Last night I went out for dinner to a local restaurant and had my meal on their outdoor deck. It was a great night, about 70 degrees, no wind and just a great night to sit out and enjoy a meal. During the course of the night, the owner “Dutch” stopped by our table to see how everything was going. My wife had mentioned to him that dining on the deck was such a wonderful experience and that it was probably a great thing for his business. Dutch’s reply was one that hit a chord with me.
He had mentioned that the deck was both good and bad for his business! Yes, it’s great that it opens up his restaurant and gives his guest an opportunity to have their meal or drinks and enjoy the weather. He also commented that the deck can also be a curse. He said that this year has been quite rainy and has hurt sales compared to last year when it was warm and sunny almost every day. The deck, which was new last year, generated a lot of incremental business for him. Mother Nature and her changing weather patterns definitely has an impact on his business. This reminded me of another one of my clients in the mid-west who has a rooftop bar. Heavy rains have hurt his sales to the tune of 10% this spring.
While we can’t stop Mother Nature, we can impact restaurant marketing plans to minimize the impact. A well thought out and implemented Loyalty Program can help thwart Mother Nature and the weather patterns. A loyalty program that ties in with Cause Related Marketing programs can be just the tool to help build sales on those rainy days. Imagine a special promotion to help the local Little League on a day when you know the weather will be bad. Utilizing email or text messaging to promote the program and bring out the families who support the teams. By the way, bringing in the families with kids is a great way to boost your check averages!
If you would like to know more about Loyalty Programs and how they can help your business, feel free to download our White Paper.