It’s January. Everyone’s broke, everyone’s had enough of going out, and most of all, everyone’s had enough of all the eating. Entire food groups have been wiped from people’s diets overnight – from sugar, carbs or anything containing or made using animals. Take your pick. In theory, this makes your life as a restaurant owner a little bit trickier. In reality, it simply means you have to be a little more creative with your marketing; it’s your job to tempt customers back through the door, and here’s how you can do that…
Veganuary is growing in popularity as people become more and more aware of how much damage meat consumption is doing to the planet. In fact, current statistics show that 350,000 people have signed up to Veganuary this year as of January 5. What does that mean for your restaurant? It means that there’s a whole new market for you to cater to. With everyone from KFC to Greggs to McDonald’s launching new vegan products recently, it’s clear there’s a growing demand for plant-based products, so don’t hang around.
With everyone very much still on the wagon when it comes new year’s resolutions, your customers want to know what healthy options you have available in your restaurant. This is the time to create a menu of dishes that are low carb, low fat, under a certain number of calories, et cetera and give them a push on your social media. If you can show your customers that healthy food doesn’t equal limp lettuce leaves then you’re onto a winner.
Similarly, a lot of people may be taking part in Dry January. People are consuming less alcohol in general these days with consumption dropping around 10% since 1990. Brewdog has just unveiled its first alcohol-free beer bar in London, the aptly named Brewdog AF, and their regular bars are also getting in on the action with two key initiatives throughout January. They’re offering unlimited refills of alcohol-free beers throughout the month and two new beers have also been added to their menu of alcohol-free beers. Want to gain new customers this month? Make sure you have a strong roster of alcohol-free drinks.
From 2 for 1 offers, 10% off, or a free starter when you order two main courses, January is the time to go to town on your special offers. It may even be worth thinking whether there are any special events you could put on to get people through the door, too – could you organise a fundraising event, a charity bash, or an event around a special date such as Robert Burns night? Because who doesn’t like haggis, neeps and tatties, right?
If there’s any time of the year then people really just want to stay in and order a takeaway on a Friday night then it’s definitely January. So if you don’t currently have a delivery platform for your business then the time to address it is now, because statistics show that the industry is booming – in fact, it’s ballooned into a market that’s worth £8 billion. Even if you do already have a platform then give it an audit and make sure it’s up-to-date with current branding, menus, and content – and is optimized across all platforms. Remember, one bad experience online can send your customers straight to your competition.