Driving New Year Trade
Although January is traditionally thought of as being a quieter time for operators, if you think outside the box and make the most of opportunities on offer, you could kick off 2017 in style.
Here are Take Stock’s top ideas for keeping your footfall levels up as we start an exciting new year.
• Make them an offer they can’t refuse – 2FOR1 deals on food or a free pint (not everyone stops drinking!) of lager or a soft drink with every meal purchased will work even better during quieter eating times to pull in trade.
• Keep them entertained – Holding a weekly pub quiz, booking a DJ or arranging a children’s day at the weekend, complete with face painting, games and giveaways will all bring in customers.
• Stock up on premium soft drinks – New flavours and styles developed for more adult tastes are making soft drinks more appealing. Make sure you serve them with the same thought and presentation as an alcoholic drink.
• Warming hot drinks – Create a well stocked beverages menu including coffee, speciality tea and indulgent hot chocolate.
Now in its fourth year, the campaign launched by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser encourages pubs and bars to experiment with new drinks and food throughout the month to attract customers.
“January doesn’t have to be boring!” said Nicholas Robinson, food & drink editor for the Morning Advertiser. “We encourage people to eat or drink something different than they’d normally choose, or pick something more indulgent as a one-off treat.” The campaign is getting more popular each year. Here’s how you can join in:
• Stock drinks that can’t be bought in the supermarket to make you stand out – how about trying craft drinks from the US, for example?
• Encourage a customer to have one glass of a more expensive wine rather than buying a cheaper bottle so they see it as more of an indulgent treat.
• Introduce new dishes to your menu that you can then push throughout the year as a food trend, such as Malaysian food.
• Have a theme – hold an Italian or French night, or if you are feeling adventurous go for something different like Caribbean or Persian cuisine.
• Promote your events – whatever you are doing, make sure you shout about it on your website and in-house, plus on your social media – use the hashtag #TryJanuary.
Food to go
Cater for those who may be watching their budget (and alcohol intake) so don’t want to eat out, but at the same time fancy a takeaway treat rather than home cooking.
• Fish & chips – still the nation’s favourite, why not offer a takeaway service on your pub fish and chips?
• Pizza – target late-night customers who want to purchase food en-route to home and also families and those who have come in for a quiet drink – especially if you are a local pub and customers get to know this.
• All-day tea or coffee – great for attracting customers throughout the day and those that fancy a post dinner cappuccino or latte, but don’t have time to stay and drink it!
• Sunday carvery – gauge the interest of your customers. All you need to do is buy a batch of takeaway boxes to test the water.
• Soup and sandwich deal – ideal for cafes, pubs and restaurants. Making takeaway soup and sandwiches is quick and easy and shouldn’t impact too much on your in-house orders.
• Breakfast buns – if you have a breakfast menu, bacon or sausages butties can be included in your takeout service too.