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It’s common knowledge that the holiday season leaves a significant dent in one’s wallet - to the point where they will quite happily forgo the luxury of eating out during the hangover months of January and February. We share our top five tips for Restaurant Managers to keep their pubs and restaurants booming following the festive season. 

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1. Allocate holidays after December

​Restaurant Managers should encourage their staff to take holidays over the months of January and February, rather than December. Any sensible waiter knows that they will make more money over the peak holiday months, so use that as an incentive to forgo taking holidays over the Christmas period. They can enjoy the spoils of their toil over the festive season in January or February, where there will be less customers and their services will not be in high demand. Equally, chefs will be more than happy to take time off after the busy festive season.​

2. Keep restaurant customers coming back for more

​If you are wondering how to go about doing this, the answer is actually quite simple. During the peak months of November and December, offer a January two for one meal voucher that will motivate customers to return to your restaurant following the festive season. The great thing about this tactic is that you can target a wide range of patrons over the holidays, and a substantial percentage of them will be inclined to cash in their voucher. 

3. Offer a winter special 

​After spending a substantial amount of money over the Christmas period, it is only natural that many customers will be looking for a bargain. You really have to lay out and promote a great deal that will get those customers through the door, and lowering the price on your menu is the best way to do that. Another great way to offer a bargain without costing your restaurant too much is to offer specials on food, whilst making up for the reduced cost with other expenses. As a general rule, when you cut the cost of the food, you should make a big push for the drinks.

4. Consider organising an event to align with the local community

​Winter festivals, concerts and sporting events definitely bring more business into local areas. Teaming up with an existing restaurant or having your own pop up restaurant to align with a popular local event is sure to be beneficial in attracting customers.

5. Focus on branding 

​Branding should begin well before customers grow reluctant to break their banks over January. Many patrons will book restaurants or catering venues for their Christmas parties, and owners of these businesses should do all within their power to facilitate an optimal customer experience. Never underestimate the power of social media, and aim to have an annual PR plan.

In conclusion, keeping an open mind and an optimistic outlook is sure to attract and retain customers who are looking to escape the winter chill!

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