Climate change is coming to everyone’s front doors this winter, including the hot kitchens of the restaurant business. We’re pleased that you’re staying open and furthering the cause of delicious food in the world, and we want to help you keep your reservation lists high, even when the temperatures are low. Here are 3 tips to keep your restaurant business hot in winter.
1. Provide Warmth and Coziness
The warmer and cozier your restaurant is, the longer your guests will want to stay. The longer they stay, the more they will order. Offer warming aperitifs like Spanish Coffee or a Nutty Irishman to relax your freezing diners. If you have a fireplace, now is the time to crank up that heat.
2. Aim For Perfect Takeout
Make sure that your kitchen and front end are prepared for friendly and accurate takeout orders. Train your hosts to suggest appetizer and dessert deals for takeout customers and make it easy for guests to run out to your restaurant quickly and bring a lot of food home. However, your good service shouldn’t stop on the phone. Pay good attention to your takeout customers’ orders too. We see a lot of restaurants making the same mistakes with takeout food, so it’s worth mentioning that nothing kills good business like a bad review, especially a bad takeout review. It’s worth it to your restaurant to make sure that your hosts double- and triple-check all orders and that you have a clear customer organization system in place, such as organizing customers by phone numbers or first name and last name.
3. Host Lots of Special Events
Although the takeout opportunities are great for you in the winter, it’s harder to upsell on takeout than it is in the restaurant. Get your guests to come in and keep them ordering by giving them great live music, wine tasting dinners, and interesting gallery openings that change often throughout the winter. If you invite your guests to participate with their own music or artwork, you’ll be able to provide great entertainment for free.
Even though the weather outside is frightful, you have the power to make sure that your customers feel comfy, cozy and ravenous once they get to you. Since they probably won’t feel like braving the cold instantly after dinner, you can also upsell your desserts and after-dinner drinks during the cold months. Now that the holidays are over, New-Years-resolution-friendly words such as “skinny,” “low-fat” and “fit” on your dessert and drinks lists will be sure to convince your guests to fatten up their bill.
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