Labor Day is one of the increasingly rare national holidays where most people get a 3-day weekend. Since 1894, busy Americans have taken this weekend to celebrate the amazing productivity of American workers. But you’re a restaurant operator – which means when most people have the day off, you’re making sure they can all eat to their hearts’ content.
Don’t worry, you won’t be flying solo this Labor Day – CAKE is here to help! This week’s post will give you some tips and insights on how to make the holiday memorable, profitable, and fun for everyone.
Diners and Drives
35 million people will hit the road this Labor Day, trying to fit in one last summer vacation before fall arrives. 85% of those vacationers are driving to their destinations. Although expected air travel for Labor Day is up from past years, only 7% will take to the skies.
With so many drivers on the road, it’s more important than ever for guests to have great options to stop in and fill up their tanks. Offering quick bites, salad bars, to-go meals and other fast casual dining options will let you move through orders faster without putting a hitch in your kitchen.
Increased traffic means you’ll want to get everyone seated, fed, and out the door as quickly as possible. Are you still taking reservations with pen and paper? Upgrading to a reservation management system increases table turns by as much as 7%, so you can greet and seat more customers while getting vacationing patrons back on the road in a jiffy.
Life’s a Beach
Are you located in a popular beach destination? AAA says that up to 86% of vacationers are headed to a beach like Myrtle Beach, Coney Island, or South Florida. This means you can offer special promotions to Labor Day revellers and benefit from increased foot traffic in your area.
Partnering with local hotels and resorts allows you to extend your marketing efforts to tourists, and give out-of-town diners a reason to choose your restaurant. With these strategies, you can easily build the seasonal traffic you need to end the summer with a bang and a buck.
Picnics have also started to come back in fashion, and are another great way to put an upscale twist on a to-go order made to eat outside. Carryout traffic has been steadily increasing for years, with as much as 88% of 18-34 year olds surveyed saying they use carryout for dinner, and a whopping 78% of diners 35 and older agree.
BBQ & A
BBQ and grilling foods is of course at its highest point between Memorial and Labor Day. It’s estimated that Americans consume 818 hot dogs per second between these holidays, which is frankly speaking, a lot of hot dogs.
195 million Americans will barbecue at some point next weekend, which means many backyard bbqs in many yards. But with people wanting to actually take the day off on their day off, Labor Day catering is quickly becoming a popular option for people’s increasingly busy lives.
Catering packages are a great way for your business to feed more people during Labor Day weekend while freeing up your dining room to accommodate dine-in guests. BBQ also has the distinct advantage of being prepared ahead of time. This gives you the room to plan ahead prior to the holiday, so your labor costs stay low even when your cook times are slow.
Labor Day should be a time for everyone to relax – even you. However, with so many hungry diners taking the day off work, this holiday has the potential to boost your bottom line significantly. Activate these strategies to reach Labor Day diners without overextending your staff.