Introduction – Making Your Restaurant Winter Friendly
By now, winter is in full swing. You probably prepped your restaurant back in November or December for the cold weather, but did you plan for those freezing days where it’s almost too cold to even eat out? For the frosty diner just looking for a hot toddy or hot chocolate in a cozy corner, here are some ways to lure them to your satisfying and warm dishes.
Delivery is King in the Cold
Try as you might, even loyal customers will sometimes decide it’s just too cold to dine out. In the wintertime, and especially on colder days, prioritize and prepare your delivery service. Check the weather and have an extra delivery staff member ready to pick up the slack when you get more delivery orders and fewer dine-in orders than expected. Take care of your delivery drivers too in cold weather – check to make sure they are dressed properly and using proper gear and vehicles to avoid slipping in dangerous conditions like freezing rain.
Make Your Interior Cozy
You may have to turn up the heat on the very frigid days, which can be a cost concern, but rest assured it will make the brave souls who do in fact venture out into the cold to dine in all the more reluctant to leave the warmth of your restaurant’s inviting interior. If you have a fireplace, get it in working order again to create an ambience that will be hard to leave. Cozy up your surfaces with softer table cloths and perhaps some extra cushions if you have comfortable nooks to seat guests.
Add Warmth to Your Menu
A warm meal or drink is the main attraction of your restaurant in winter and what will keep your freezing customers craving more! Change up and add to your menu to cater to customers looking for comfort food to beat the cold. Add some hot soups, such as chowder, chili, or chicken noodle. Remember also that salad is not always cold! Consider adding healthy specials like warm cauliflower and herbed barley salad or even a steak salad with horseradish dressing. Don’t forget the main courses! A few extra hot pasta dishes or warm seafood specials will be sure to spark interest. As far as drinks, a hot cauldron of some spicy alcoholic goodness will always tempt, especially if you leave it in sight of guests on your bar, if you are able. And of course, anything with warm chocolate will hit the spot for dessert on a cold day.
Take a look around your restaurant and identify any nooks and corners you could give a softer feel to. If you are feeling even more ambitious, pick out a new hot drink to add to your menu for the cold months!
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