There are some hours that are harder to make profitable than others.
To bring in more traffic, you might want to consider a couple of the following
Happy Hour and Late Night Promos
Those late afternoon and evening hours are traditionally slow in most
restaurants. That means you need to get people in, by hook or by crook. Happy
hour is a time honored institution that is a perfect foil for introducing new
menu items and extending a guest’s stay into the dinner hour. The goal is to have
your selections match, or enhance the restaurant’s overall concept.
Special pricing on drinks and food may bring in people, but it is good
value that keeps them coming back. Twenty-five percent of those polled said
they preferred happy hour because it was a cheaper alternative to a full meal,
but 24% said they appreciated the chance to stay for dinner without having to
move to a new location.
Late night promotions will attract a younger customer base. The
majority of those who turn up for a late-night visit will be under the age of
35. Something as simple as a change in music, and a menu featuring drinks that
are “hip,” can dramatically increase your revenue. Put together, these two trends
can equal a third of a restaurant’s income, if done right.
Renovate Those Bar Tables to Maximize Your Attraction
Now that you are thinking about adding some promotions to increase the
number of visitors, look around your establishment. Do the furnishings you have
in place accommodate this change of plan? Possibly not.
For a happy hour environment not to tax your staff dramatically, you
can revamp your bar area. Include an area where people can serve themselves.
Nachos, wings or other finger foods are ideal for a younger crowd escaping from
work and wanting a beer or two. Small appetizer-type food can be served table
side, and a limited menu will give your staff a chance to make suggestions and
still remain speedy.
If your bar tables are designed for short stays, consider upgrading
the seats. Comfortable customers will stay longer. Talk to your staff about
encouraging guests to stay for dinner. Maybe you can offer a discount for those
who come for happy hour and then stay for a meal; a free dessert, perhaps?
Later in the evening you may want to close the dining area, and keep
just the bar open. This is a good way to control flow, and reduce expenses,
while still making guests welcome. In the end, the goal of any renovation or
new idea is to get more people into seats. Keeping them happy is the best way
to do that.