Hello Summer, we missed you. Summer is the season of sunshine and sales, am I right? As a restaurant, it's VITAL to be prepared for these amazing months since summer is a big opportunity to capture more sales. A good way to kickstart your sales is to use Memorial Day to its fullest. Usually when you start out strong, you can finish strong! Comprehensive restaurant sales strategies will help your business overcome hurdles of the summer season and increase profits (it's a win-win). Keep reading to learn our top four restaurant sales strategies to implement for Memorial Day and continue throughout summer!
Featured Items = More Traffic
This is a tried and true restaurant sales strategy that works wonders. Here's how it's done: have menu items and drinks at a discount or featured price. So easy! Start on Memorial Day to test this out and see how it goes. You'll want to continue carrying it on throughout the summer (because it works).
Do you notice slow periods during certain times? Combat slow times by creating a happy hour or late night featured items to get people in your door. Even better, highlight the items as a limited time opportunity for summer only. Summer puts people in the mood to get out and about so having great deals will drive your restaurant traffic, no doubt.
Don't believe it? Look at Sonic, the classic fast-food chain we all love. They created an afternoon happy hour during their slow sales periods one summer with the hopes of increasing sales. Come to find out that this happy hour increased sales SO dramatically they made it a permanent special. Sonic beat the slow times with a happy hour, and so can you. Seriously, who hasn't gone to sonic for a half priced drink before? It's a solid strategy that can work anywhere!
Don't Forget Why It's a Holiday
Memorial Day isn't just a day off work. It's about remembering the sacrifices that fallen military members have made for our nation. A great way to commemorate Memorial Day is by donating a percentage of all sales to a foundation for families of fallen soldiers. This will drive traffic to your restaurant, help create repeat customers, and remember the holiday by giving back to the military in a special way.
Wanna go even further? Offer a discount to military members and their families. There's no better way to show your respect for Memorial Day and your customers.
Sales Don't Happen Without a Trained Staff
Now that you have some solid sales strategies to implement, you need to make sure your staff is well trained and ready to capture those summer sales. As you probably know, summer training is different than the rest of the year because your staff will have different availability than usual. It's a good idea to hire some extra help for the summer, and remember younger staff home from college will be a bit rusty.
No matter what, all of your staff needs to be well trained in order to provide the best service possible. Sales strategies simply don't matter if there's not an excellent staff providing the best guest experience!
Avoid Summer Scheduling Woes
Seriously, it's hard to capitalize on summer sales if you don't have trained staff coverage throughout the whole season. It never fails that some staff will be expecting more time off. This requires you to get creative with scheduling (or hire more staff). Luckily, you'll probably also have younger staff home from college wanting as many hours as possible.
Here's the difficult part: balancing the schedule to give your staff members the hours they want and ensuring you have coverage when your regular staff needs off to enjoy summer. The key to staying covered is asking your staff ahead of time when they'll need off so you know the dates that need coverage. Going even further, know what hours each staff member needs for summer. From there, you'll be more proactive about creating schedules all summer.
For more summer scheduling tips, don’t forget to check out our blog on staff scheduling changes!