors in the choice of teams.
At the end of the year, many suppliers aim to increase their sales and reduce their inventory as much as possible. They, therefore, offer attractive discounts on their products. Take advantage of these reduced prices in December to reduce your January expenses and thus increase your margin on your products.
Take the opportunity to update your menu. Analyze the margins and sale volumes of each item on your menu. For the less efficient, two options, either you simply remove them or you increase the price.
Offer a discount in your restaurant that will allow you to increase your sales. Play on the sense of urgency by limiting these offers over time, in order to encourage people to consume. For example "This week, get X% reduction on the purchase of a second menu...", "X% reduction on lunch if you order before noon". Do not forget to analyze the return on investment of your offers to see how well they are doing.
Adapt your "Happy Hour" offers according to the period in an original and relevant way. When it's really cold, what better than a promotion on mulled wine for example. The goal is to trigger the envy and impulse of people who pass by your restaurant during the day, or on their way home from work at night.
In this area, creativity is your best asset. Of course, this takes work, but the results should quickly convince you of the value of this approach.