How to Keep Those Patio Customers Coming Back this Winter

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When a storm first hits, it can catch people off guard, and they may flock to nearby eateries for a warm meal before heading home. But, once they’re home, it is difficult to get them out again. After an initial surge, patronage may slow down to a crawl, and it can last for days and weeks. Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of those rushes.

There are ways to make the most of the weather and keep your profit-margin green. Sometimes, you just have to be creative.

Drawing the Patrons In

Your regulars may come by in the spring, summer, and fall on a regular basis. But, once the snow flies, people are more likely to hunker inside of their home. But, then again, they wouldn’t want to miss out on a fun event, or a special deal!

Consider utilizing a few large flat-screens and offer special appetizers at a low-price during football, or basketball games. In family restaurants, bring in Santa or the Grinch one evening a week in December. Open up the patio with heaters for a New Year’s Eve Party. When catering to the 62+ crowd, offer two eat for the price of one. There are a lot of special events and deals to promote. Think outside the box.

Curbside Service and Delivery

If you don’t routinely offer these services, they should be a consideration in winter. When driving home from work, customers are more likely to stop for takeout if they don’t have to find a place to park and get out of their cars. Offer the opportunity to text when they pull into your designated pick-up space and send someone out with their order.

Offering delivery is an obvious draw. Those hulled up in bed with a cold or the flu may order soup and warm comfort food. Families that are in for the weekend are more likely to order in than to get everyone dressed and in the car to go out for a meal. With either service, make a social media presence, easily accessible through a smartphone. In today’s world, people are on their phones all of the time. Have an online payment option, so that is taken care of before pick up or delivery.

Be Prepared

You have more than likely budgeted for the slower winter season. However, wouldn’t it be a pleasant surprise to have an increase in sales in the winter instead? When you offer new specials or services to your customers, make sure you can accommodate the demand. Even if it is slow, do not close early. Your customers want to be able to depend on you. Have a generator for backup if a power outage might occur. The neighborhood will thank you, especially if people are looking for somewhere warm to go in a power outage.

Need some new creative ideas for your business strategy? Contact Gilkey Restaurant Consulting to help boost sales year-round. With our years of experience, we are one of the best restaurant consulting groups offering services throughout the US. Large or small, we can help your business, contact us today!