Happy holidays! It’s November, and the season of giving is here. It’s your job to strike a balance: how will you give back to guests, and still get the most out of this busy, festive season?
Restaurant sales in November and December have been trending up since 2010 – by as much as 8.1% a year, according to USA Today writer Hadley Malcolm. Many guests are looking to grab a quick bite between holiday shopping trips, while others are seeking out a special holiday experience. No matter who comes through your door, you should be ready to offer them the holiday cheer they deserve.
On the other hand – many regular guests spend this time at home with their families, or traveling to see loved ones far away. You might be short-staffed when servers take time off to celebrate. Is it really profitable to stay open over the holidays?
CAKE’s data team put their heads together to bring you the latest research on holiday sales. The answer: Stay open, but not on every holiday.
- Columbus Day & Thanksgiving see a decrease in restaurant revenue. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, with long-distance travel increasing by an average of 54% during the 6-day holiday. Many people travel on Thanksgiving day itself, so perhaps they don’t have time to eat out when they reach their destinations.
- Restaurants that stayed open on Christmas Day enjoyed a 47.13% increase in revenue in 2015. This might be because this practice is so rare. As a result, many newspapers publish annual lists of which restaurants will be serving dinner on Christmas well in advance. If you plan to be open on December 25th, let your guests know so they can plan ahead!
- New Year’s Day is not only a busy time for restaurants; it’s getting busier. Establishments that stayed open on January 1st, 2015 reported a 39.94% increase in revenue, and those that were open on New Year’s Day in 2016 saw a 49.10% increase. Who knows, 2017 might be the best year yet!
Knowledge is power. This information gives you the power to staff and build holiday hours that work for you! Restaurants are accommodating holiday diners more often. But if traffic is likely to be light, you can opt to close and give your whole staff a gift they’ll definitely appreciate: a day off.