School’s out for summer, and for our industry that means there are a host of opportunities for operators to maximise sales. Doing this well can provide an even greater boost to turnover at a time of year that typically sees the strongest trading, setting your business up for success into the autumn and beyond.
Here are our top tips to fulfil your site’s potential over the hazy weeks ahead.
Consider Your Deployment
The summer holidays are likely to mean changes to your trading patterns. No school means far more kids, and therefore accompanying adults, will be in pubs and restaurants through the week. This will be especially pronounced at lunchtime and early in the evening, with parents looking for ways to keep their children entertained. Demand for staff will be affected accordingly, and a greater emphasis on daytime shifts and early start times is likely to be necessary. It’s important to ensure that you are ready to make the changes to staff deployment required to meet this shift in demand, and that team members are prepared to handle any changes to their schedules.
S4Labour is innovative and intuitive web-based software that allows the hospitality industry to better understand their trading patterns, promoting optimal scheduling, reduced labour spend, and excellent service.
Busy Kids are Happy Kids
There’s many a pub and restaurant manager that knows the value of keeping children entertained to maintain a calm, welcoming ambience. Colouring books and crayons are a cheap and very effective way of doing just this. If you chose to go down this route in your site, it’s a good idea to ensure you have plenty in stock, and that staff are well trained in how to make their youngest visitors feel welcome and well looked after. Going the extra mile to cater for children can create a great impression with parents, encouraging valuable repeat business.
Consider Spend & Dwell Time
With soft drinks and small portions likely to be the order of the day for parents with children, it’s easy to get disheartened at low-spending tables. However, although they may not splash out on that high-end bottle of wine, families are also likely to have short dwell times. Considering spend in the context of dwell time shows that welcoming families can be a very lucrative move.
Capitalising on the opportunities a shorter average dwell time bring may require refinement of processes, including promoting efficient ordering and payment, and developing a summer menu that lends itself to a rapid style of service.
Beat the BBQ
The biggest challenge for our industry over the summer holidays is convincing consumers to resist the temptation of buying cheap supermarket food and drink and staying at home. To compete, operators need to focus both on offer and atmosphere. Realistically, venues are never going to beat shops on price, so it’s integral to create a customer experience that is good enough to justify a higher price point.
It’s important that any outside spaces are more attractive than the back garden. This means that cleanliness, ease of access to the bar and toilets, and activities to keep children occupied are all important considerations. Special events like beer or cider festivals, live music, and family fun days can be a perfect way to draw the crowds, although developing wet weather contingency plans is always a shrewd move.
Driving year-round custom
The summer holidays can provide an invaluable revenue boost, but the best operators will be looking to use them to maximise sales into September and far beyond. Many parents, looking to keep their children occupied, will visit new pubs, cafes, and restaurants this summer. Delivering a quality of service and offer that will convert them from first time visitors to year-round regulars is a surefire way to boost the overall health of your business. Summer is a perfect chance to promote your business as the social hub of your community, bringing fantastic experiences to customers of all ages and walks of life. Succeeding in this is one of the very best ways to ensure your long-term profitability.