5 Tips for Seasonal Restaurants | Fora Financial Blog
5 Tips for Seasonal Restaurants
June 06, 2018

5 Tips for Seasonal Restaurants

Running a seasonal business comes with a unique set of challenges. You must earn your sales in a short window, as you’re closed for at least a few months out of the year. As a seasonal restaurant owner, you’re likely faced with additional trials, due to the competitive nature of the restaurant industry. With more than 600,000 restaurants in the U.S., it’s imperative that you’re able to outsell your competitors in order to remain operational.

Before the summer begins, we suggest trying out these five suggestions, so that you can have your most lucrative season yet!

1. Start Marketing Early

To ensure that your restaurant gains enough exposure, you should begin marketing as soon as possible. Consider how you can reach your target demographic, but try to be accessible on as many marketing platforms as possible. Here are a few examples of ways that you can market your seasonal restaurant:

  • Become Active on Social Media: Market your seasonal restaurant on social media by posting your opening date, pictures of your menu items, and other relevant information on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We suggest hiring a marketing intern or even a full-time employee to help you maintain your restaurant’s social media presence once your busy season begins.
  • Register Your Restaurant on Listing Sites: Your restaurant should be featured on listing sites, such as Yelp and Foursquare. This will help attract customers that are on the prowl for restaurants in your area.
  • Send Out an Email Newsletter: Contact your loyal patrons through an email newsletter that shares your restaurant specials and other exciting news. Even sending out email correspondence a few times a month can make a big difference!

2. Reach Out to Your Staff

It’s crucial to have enough staff members to serve your customers. Before you open for your busy season, contact last season’s staff members to see who will be available to work this summer. If your restaurant is understaffed, you could face numerous issues, including slow service and unsatisfied customers. Here are a few examples of employees that you should reach out to:

  • Chefs and other kitchen staff
  • Managers
  • Receptionists
  • Servers

3. Host an Opening Event

Get patrons excited about your restaurant by hosting an opening event to commence the beginning of your busy season. This event can include giveaways, drink specials, and live entertainment, just to provide a few suggestions. Ultimately, this event should bring attention to your restaurant and its cuisine, so that attendees become loyal customers for the duration of the summer!

4. Consider Last Year’s Struggles

Prior to opening your restaurant for the season, you should take time to contemplate how you could improve your restaurant’s operations based on last year’s mistakes. For example, review your previous inventory orders to find out where you overspent in the past. Or, consider the most repetitive customer complaints you received, so that you can take their feedback into consideration and provide better customer service moving forward.

5. Update Your Menu

As you know, one of the most important parts of running a successful restaurant is having a menu that’s packed with delicious meal options. Of course, you should keep customer-favorites and any popular items that your restaurant is known for, but your establishment could benefit from adding a few more seasonal specials. Being able to advertise a new-and-improved menu could help you boost your restaurant’s sales!

Running a Successful Seasonal Restaurant

Now that you’ve read these five tips for seasonal restaurants, it’s time to prepare your establishment for the busy season ahead. Although running a seasonal business can be demanding, it can be rewarding if you spend time refining your menu, customer service practices, and other important aspects of your restaurant. Good luck!

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Post by:
Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].