You get a swarm of people before the holidays. They come in, they celebrate the jolly festivities, they eat and drink and swipe their credit cards.
Then the dreadful January rolls in. Customers retreat to their caves and roll a big stone to block the entrance. They are gone and there are none of them in sight.
None. Zero. Zilch. Nil. Nada.
So the usual deal for a restaurant owner has been this: Make enough money when the celebration is going on and the business is brisk, and have enough of it stashed away in the bank account to keep the lights on when things are slow.
This has been the approach for years.
Alas, it just may not work this time. With the economy the way it is, everyone is bracing for a “soft” holiday season. You don’t have to be clairvoyant to know that this January is about to be one of the worst — or possibly THE worst — that one has ever seen.
That is, the one who is unprepared.
It certainly doesn’t have to be that way for you and your restaurant.
So what could you do now to make sure that most of the customers that visit your restaurant this month come back in the New Year? And what could start bringing them back more often than in the past?
Well, you could make your food a bit better (and you should). Is that going to do the trick? Unlikely.
You could improve your service (and you should). Just don’t expect to see a dramatic and an instantaneous increase in your food sales.
So what can it be?
There are a number of things you can do. Let’s cover just one today very briefly.
This tactic is called “The Secret Envelope” or “The Santa Envelope” and has been used extremely successfully by many a restaurant.
Here’s how it works.
You give your guests a sealed enveloped with a prize inside. They can’t open the envelope themselves (and if they do, they forfeit the prize). They have to bring it back to your restaurant in January and have your staff open it.
The prizes that you create for this contest can as small as a free coffee / desert / appetizer to something quite large like a $500 or even a $1,000 gift certificate. (Obviously, there is going to be only one super-big prize and a whole bunch of smaller ones.)
If you do it right, you will have a stampede of customers in January. We’ve seen this happen time and again.
We will be walking you through the details of this approach at a free restaurant marketing seminar in Toronto one week from now. (If the above link doesn’t open, just go to http://www.RestaurantAcademy.com and find the event there.)
We’ll be covering this and two other powerful tactics to help you make more money in your restaurant business now and next year.
READY TO TAKE YOUR RESTAURANT BUSINESS SERIOUSLY?
Say "enough's enough" to half-empty dining rooms, humdrum shifts, and wondering which half of your marketing budget was wasted.
73% of teenagers and adults are walking around with a smartphone (iPhone, Android, or Blackberry) in their back pocket. They use is for everything: Playing games, checking emails, texting their friends and ... googling your restaurant's website. If your website is not mobile ready, you're missing out on a lot of walk-ins. Download our Restaurant Commando's Mobile Readiness Checklist.
Watch this quick video about how to set up a Birthday Club that practically runs on an auto-pilot. This is going to be the easiest, fastest money you will ever create in you restaurant business.
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