It's a new year and after you've set your restaurant goals for the year, it's time to start planning on how to maximize profits through different strategies. One way is to plan for the busiest dining out days of the year.
According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the top days for dining out are Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Father's Day, New Year's Eve, and Easter. Each provide opportunities for increasing patronage and revenue through similar and varied strategies.
DON'T JUST FOCUS ON BRUNCH
For most people the thought of dining out for Mother's Day or for Easter first settles on the idea of brunch. Turns out that brunch is the least preferred meal. The NRA surveys found that in reality, dinner comes in first at 55%, then lunch, and then brunch. This means that one should not be fixated on brunch as the only opportunity to attract these celebrations. Regardless, considering offering extended hours for each meal service, starting earlier and ending later.
BUFFETS HAVE FASTER TURN TIMES
You can increase your traffic and reservations by offering a special buffet. For those that do go out for brunch, 55% of them prefer buffets. Buffets often have faster turn times than coursed out meals as people tend to eat faster. They also offer the opportunity for everyone to select the items they are in the mood for while still getting to taste other items. Don't limit buffets to brunches, but consider them for lunch and dinner as well.
OFFER SPECIALS OR DISCOUNTS
An easy way to lure customers for a holiday is to offer a discount to the guest of honor. Such things as "mom eats free" or "free appetizer for dad" can save the kids some money as they take the parents out for a meal. Free champagne is a celebratory offering that is appropriate for any special occasion. Valentine's Day is perfect for a free rose or a shared dessert.
FOCUS ON THE REGULARS
Surveys show that when it comes to choosing a place to dine for these special occasions, 42% will choose a favorite restaurant. Same holds out for Easter, Valentine's and New Year's Eve. This makes keeping an email list important for sending out promotions and offers. Read more about Maximizing Your Email List.
DON'T FORGET TAKE-OUT
While not a huge number, survey applicants mentioned that they often opted for take-out. Perhaps the honoree is unable to go out or people want to stay home but not cook. Take-out is an additional revenue stream that doesn't cost the restaurant any money. Don't forget to offer take-out as an option and you might be surprised at the number of takers.
Next time: Increasing business on the slowest days of the year.