With the official start of spring taking place in just a little over a week, it’s an exciting time to be a restaurant owner. All winter long, you’ve had no choice but to keep your patio area shut down. Your long wait to finally re-open the outdoor dining area will be coming to end sooner than you think. But, in addition to being able to open up your patio, there are many other ways to boost patronage at your restaurant this spring.
Rewarding your most supportive of customers is always a wise way to encourage repeat business. By starting a loyalty program, you’re both saying “thank you” to those who frequent your establishment and implementing a smart marketing strategy to ensure future sales. As Jenny Brooks of Restaurant Systems Pro notes, focusing on your existing customers is a great first place to start increasing sales.
“According to LevelUp, members of a restaurant loyalty program spend 19% more on average when redeeming their reward, and their frequency of visiting your restaurant increases 75% between their first and tenth reward redemption,” she reveals, “A natural side effect of a loyalty program is increased visitors, as those looking for somewhere to eat might bring along coworkers, friends, or family to your restaurant.”
As you’re surely aware, people don’t just like to go to restaurants to eat. They like having good times with their families and friends. When spring rolls around, those good times often take on the form of partying. Why not promote your restaurant as an event venue complete with live music and games?
“Why not host a bar crawl with other bars and restaurants in your area?” asks Buzztime.com, “Ideal for times of the year when business is sparse, cross promotion events like bar crawls can bring out big crowds – and there’s plenty of business to go around.”
Updating your menu with the change of every season is a great idea. Seasonal items provide that “get it while you can” appeal while also helping to invigorate customers with the spirit of the new season. As examples, pumpkin pies are all the rage in the fall while wine coolers are popular summer choices. What items can you add to your menu to welcome spring? Brooks also suggests removing certain menu items that may be keeping your sales lower than they could be.
“Maybe the menu item you think is the most profitable is actually too expensive in your customers’ eyes, or maybe it’s time to discontinue the dish that no one seems to be ordering,” she writes, “Think your pricing model may need an update? The only way to be sure is to start menu engineering and strategically picking price points and menu offerings that will increase restaurant sales.”
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