Keep the party going
Don’t let January bring a chill to your business. Follow Take Stock’s tips to combat the post-Christmas lull and ensure that 2014 begins with a bang!
December is without doubt the busiest time of the year. But just because the turkey is finally finished and the decorations are down, it doesn’t mean your profits have to follow suit and dry up along with the festivities. January may be seen as a dead month but you can change that and start as you mean to go on with a booming business.
Capture New Customers
The festive period provides the opportunity to generate excitement, good vibes and interest in your business. In a recent survey Retail Eyes found that nearly half of all adults surveyed planned to attend a work Christmas party at a pub, bar or restaurant they had never visited before. This means a large number of visitors to your venue in December are new customers that could become regular ones. Simon Boydell, marketing manager for Retail Eyes explains, “There is a fantastic opportunity for publicans, landlords and venue managers to make a real impression on party goers. If they play their cards right, they will sell the benefits of their venue to an eager audience and encourage repeat visits.”
Promotions awarded throughout the festive period will encourage customers to return during the drab month when their pockets are emptier. Two-for-ones, free desserts, complimentary bottles of wine or 25% discounts are great ways of luring diners back in the new year. Last year Sizzling Pubs offered ‘feast for a fiver’ with two main meals for £5 during one week in January; the Slug and Lettuce bars offered 50% off food. January maybe a cut back month but people still want to socialise – for the right price.
New Year’s Day
Once considered a write off as revellers stayed home nursing their hangovers, now it’s big business. Punters are swapping New Year’s Eve celebrations for New Year’s Day knees up, or heading out for a comforting roast dinner to soak up the booze. Hangover-free families are also up for a great day out to kick off the new year. Harvester has cottoned on to this and advertises a New Year’s Day menu – it encourages early bookings by offering £5 gift vouchers.
Your staff are the best people to identify non-regulars and make existing ones feel special. Why not incentivise staff with a reward if a specified number of vouchers are redeemed in January. A voucher scheme gets staff talking to customers too meaning their customer service skills should be appreciated and rewarded in December too.
Chinese New Year
Everyone loves a Chinese take-away so why not go one step further and embrace Chinese New Year, a huge celebration in the Chinese calendar that lasts for 15 days. This year the flamboyant event is on January 31. Cash in on its popularity by providing a Chinese menu for a brief period or hold a theme night to celebrate.
Be inventive and make your business stand out. Gone are the days when people are happy to simply go out and get drunk or stand on a floor with a flashing light and loud music. Today’s revellers want to be entertained. Theme nights have proved popular and if you can be original it will stick in customers’ minds.
Woo Sale Shoppers
Keen shoppers will be thankful (and in need) of a quick bite before heading back into the sales, so why not advertise this? More than likely, it will be a family hitting the shops together or a couple of friends, so promote a speedy lunch for four or ‘kids go free with adults’ deal or have a two-for-one offer.
Diets top most lists of New Year’s resolutions, but don’t let this be an excuse for customers to avoid your establishment. Instead of dieters seeing it as a sin, encourage them to visit with one-off low-calorie, but still delicious, dishes and desserts which will make their mouths water but not add anything to their hips! And by offering the dieter a menu option, the rest of the family will eat out too.
Social media is one of the best – and free – marketing tools to promote your business. Generate and increase your social following through regular posts regarding offers, events, special promotions and news Last January Crown Carveries offered its customer’s Facebook friends a carvery meal for just £2.99.