We may have only just stepped into a new year, however, planning ahead for key events gives you the opportunity to drive uptake and sales in this fast-paced, competitive industry.
The spring event has become one of the main dining occasions in the calendar – so planning early is the key to success.
What to do:
• Advertise the event now via your website, social media, in-house (and out) signage and boards
• Pep up your offering by including complimentary flowers or a glass of fizz for all mothers, mum-eats-free offers, live music or a free prize draw
• Make the most of the event and run a Mother’s Day package on Saturday to create a whole weekend of activities and extend your sales opportunity
• Ease the lunchtime/afternoon rush and offer a brunch or early evening deal to give customers an incentive to opt away from the traditional lunchtime event
• Have plenty of colouring books, crayons and games to keep the young ones entertained – and help give Mum a well-earned break!
• Remember your loyal customers who are visiting year round and not just for Mother’s Day – keep your pricing fair and appropriate with them in mind
St Patrick’s Day
Paddy’s Day is an important event in the on trade calendar. It offers outlets a fantastic opportunity to increase sales and footfall – especially as this year it falls on a Saturday.
What to do:
• Guinness is key! The black stuff is synonymous with the event and according to CGA data more than 100 pints of Guinness are sold on average per outlet
• Use POS material to really shout about the event in the run up to the day to help drive awareness. Clever use of social media channels will help too
• Make it a weekend event. Start the celebrations with a Friday warm-up and continue them into Sunday
• Train staff to serve the perfect pour – essential when serving Guinness
• Capitalise on the opportunity with a themed menu and serve Irish stew or steak and Guinness pie
• Create cocktails using traditional Irish brands such as Jameson, Bushmills and Guinness
• Offer Guinness with a twist! Guinness and coke shandy or a mulled Guinness will make drinking the black stuff that bit more exciting
The four-day family event is the first major holiday of the year. It presents operators with the opportunity to increase sales and drive profit through meals, drinks, treats and activities.
What to do:
• A roast dinner with all the trimmings is what customers want on Easter Sunday. Lamb is the obvious favourite, however, have beef, chicken and turkey too
• Offer smaller portions from the main menu and a simple children’s menu
• Cater to all diets, so don’t forget gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options
• Have a snack menu available for those diners who want to eat outside normal meal times and stack up on bar snacks too
• Stagger covers by offering a 2FOR1 brunch or an early birds evening menu
• An egg hunt for children is standard, however, how about involving the adults too? A DJ or live band will draw in customers and keep them there for longer
• Offering a free Easter egg for every child who eats or having a basket of mini eggs on the bar will leave a lasting impression on the bill payer and encourage repeat visits