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What to do when your restaurant is slow

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It would be nice to think that business can be booming 365 days out of the year - but every restaurant experiences a dry spell. When that is can depend on your location, but being prepared will give you the ability to weather the storm and come out on top for sales.

If you're a seasonal restaurant - shoreline, ski resort, etc. consider seasonal hours. 80% or more of your yearly sales may come from the tourist season - so closing on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays during the off season may make perfect sense. Just make sure to listen to the locals - you don't want to hurt your base customer group by closing too often.

Reach out to the local community and make sure they know they are welcome in your establishment. Send out invites to local sports teams and PTA groups for fundraisers, and connect with a Mommy and Me group to host a luncheon. Group activities are a great way to create larger tables and expose your restaurant to new business.

Beer dinner? Wine dinner? Tequila mixer? Is there something that’s been on your mind the whole year, but you’ve just been too busy to execute it? Special events can be huge or tiny, it’s just what you make of it.

Think about offering a prixe fix menu during your slower weeks or months. Offering three or four courses at a fixed price will give your customers a good incentive to visit during the weeks after school goes back - historically a very dead time of the year for restaurants.

2016-09-08 00:00:00
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