In the foodservice industry, winter is unfortunately known as the slow season. Many detrimental factors are at play during this time of year. When external conditions are wet, uncomfortable, or dark, you won’t find as many people out and about dining. Potential customers would rather stay indoors, save money with home-cooked food, or gather with family and friends elsewhere. Let’s face it: we’re all a bit lazier in winter.
So, how can you continue to draw people in when this major slowdown hits your business? Fortunately, there are many strategies to help keep revenue flowing and operations flourishing. Let’s take a closer look at how to attract new customers to your restaurant this winter.
Offer a Loyalty Program or Promotion
A major way to attract customers to your restaurant, café, or quick-service spot is with savings. The idea of saving money via promotions, discounts, loyalty programs, and other incentives is a fantastic way to get people interested in your business.
The main goal is to not only draw new customers in but encourage repeat visits. Regular customer retention is key for the longevity of your business throughout all seasons. If you hope to increase traffic, boost your social media presence and digital marketing efforts. That way, you can consistently inform customers of ongoing promos, events, and offerings.
Revamp Your Menu With Seasonal Items
You can attract people to your business in the winter by updating your menu. Food cravings change with the seasons—people won’t want icy drinks or cool salads in the winter. List hearty, wholesome, warm, and spicy foods on your menu. They’re the hot commodities in winter. Think of winter-ready dishes, such as soups, bakes, festive fare, and comfort foods. Don’t forget about hot chocolates, coffees, or warm cocktails.
Additionally, consider upgrading your kitchen to accommodate your menu better. You have a slew of options at your convenience, including a gas or electric deep fryer for making crunchy treats or an espresso machine for pouring sizzling hot drinks.
Make Your Dining Space More Inviting
The atmosphere of your dining space is very important if you want customers to come and then keep coming. Just as you winterize your home, you should also winterize your business. Creating an inviting space is a great way to attract new customers to your restaurant this winter. The design and decor of a restaurant or food establishment influences customer satisfaction.
In the winter, focus on creating a warm and cozy atmosphere that accommodates customer needs. If there is snow, be sure your parking lot and outdoor walkways are clear for traffic flow and carryout pickup. Keep customer seating away from the door. At the end of the day, the best you can offer customers is delectable food and a homey, safe place to relax.