Here are 3 ways to bump up sales in the winter months. The first is a January promotion, the second is ways to draw people out of their homes, and the third is a way to get them in the habit of picking up dinner, and taking it home.
At our home, winter has a nick-name, called The Cold Times. You can almost see a scene from The Game of Thrones. At Boheme Cafe we had 3 things on our menu that faced The Cold Times, head on. Those three were Albuquerque Turkey Chili, Pumpkin Spice Latte (pumpkin sells easily), and the third was Aztec Hot Chocolate. They invited in the season, make guests feel warm and cozy just thinking about each of those. Very few people readily admit they like winter, but they do love the coziness of the season. You, at your restaurant, cafe or brewery, can nurture this idea! Other ideas I have seen that are wildly successful: Hot Buttered Rum, and Irish Coffee, slow cooked pork or beef.
GET THAT "TO-GO" BUSINESS, IN THE WINTER
Truth is, people love to hibernate in the winter. You just need to catch them as they drive or walk home. It takes staff training to get the word shared amongst your guests. Decide what that message will be, teach your staff, and put it on social media. It's also a great newsletter topic -- that newsletter is gold in winter. And if you ask your staff for ideas they might come up with creative ideas to spread the word. Don't hesitate to communicate the concept, "we need sales this winter" with staff! They don't want to be leaning on the bar, drinking an Aztec hot chocolate. They'd much prefer to be busy, which translates into tips, and lack of boredom.
As many of you know, Restaurantowner.com is a great resource. Here's one that they know is a huge success for their customers. Free shipping, if you order before October 31st.
The Red Envelope Promotion in December
These three ideas are very simple, and intended to get you thinking about ways to get your creative juices going, and inviting your guests in, for shelter from the cold. Harness those ideas, and get them into action. In January, you'll be glad you did!