Whether you are nestled in a tourist town or a big city, spikes and lulls are normal for every business. That’s why succeeding as a restaurant or bar means being prepared for these fluctuations.
What are the keys to survival in a dynamic industry such as food service? How can you navigate the ups and downs of foot traffic and revenue? To help answer those questions, here’s a look at a few tips worth remembering:
- Expand your service methods. Certain times of year will naturally discourage customers from visiting your restaurant. Whether it’s weather, widespread illness, or another circumstance that slows down business, you can make the most of it by offering carry out or delivery. Promote your delivery services so people know they can order in for Superbowl Sunday or a weekend thunderstorm. This, at least, can encourage transactions and keep the money flowing.
- Create promotions. Sometimes running specials can be just the ticket to draw new clientele, whether it’s half-price happy hour appetizers or $2 burgers on Thursdays. It doesn’t have to be discounts, either. Other strategies to build buzz include trivia, live music, or any fun and interesting event that gives people an opportunity to socialize.
- Think lean. Another way to thrive during a slow period is to lower expenses. Ask yourself where you can cut costs for the off-season. This might mean reducing hours, automating sales and labor reports, revising your menu, and/or doing some research on food providers to lower the all-important overhead. The more you save, the larger the profit margins.
To learn more about how to make it through dry periods as a food business, take a look at the accompanying resource. It offers more tips to survive slow months, presented in a visually friendly, easy-to-follow format.
Author bio: Dana Krook is Content
Marketing Specialist at TouchBistro,
a POS solutions provider for restaurants. She focuses on sharing tips for and stories of restaurateurs turning their passion into success.