20 Tips To Beat the Heat This Summer
With warm weather in our near future, brace yourself for a steady increase in travelers, fresh produce, and outdoor events! Although the summer heat encourages people to be out and about more often, in turn, this can mean more barbecues at home. Providing the right atmosphere and seasonal menu can sway guests in the right (your) direction.
Take advantage of these menu, operational, and marketing tips to encourage people to step out of their backyards and into your summer-ready restaurant...
1. Fruit and herb drinks. "These amazingly fresh summer drinks have bold, refreshing ingredients, helping you beat the heat and conquer your thirst without skimping on style or flavor." (source)
2. Summer-themed menu. "Customers want to eat healthier in the summer months when dining outdoors; if you use your current menu with a summer twist you'll be more likely to compete for their dollars and bring them to you often." (source)
3. Salmon season. "The biggest sport fishing season for wild salmon is in Alaska during the summer and early fall months. Whether it be poached or grilled, salmon is a fresh summer dish." (source)
4. Rosé all day. "Refreshing and crisp white wines are definitely among the favorites to drink every summer but there is one style of wine that reminds people of summer vacations with their hot days and the need for cool refreshment: the rosé wine." (source)
5. Sliced watermelon rind. "Instead of throwing out the rind, use this extra crunchy part of the melon to make an excellent juicy substitute for boring old lettuce." (source)
6. Fresh summer salads. Here are some irresistible summer salads where seasonal fruits and vegetables come together with tangy vinaigrettes for guests to devour.
7. Street-inspired eats. "The portability, convenience, and distinctive qualities of street-inspired food are what make it so popular, and you can recreate that no matter your locale." (source)
8. Bruschetta. "This classic appetizer is a great way to showcase one of summer's best products - tomatoes. A light summer meal that bursts with flavor." (source)
9. Update your website (and kiosks!). "As you add fresh new menu items, be sure you update your website with photos frequently. Websites that are updated regularly get more traffic and longer viewing times than those that remain the same." (source)
10. Create a summer vibe. "Ordering some colorful tablecloths, perhaps it’s a new tabletop drink sign with your new summer beverages. Even a vase with a new flower arrangement each week for your ordering counter can bring some much needed summer cheer to your establishment." (source)
11. Dog-friendly patios. 44% of households have dogs. Welcome guests' four-legged friends to join in on the summer fun at your restaurant. They won't have to rush out the door to let their pup out and check averages will rise.
12. Offer mobile ordering. Be prepared to receive and execute take-out orders during the busy summer months by having a smooth mobile ordering solution.
13. Brand your outdoor space. "The design and decor of your outdoor patio is equally as important as the interior design of your restaurant, it must be inviting and invoke your brand and story. Choose a style, color scheme and theme that also runs inside your restaurant." (source)
14. Create a wall mural. With nicer weather, more people are spending time outdoors. Attract guests by creating a wall mural that people can see from a distance. They'll want to snap a photo, and then likely will pop inside for a drink or bite to eat. (source)
15. Feature everything on social media. "Post pictures of colorful, refreshing drinks on Facebook and Instagram, or your latest recipe to keep patrons cool through the heat. If you’re hosting any specials or promotions, be sure to share these across all platforms." (source)
16. "Out-of-towner" special. "Promote this special to your regulars to encourage them to bring in family and friends visiting them this summer." (source)
17. Host live events. "Hold events during the summer months, such as outdoor music, contests, trivia, and other fun entertainment, which is likely to draw customers and increase sales." (source)
18. Keep tourists in the loop. "You may have the best wings in the world, but no one from out of town will know that. Make sure signage welcomes visitors and promotes specials. Keep the outside area as clean and inviting as possible." (source)
19. Be a part of the community. "Whether it’s a local festival or street fair, concert, parade, or sporting event, find ways to leverage the buzz with focused promotions." (source)
20. Celebrate holidays big and small. "There are several opportunities for you to combine holidays and take advantage of the summer season to increase sales and traffic at your restaurant." (source)