Competition in the restaurant business is fierce. The summer season tends to draw a lot of tourists, increase foot traffic and hosts outdoor events which can present a huge business advantage to some restaurants. For other restaurants, however, summer time is their slowest season where sales struggle and falter. Unless you are scooping ice cream or selling milkshakes, you may not be looking forward to summer. But if you think strategically, a slow summer season doesn’t always translate into lower revenue. There are restaurant summer promotion ideas that can help you make the most of your business during the summer season.
Planning and optimizing summer promotion ideas for restaurants may take a while but the perseverance, dedication and commitment do eventually pay off. There are numerous online and offline marketing methods, most of which are effective, affordable and easy to implement. For starters, many restaurants have discovered that utilizing the heat to their advantage have resulted success during the summer season. If your venue by chance happens to experience astronomical temperatures during summer, you can offer your customers a 10 % discount on ice cold drinks if the temperature reaches above 100 degrees F. If you run a coffee shop, reduce the price of iced coffee by a dollar or so if the heat is unbearable. While this approach may seem a bit odd to you, many businesses swear by it.
Big ticket holidays such as Father’s Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July fall in the summer which many restaurants try to take advantage of. But there are more obscure summer holidays you can leverage with from National Hotdog Day, National Ice Cream Day, and even Bastille Day with a special deal or menu item for any of those days only. You can even create a holiday your own and merge ideas with other national holidays. For instance, Father’s Day coincides with National Ice Cream Day. You can offer free ice cream to all fathers or hand out chocolate eclairs to entice customers on National Chocolate Éclair Day. If you don’t have an editorial calendar, you may want to think about setting up one. That way you can look for missing obscure holidays and then incorporate them into your restaurant summer promotion ideas.
You can offer something new and fresh for your customers this summer with a creative logo for your menu design with unique yet appetizing items exclusively for this season. A dessert pizza with fresh, local berries comes to mind. Or you can give your customers something to relax and enjoy with a new colorful cocktail. Regular visitors will more likely frequent your venue if they can anticipate something new listed on your menu. New menu items are also a great way to grab people’s attention, especially when it comes to social media marketing thus sharing photos of your latest dishes/drinks on your restaurant’s Facebook and/or Instagram page will not only revitalize the interest of regular customers but also attract new customers with word-to-the-mouth from family members and friends.
Another great way to add some fresh touches to your menu is by stocking up on locally grown ingredients from your local farmer’s market. The summer season provides plenty of fresh produce such as bell peppers, zucchini, strawberries, arugula and tomatoes in many parts of North America. Not only do fresh, local ingredients taste delicious but customers much prefer to support local farmers as they ensure the highest quality of produce.
Summer time, when it’s not brutally hot, normally encourages people to dine outdoors. If you have an outdoor dining space such as a porch or patio like many restaurants do, your restaurant décor and theme should extent to this area as well. Much like the interior needs a makeover in time, so does your patio. Employing and following through with these patio design ideas can transform your patio into a relaxing yet elegant outdoor dining area for patrons to socialize over a couple of cold beverages. Switching up the look of your patio may require you to replace your current patio furniture with newer ones along with some planters and small fairy lights to enhance the ambience. Shade is another important factor to consider. The glare of the sunrays shining directly at your face while you are eating doesn’t make for a pleasant dining experience. Umbrellas and awnings are essential for customer comfort during the hot months of summer.
Most people are looking for places to go and activities to do during the hot months of summer. When it’s not too scorching, the weather is usually nice, the sun sets later, and people take advantage of this to have a good time. Summer is awash with sales opportunities offered by festivals, parades, concerts, and farmers’ markets. You can even market yourself as a “summer getaway” with special offers on summer drinks and events. Hosting live music and other performances attract people to your venue. The patio or any area with outdoor seating is the perfect location to host these events. As a restaurateur, you should mobilize any part of your business by either hosting or attending these events. Ultimately, ensuring the best summer experience at your restaurant for your customers that will result repeat visits should be your goal.