We may have only just stepped into new year, however, planning ahead is crucial to maximising the sales opportunities presented by key events on the calendar.
St Patrick’s Day
This day is a potential revenue boost, and thanks to it falling on a Sunday this year it gives you the opportunity to drive traffic throughout the entire weekend.
What to do:
•Shout about your planned events on social media, your website and inhouse. Perhaps run a promotion, such as 2FOR1 on a pint of Guinness or cocktails during quieter hours to attract customers.
•Guinness is key! The black stuff is synonymous with the event and the drink of choice.
•Create cocktails using traditional Irish brands such as Jameson, Bushmills and Guinness. Visit www.takestockmagazine.com for recipes.
•Consider extending your operating hours. If you usually open in the afternoons, why not add a breakfast or lunch service, and make your dishes Irish themed, such as steak and Guinness pie or Irish stew?
•Get bar staff to wear something green and speak to your supplier about POS material, decor and, of course, hats! •On the Saturday afternoon screen the RBS 6 Nations. There are three crucial matches – two involving the home nations – starting at 12.30pm.
•Hire a band or singer to entertain, and perhaps think about hiring a bouncy castle or kids’ entertainer for the Sunday afternoon to make it a family affair.
The spring event is one of the main dining occasions in the calendar, so make your event memorable and to stand out from the competitive crowd.
What to do:
•Promote your menu, and any offers, on your social media, website and inhouse. Make sure your staff know what is on offer.
•Go the extra mile for mum and greet her with complimentary flowers, chocolates or a glass of fizz.
•Offer a range of specials: Mother’s Day brunch, afternoon tea, or an early bird menu to attract all-day traffic and ease the traditional lunchtime rush.
•Remember your loyal customers who visit year round and not just for Mother’s Day, by keeping your pricing fair and perhaps offer a free meal on another date if they book for a party of four of more?
•Have plenty of colouring books, crayons and games to keep the young ones entertained – and help give mum a well-earned break!•Live music, a bouncy castle or even a free prize draw will pep up your offering.
•Why not make the most of the event and run a Mother’s Day package on Saturday? Perhaps an afternoon tea or early bird menu? Not all ‘mums’ can make the Sunday celebrations, so this way they don’t miss out, and it extends your sales opportunity.
The four-day family event presents operators with the opportunity to increase sales and drive profit through meals, drinks and activities.
What to do:
•A roast dinner is still the firm favourite meal on Easter Sunday. Lamb is the obvious winner, however, beef, chicken and turkey should all have prominence on your menu too.
•Offer smaller portions from the main menu and a simple children’s menu.
•Cater to all diets, don’t forget gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.
•Have a snack menu available to cater for the steady flow of customers. Hot dogs, nachos, pizza, chips and burgers are quick and easy to prepare and serve, and the style of food often makes for bigger orders and allows a higher menu price. Stock up on bar snacks too.
•Stagger covers by offering a 2FOR1 brunch or an early bird evening menu.•An egg hunt for children is traditional, however, how about involving the adults too? A DJ or live band will draw in customers.
•Offering a free Easter egg for every child who eats, or having a basket of mini eggs on the bar (or till) will leave a lasting impression with customers.