It could be too soon to tell, but right now, it looks like the UK is gearing up for a cracking summer. It’s not something we’re used to so now’s the time to ask ourselves, what does great weather mean for our businesses? And how can we make the most of it? We’ve put together our top tips for boosting your café and restaurant sales during the summer months.
1. If you don’t have outdoor seating, advertise take-away products
When the sun does shine, very few people want to spend those precious few holiday or weekend hours inside. And recent research shows there are far more health benefits to be had from sunshine than we previously thought. Now is the time to think about ice cream and cold drink sales. Just be sure to read up on your local trading regulations.
2. Know your market, know your brands
Know who your customers are and who walks past your premises and cater to them. Families and children love well-known brands. These customers are more likely to reach for a product that they already know they like. But young professionals or cool-hunters have money to spend, too. Unique experiences and small producers are becoming increasingly attractive to a larger number of people. You don’t need to produce the product yourself. If you go this route, source local manufacturers with a good reputation and hang their signage with pride.
3. Encourage impulse buys
Good signage and ‘help yourself’ fridges and freezers move your products faster. Customers are more willing to take their item and queue to pay than to queue to pay and receive their item. Make your staff aware that they should know the prices off the top of their head, and be prepared to take notes and have change readily to hand.
4. Stock continuously for repeat customers
If they’ve been once, they are more likely to come again. And you’d be surprised how much ice cream gets sold out of season. Likewise, it’s not just the heat that makes us crave a cold drink. A previously satisfied customer passing your premises is likely to remember their good experience and consider buying the same product again. You can reduce your stock as you see fit but let’s hope you’ve got at least a couple of units in the fridge waiting for them.
- Think about those little extras’
If your business location is near a park, a beach or any other outdoor attraction then there may well be passersby enjoying a sunny summers walk with their kids or pets or maybe both…
If you have dealt with the impulse buys for the walkers by why not lay out a few bowls of water for the dogs. All dogs like a drink on a hot day whether their well-groomed designer dogs who have had a pamper at blossoms dog grooming in Cheltenham or a more get down and dirty dog the owners will appreciate the thought.
So, hot or cold, the summer months can be a real boost to your business and for many small cafés, it’s the make or break season. Selling items for take-away offers great margins of profit for very little investment. So isn’t it time you started taking advantage of it?