It’s time to set the table for the restaurant industry’s busiest day of the year—Mother’s Day. And don’t overlook Easter, another major dining out occasion, as well as St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. That’s a lot of potential customers!
With proper planning, you can maximize sales, increase guest counts and showcase your food and new recipes. Follow these five steps to drive business during the spring holidays and beyond.
1. Planning makes perfect
Make sure you have a plan. Write down your ideas and strategize for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Cinco, de Mayo, Mother’s Day and other spring events, such as the opening of your patio.
2. Get the word out
Start promoting your event in advance by utilizing in-restaurant signage, social media and email.
Consider a small discount or a special perk for reserving early. Mother’s Day roses and Easter candy baskets are great incentives.
3. Elevate and indulge
Even people who have been watching diets in the new year are willing to splurge for holiday occasions. Consider upping the indulgence with special dishes, desserts or drinks.
Beyond food, what else can you do to enhance the dining experience? Valet parking? Live music? A complimentary mimosa for Mom? Extra details make memories and generate return visits.
4. Staff for success
Make employees aware well in advance that they’ll all be expected to work special days and holidays. Need additional staff? Start by reaching out to last summer’s crew. They’re already familiar with your operation.
5. Welcome guests and follow up
You’re likely to see a number of first-time guests. Train staff to capture their contact information. After their visit, consider sending a bounce-back deal with a warm invite to come back.
Encourage guests to connect with you on social media to be in the know about future events and specials.
6. Review and assess
Sit down with your team shortly after the event for a debriefing. What went wrong? What went right? What needs improvement? Document everything so you have it when creating next year’s plan.
The bottom line: St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Cinco De Mayo and Mother’s Day are great business-building opportunities. Do them right to capture new customers and keep your loyal ones coming back.