The holiday season is a booming time for the restaurant industry, but once it’s over, it isn’t uncommon for businesses to enter a slump.
However, there are a few ways that you can avoid a dip with a bit of planning around other events in January, February and March, as well as utilizing restaurant POS software features to help.
Let take a deeper look at 5 tips restaurants can use to survive the post-holiday restaurant slump.
1. Create Post-Holiday Goals
As you prepare for the beginning of the year, try not to think of it as a looming “slump.” Instead, develop a set of goals and attack the post-holiday season with intent.
- Do you have a target revenue number that you want to reach between January and March?
- Do you want a specific item to sell better than others during this period?
Once you have goals in mind, you can create a plan of action, such as bringing in new technology or hiring more employees to achieve the objectives.
2. Hone in on Other Holidays & Events
Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean that people don’t have a reason to celebrate.
Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl are just two examples of special occasions that may have people flocking to your restaurant. Promoting these events early can ensure that all of your patrons know you’re prepared to provide goods and services.
During the Super Bowl, you may want to consider offering easy to-go meal options, such as pizza. A user-friendly online ordering feature can make consumers more likely to turn to your restaurant for their Super Bowl food needs.
For Valentine’s Day, think about making meal deals for couples. Many restaurants offer special pricing for couples dining out on Valentine’s Day (or the full week of the holiday). Some venues put limited time meal options on their menus to entice couples looking for a special Valentine’s Day restaurant. Your POS system can help you manage all of the reservation requests that come in from online patrons.
POS features like tableside ordering, guest manager integration, and inventory management, will allow your restaurant to take more accurate orders and keep tabs on your stock as well.
3. Participate in Restaurant Week
For diners, Restaurant Week is an opportunity to try new restaurants and experience different cuisines at a set price. And for restaurants, Restaurant Week is a way to help local businesses run strong after the holidays.
These events not only drive business during one week of the year – they raise awareness of your restaurant, increasing the potential for foot traffic during the rest of it. It also allows them to take advantage of the opportunities for free publicity that come with participation in Restaurant Weeks in their local areas.
Check with local officials to see if there is a Restaurant Week happening in your community. If your town or city isn’t hosting a Restaurant Week, consider proposing one and leading the way.
4. Entice New and Existing Patrons
There’s no better time for a discount than after the holidays. Consumers know there are deals to be found at retailers after the holiday season, and restaurants can get in on the action as well.
Think about promoting a “happy hour” or an “early bird” special between January and March. If you’ve thought about launching a loyalty program, this would also be an ideal time-of-year to begin as a loyalty program can keep patrons coming back for more throughout the year.
5. Reduce the Potential for Mistakes
As you look to utilize your budget in the New Year, think about how you could invest it wisely to overcome obstacles like the post-holiday restaurant slump and reduce the mistakes made by staff.
New POS software and technology that is designed with everything from time management to menu editing in mind can help to optimize daily operations. These types of resources can help you avoid mistakes that cost you money and customers during difficult times of the year.
Just because the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean your restaurant should take a hit. By taking these tips into consideration, you can make sure that your restaurant doesn’t see a dip in productivity or profits as winter rolls on.