For many restaurants, the winter months mean a downturn in business as people choose to stay in rather than braving the chill outside. The notorious low season pre and post-Christmas can often cause a hefty dent in annual sales, meaning restaurant owners need to think outside the box if they want to attract customers during this time. Here are some tips on how to beat the dreaded decrease in footfall during the low winter season.
Make some seasonal tweaks to the menu
Where possible, try and make some seasonal tweaks to your menu. Most likely one of the easiest ways to boost your restaurant sales in winter. Why not offer heart-warming drinks and meals that people will be craving if they’ve been out in the cold. Or incorporate seasonal produce that can only be sourced at this time of year into your menu recipes.
If you want people to brave the weather and pay you a visit then offering something that they can’t get all year round (and when the weather is warmer!) acts as a great incentive. Think of Costa’s yearly hyped winter specials. This way your customers will also look forward to your special winter menus each year.
Consider special events to draw the crowd
The odd special event, such as live music or a themed night, are a great way to push your sales figures up and boost the low winter season. If you want to try and beat the lull consider putting on a special one-time event.
If something’s a one-off people are much more likely to make the effort to attend in fear of missing out on something really good. Even something simple such as a quiz night or having local artists serenade your guests with some Christmas carols are great options to help draw a crowd. Make sure you spread the word on social media.
And of course, the winter season is all about company Christmas parties. So, don’t miss out on this and start planning ahead. Offer special and non-resistible deals for bigger parties. Even better, if you’re able to leave a perfect impression, you might be able to gain a whole bunch of new customers for the new year already.
Tweak your interiors to make them cosy
You might think winter decoration is too trashy and it can easily be overdone. However, 59% of your customers are actually staying longer in your venue and therefore spending more money if you invest in some stylish decoration.
If you want people to find refuge from the cold with you then you need to make sure that your restaurant is welcoming. External lighting can act as a perfect way to attract customers’ attention and boost your winter sales.
But also small things such as switching up your colour scheme to warmer colours or adding blankets and throws to outdoor seating areas are great ways to make the whole place feel cosier.
Some candles on the tables, wreaths, garlands, or even a nicely decorated Christmas tree can also help you create a special atmosphere. Little things can make a big difference here.
Put the focus on WiFi marketing
WiFi marketing is a great way for you to increase the footfall into your restaurant at any time of year, but in particular during the quieter winter months. WiFi marketing allows you to communicate with your customers in a much more personalised way. Once they’ve signed up through your Guest WiFi you can easily stay in touch with them.
The ultimate tip, grow your database while the season is still hot. This way, you can reach out to all of those customers during the low winter season and boost your restaurant revenue.
If you’re already paying for WiFi for your customers anyway then you may as well get something out of it too. So better get started now and give your low winter sales a little boost.
Having a WiFi marketing system in place allows you to know you’re speaking directly to your customers and is a great way for you to find out what they thought to their visit as well as offering incentives to return. So why not send your regular customers a voucher for a glass of mulled wine after all their exhausting Christmas shopping.