Restaurant Improvements to Make During Your Slow Season
A lull in the usual hustle and bustle at your restaurant is the perfect time to consider making improvements.
Using the slow season to focus on areas that you’ve been neglecting gives you the chance to plan strategies for growth and create a more attractive environment for your customers.
Clean and Organize
If things have been crazy around your restaurant in the recent past, chances are that the kitchen and the dining area could use a deep cleaning. Check food storage areas, as well, and discard any inventory that’s past its expiration date, noting which items are languishing on the shelves.
This is also a good time to examine your business processes to see if any “administrative cleanup” needs to be done. Take stock of employee satisfaction, and make sure that everyone is happy with their schedule and workload.
Make Over the Menu
After checking your inventory, it should be clear which menu items are the most popular and which are costing you money. Offering a deal that pairs a pricier item with a less expensive accompaniment can help to maximize profits.
Consider dropping other items to get rid of dishes that are rarely ordered, and create a menu layout that showcases customer favorites.
Adopt a Seasonal Mindset
Take advantage of the increased popularity of seasonal eating by adding limited-time dishes to your menu.
Find out what you can obtain locally from farmers as fresh produce becomes available, and highlight the names of the farms on your menu and daily specials board.
This helps farmers get recognition and draws attention from diners looking for the best in seasonal food. Limited-time deals establishes a sense of urgency that makes people want to come in and try special foods before they’re gone.
Create an Event Calendar
These days, customers are looking for more than good food. They want a meal to be a complete experience. Use your downtime to develop a few special ways to give them what they’re looking for. Consider offering:
- A night out just for the ladies
- Senior discount days
- Free drink or dessert specials
- Live music or comedy
Pick events that are appropriate for the atmosphere of your restaurant, and make these new “experiences” part of your advertising strategy.
The offseason is a great time to make your BIG dreams come true. Maybe you’ve been thinking about adding a bar to your restaurant, building out a patio with additional seating or taking on some other big renovation project. Now is the time to get started!
If you’re worried about cash flow, consider taking out a short-term working capital loan. Interest is tax deductible and you can get up to $725K without putting any collateral down!
Making these off-season restaurant improvements boosts interest in your establishment and should lead to an increase in sales. Encourage customers to share their opinions of your changes on social media and through reviews to bring in an even bigger crowd.
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