How Restaurants Can Attract Customers During Slow Months

The New Year is upon us and so are the endless new year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, for most restaurants and bars this means millions are promising to save their coins and be healthier by eating out less. On top of that, the winter time blues are real and the preference to stay home to avoid the cold and the snow will only grow stronger as the winter progresses. But, there is still hope! No one can resist a great deal or a night of fun, so below is a list different ways restaurants can attract customers during the slow months.


Birthday Benefits

Everyone loves to celebrate their birthday and what better way to do that than with a free birthday treat! The options are endless and completely up to your business on what you think would be the best gift. Some examples are a free drink, a free appetizer, or even a free entrée. This can this bring in a customer, but also most individuals celebrate with friends leading to larger groups and orders. One way to collect birthday information is through your website, which will increase traffic and give you the opportunity to  inform customers of other events and promotions being held.

Loyalty Programs

Bringing in new customers is important, but so is retention! It can be a lot easier to encourage previous visitors to come again than constantly searching for completely new ones. One of the best way to increase customer retention is a loyalty program. There are a variety of different loyalty programs but some of our favorite are punch cards, points rewards, and referral programs. These are great starter programs that are not complex but they also allow for increased visits and new customers.

Punch Cards

Punch Cards are a great way to encourage repeat visits and can be used for food items or drinks.

Points System

Point systems are a great way to reward customers for spending. With each visit customers can earn points based off the amount of money spent. Different points levels can unlock different benefits. A great option for bars during the winter time is to offer skip the line privileges to high point earners. During the winter this can be a deal breaker to customers that don’t want to wait in the cold.

Referral Program

Some of the best individuals to bring in new customers are your current ones. Friends are more likely to take recommendations from those they know and offering referral benefits will surly put your establishment at the top of someones referral list. Discounts for both parties will definitely entice visitors.


While all of these tips are essential, a newsletter is definitely at the top of the list. Hosting new events and different promotions are great ways to drive new customers, but these efforts can be wasted if there is little to no awareness. One way to achieve better awareness is through email newsletters. They provide the prefect way to inform customers of exciting new deals and events.

Happy Hour Mix Up

Happy hour deals are a classic example of a restaurants efforts to increase sales during the slowest periods of the day. However, at most places happy hour menus never change and can get old rather quickly. So changing up your happy hour menu can get customers excited all over again.


Live Entertainment

What better way to liven up a party than with live entertainment. This can happen with local bands performing on slower nights or even on the weekend. Another option is with open-mic nights. Different performers bring friends and family for support and tons of business for your restaurant or bar.

Themed Nights

Themed nights can take many forms. For instance they can focus on your food and drink menu such as Taco Tuesday. On the other hand, themed nights can be aimed at attracting a particular customer. For Instance ladies night, singles night, or a decade night. These fun events can get customers excited to visit your establishment while also having a great time.

Game Day

Game day is huge money maker and with  different sports running year long, this is the perfect way to bring in business during the slow months. Between College Basketball and the NFL playoffs, there are tons of sports fans looking for the best places to watch the game. Game day specials and different sports related events are the perfect way to attract new and old customers a like. Some creative ways to stand out is with speciality game day food and drink menus.


Local Business

Partnering with local businesses is a great way to build connections within your community. By offering businesses special coupons for their customers allows you to increase your brand awareness within the community and also gain new customers.


Wanting to establish your restaurant or bar in your community can be important in gaining loyal customers. A great way to gain the support of the community is through giving back. From supporting the local baseball team to the local animal shelter, there are several different ways for you to give back. This can be accomplished through re-naming drinks or menu items to fit the occasion and donating a certain percent of the earnings.

Social Media

While all of these ideas are great ways to bring in more business during the slow months, it is important that effort is also put into promoting the various methods. The best way to do this is through social media. Creating Facebook events and sharing fun pictures of different events is a great way to let potential customers know what is going on at your restaurant.


Visibility is very important and another way to reach a larger audience is to work with local influencers. These individuals have strong follower bases on social media and a able to communicate with their supporters easily through social media. By providing influencers with a special coupon for their supporters or them documenting their experience ,is a great way to bring in new customers and spread the word about different events.

Alayna Rouse