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Something happens during the spring season that gets restaurant customers in the mood to spend. Experienced restaurateurs know the warm weather sparks the busiest time of year. There’s plenty of opportunity for success during the season: two of the industry’s five most profitable events are in spring. There’s also the matter of spring break – this year, 97% of vacationers plan to visit a restaurant during the week.
Spring may be a profitable time of year for restaurateurs, but it’s also one of the most competitive. If you’re not able to beat your local rivals, your profits might stay frozen all year. Below, we’ll walk you through some of the best strategies for capturing customers’ spring fever in impactful, cost-effective ways. Let’s get your restaurant ready for Spring 2023!
Doesn’t the season’s fresh air make you want to do some cleaning? Maintaining a hygienic, sanitary restaurant is important, especially following the pandemic. 89% of restaurant customers say that they feel more comfortable when they see evidence of a clean eating space. That’s a lot of potential eaters (and profit) – more than enough to justify a bit of seasonal decluttering.
This spring, satisfy your customers’ sanitation standards with a thorough cleaning session. Better yet, establish a regular cleaning schedule that your entire staff can participate in. A dedication to cleanliness strengthens your restaurant’s reputation – it’s often one of the first things that customers note in reviews. So make sure your kitchens, dining area, and outdoor patio shine! Clean up or clear out old furniture and decorations to keep your standards high. If you ever doubt the importance of cleanliness, ask yourself: would you come back to a place where dusty countertops were the norm?
Your customers all have cameras in their pockets, so why not give them something to remember their experience by? Photography and social media are terrific – and cost-effective – marketing tools for your business. Take photos of your spring menu, decor, and kitchen space, and encourage eaters to do the same.
When taking photos (or video) of your cuisine, use a set of posing guidelines to get the best angles possible. Professionally-shot visual material is highly enticing to potential customers, and much easier to create than you might believe. Once your glam session is complete, be sure to upload what you’ve captured to your restaurant’s Instagram and TikTok pages. Customers will immediately get a sense of your business’s atmosphere, and your springtime specials will seal the deal!
Spring is a season made for refreshment: it’s crisp, fresh, and peaceful. Successful restaurants use these attributes to make their restaurants a place to recharge and revitalize. Keep in mind: comfortable customers tend to stay longer, order more, and come back. Building a space that makes everyone feel welcome helps boost loyalty. The spring season offers an excellent opportunity to evaluate – and improve – the way you help customers feel re-energized.
Consider the actions you take to stoke positivity and inclusivity throughout your business. Do you understand your community’s expectations and demands? Are your customer communication skills up-to-par? What would make someone who wasn’t familiar with your restaurant want to eat there? By answering these questions, you’ll gain a firm foundation of customer priorities that you can add unique touches upon. Make eaters feel the springtime vibe, and they’ll do the same for you.
Speaking of special touches, springtime also presents the perfect chance to polish your restaurant’s identity. Customers get excited about distinct dining experiences, and want to eat at or order from a business that stands out. Aside from food and service, your restaurant’s atmosphere is one of its most essential components, and should be treated accordingly. Having a creative vision in mind for your atmosphere is critical – it showcases your brand’s personality and values.
It’s also important to keep your restaurant’s atmosphere consistently performing well. Delays or interruptions can harm your business’s identity – and reputation. Digital restaurant solutions like POS Integration, Insights, and Live Monitoring run in the background during service, keeping your ambiance intact. With apps like these, you never have to worry about technical issues getting in the way of your spring vibes.
This is a fun one! Restaurants tend to close in on themselves during the winter months to keep their patrons (and food) warm. Now that the weather’s getting nicer, there’s no better time to start opening up! If a strong atmosphere is the base of your restaurant’s culture, interior design is definitely the garnish. It’s another way to showcase your brand’s style to customers beyond food, adding value to your dining experience. Spring is a canvas for you to express your interior design sense upon – and a powerful way to draw in customers.
There’s no need to spend significantly to update your dining room’s decor – the season alone has everything you’ll want! Utilize your interior and exterior together to capture the benefits of both. Rearrange furniture to free up space for customers and servers. Use temperate weather to display fresh flowers and plants, and add splashes of color wherever needed. Inspiration for an enticing restaurant design is everywhere, ready to attract and impress your eaters.
Times are tight for everyone, and without an incentive, eaters may think twice about patronizing your business. An engaging promotion can make your restaurant more appealing, and build firm connections with a passionate customer base! Plan out your promotions for maximum impact – leverage holidays, events, and happy hours to capitalize on local trends and preferences.
Of course, maintaining several different promotions tailored for certain timeframes takes a lot of work, organization, and scheduling. Fortunately, there’s a way to craft and run effective promos that’s quick, easy, and efficient: Otter Promotions! Through Promotions’ set of automated features, you’ll be able to build and develop highly-profitable deals and specials effortlessly. Timely seasonal promotions benefit your customers and your business. Everybody wins!
Now that service is about to get busier, you’ll need to ensure that your restaurant is well-staffed. Take stock of your existing team: do you have enough servers, chefs, and managers? Do you have too many? What tools are they working with? Seasonal staff evaluations help you get the most out of your team. Use an automated staff performance system – like Otter Insights – to see how your brigade operates, and make changes where necessary.
In today’s restaurant environment, every member of your staff has multiple duties and responsibilities, which can impact speed and productivity. If you notice that your team members need additional support, this is a great time to implement a solution. Otter’s Direct Orders and Digital Dine-In tools streamline both the in-house and delivery sides of your business, keeping staff efficient. Software like this grants additional abilities and resources to your staff, helping them achieve their potential.
With the strategies above, your restaurant will be able to welcome in springtime and its customers with open arms. Don’t stop here, though! Keep these activities consistent year-round, and you’ll always be ready for whatever the next season has coming. Get the most out of spring, and you’ll see your profit margins start to bloom!