Let’s Dub These Food Holidays, Shall We?!
Now that the holidays are over and we’re back into the swing of ‘normal’, there’s a lot coming up to still celebrate and give your patrons a reason to come in. Whether it’s the big game menu, valentines select pairings or mardi gras cook-offs there’s a lot of opportunities to heat up your kitchen!
Typically we get stuck in a rut with the dreary, cold winter, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Imagine a full dining room, not just on the weekends, but in the middle of the week. People are looking for an excuse to get out and get moving, so let’s take advantage and give them a reason to come in and see us. We have three prime mid-week holidays coming up, here’s how to make the most of them:
-This holiday season, don’t leave cards on the table –
Now that’s it’s officially the holiday season, we’re all burning the candle on both ends. Focusing efforts on gift shopping, working on new menus, incentives for gift cards, not to mention all of the holiday get togethers and catering events. Well, what are you doing to ensure that you’re gift card sales and catering events will top last years numbers?
Many businesses choose to incentivize customers by offering ‘gift card amounts back’, after purchasing a certain dollar amount, but is your offer enough? We’ve done a little research for you to see if your offers match up with competitors. We’ve seen that $5 back with a $50 gift card purchase is just not going to cut it. More and more LOCAL small businesses are stepping it up this year, offering $5 back after just a $25 gift card purchase. So where do you stand?
One other thing we found is offering in store incentives, outside of being able to purchase gift cards at the grocery store, what are you offering your patrons that come through your door? 10% off an entree with gift card purchase? A certain drink special? Maybe even a free appetizer?
It’s never too early to prepare…
You may not be ready for the holidays just yet and that’s okay, but it’s never too early to start thinking about creative ways to entice your clients to take a break from their to-do lists and stop in.
Before you know if Christmas music will be playing on the radio and the air will continue to get cooler, so take advantage of the time you do have left and start brainstorming with your staff about what incentives or nightly specials you can create for the holiday season.
Maybe it’s a new look to the holiday brunch menu, or tying in a charity partner with portion of proceeds going to the staffs favorite non-profit when they order something specific off the menu, or even a special display that adds more of a family feel to the dinning room.
Looking for some creative ideas to ‘wow’ your guests? Get creative!
If this weather doesn’t have you feeling inspired to create a fall flavor packed menu, which we don’t blame you with these unseasonable temperatures, then get ready to feel the crisp air!
Inspiration tips for to get your menu feeling fall:
- Farmers markets! Even if you’re not purchasing making connections with local farmers and seeing what they have to offer will leave you feeling chilled.
- Look in your own backyard, if you’ve got a garden why not bring those flavors to your own kitchen table and your customers.
- Apple orchards, the perfect season is right around the corner. Apples are seriously underestimated in how diverse (healthy bonus too) they can be utilized.
Changing Seasons = Changing Menu
As summer is winding down and the seasons begin to change and so does your staff, getting back into the swing of things can be a challenge. Whether you are in the restaurant, school or hospitality industry September can always be a fluctuating month. Luckily for the industry there’s a lot of room and necessity to get creative.
We all know marketing can help, but sometimes our budgets don’t allow everything we would like to accomplish as the season is slowing down. We’ve said it before but technology can become your best friend. With the low cost and endless opportunities embracing technology to allow your creative juices to flow can increase your foot traffic.
If you’re not necessarily worried about foot traffic and just looking to change things up embrace what your garden has to offer and use all of your fresh veggies before it’s too late and autumn flavors take over. Not sure where to start?
Here are some dishes to get those creative juices flowing:
Proactive Vs. Reactive
Out of sight out of mind, right? It’s easy to forget about things when you’re not surrounded by them constantly. Do you have a suggestion box at your office for your customers? Maybe it’s not even about the service, or treatment they received, but rather if they would review you online – what would they say? Do you have a comment or suggestion box for your staff? If word of mouth is your strongest asset, what is your staff saying about you?
These are things we all forget to think about from time to time, because it’s easy to forget the things that we rely on everyday since there’s nothing that’s wrong at THAT moment. Well, just like your customers there’s a lot of things that keep your business running smoothly. In the employee suggestion box do you think there would be comments about your equipment and that it’s effecting staff turn around times? Studies show that people are more likely to anonymously tell the truth then a face to face conversation, this will also help employees to feel more involved in the company.
Looking to save some time? Servicing your equipment now will help. We can help with our Kitchen Upgrade Summer Series promotion.
We’re here to help you grow!
Beating The Heat
Grilling, chilling and everything under the sun… literally.
When a piece of equipment is down, it’s never expected and it’s certainly never at the ‘right’ time. Everything’s working over time this time of year, your staff, you and your equipment. The industry is up right now with the economy, but have you changed any of your practices since it’s been going up?
Summer is sizzling and your dinner crowd is going to become longer and longer, it’s going to seem like dinner starts at 11am. If you’re out of school or have a slow time then are you defrosting everything AMD taking advantage of the down time? We all forget about system maintenance and cleaning when we’re busy but when you’re feeling tired from the extra hours you’re putting in don’t forget about your equipment overtime too.
Still too busy? We can help with our Kitchen Upgrade Summer Series promotion. We’re here to help you grow!
A Tip from the Expert:
It can be hard to stay on task and avoid the must do list this time of year, but what’s the reward at the end of the road? Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I find it hard to stay focused on work as much as I do in the winter months. Between family trips, the kids being out of school and all the other outdoor activity possibilities thinking into the next quarter can be a challenge.
Something that I’ve started to do is setting a stronger timeline or deadline for myself and my staff. Allowing them to have a little more control of their own schedule helps moral and efficiency I’ve found. As long as tasks are still getting done seamlessly I have no issue incentivizing staff. I’ve also found that I’m learning more about the hard workers and everyone is reaching their max workload, but with their own agenda.
Upgrading Your Kitchen on an Unpredictable Schedule
Summer is around the corner and whether that means schools out and the kids are home, or an evening restaurant rush seven days a week there’s still enough time to be on top of your game and upgrade your kitchen.
If you’re in the grocery store arena you may be seeing some declines this summer with lots of people traveling and eating out more often since the weather is hard to compete with. Or if you’re on the cusp of your busy season you might be thinking, ‘can my dishwasher really handle seven nights a week, ten hours a day?’ With this year’s predictions of record setting temperatures people will start to feel like their kitchen is the last place they want to be and rely on you for their meals; which means a great summer for you!
An upgraded kitchen is on everyone’s wish list, but the reality is, it doesn’t have to happen all at once.
We can help with our Kitchen Upgrade Summer Series promotion. We’re here to help you grow!