3 Food Business Strategies That Maximize Summer Profits
The transition from spring into summer is a curious time for restaurant business owners. There’s an air of anticipation and excitement as they look ahead towards the busy season, usually mixed with more than a little hint of anxiety.
The slow season has been over for a while, but business will only continue to heat up over the next several months. Schools are closing, early birds are rising earlier and earlier with the sun, and the endless swarms of evening crowds are out on the prowl for prime sunset-picture-taking spots.
Sure, great. But does your food business have what it takes to make the most out of everyone’s favorite season? The hard truth is, most small restaurants don’t.
However, there’s 3 tried-and-true, sure-fire strategies that every restaurant can use to maximize their profits during these toasty summer months, and increase the size of their customer base many times over.
Check em’ out!
Top 3 Food Business Strategies to Maximize Summer Profits
- Start Recruiting Early
This one’s a no brainer, but it has to be mentioned. To deal with all the extra customers that are sure to start pouring in this summer, you’re going to need some extra help. Start putting ads in the paper and online for open staff positions, and begin training them as soon as possible so that when summer hits you, they’ll be ready.
At least 2 or three weeks of training is recommended for new restaurant employees before having them deal with large amounts of customers. Give them enough time to learn how to work your POS machine (please tell me you have a POS machine), practice talking and serving smaller crowds of customers, and learning all the ins-and-outs of your business before having your new hires take on huge summer crowds. Without enough training, and the staff size you need, dealing with large numbers of customers can be a nightmare. Start recruiting early to maximize your efficiency and profits this summer.
If you need extra capital to get you started managing payroll for your extra hires, many restaurant owners turn to financing options including small business loans or a business line of credit to create a smooth financial transition.
- Introduce Seasonal Options and Deals
Did you know that you can actually harvest pumpkins year round? That’s right—you could be eating all the pumpkin pie and drinking all the venti pumpkin lattes you can stomach, no matter how hot or cold the weather may be.
So why is the taste of pumpkin universally linked to falling leaves and comfy sweaters? Because the companies that manufacture them know the extremely effective marketing strategy of attaching a seasonal sentimentality to their products. Pumpkin flavored treats aren’t just an option anymore—they’re the option to get when fall approaches. By making a product or sale exclusive to a single season, you create a special and exciting experience for your customers.
Write up a list of ideas your food business can make available exclusively during summer months. Sure, you could sell margaritas year-round. But hang fun signs outside your restaurant that promise discounted margaritas every Saturday this summer, and you’ll create a fun summer experience unique to your restaurant that people will remember and want to share with friends.
Of course, all these fun and exciting ideas will come with a price when it comes time to put them into action. Chances are you’ll need extra equipment, supplies and inventory that you wouldn’t normally need during other seasons. To make the costs easy on yourself, securing a business line of credit can be a fast and convenient way to prepare your restaurant for unexpected and ongoing purchases.
- Create an Outdoor Experience for Your Customers
You can start by grabbing your restaurant outdoor patio furniture—and a lot of it. Because let’s face it, who wants to eat inside during the nicest time of the year? When people go out to eat in the summer, you can count on them driving right past every restaurant that doesn’t offer some sunny seating options. So go out and get your restaurant a bunch of matching patio tables, chairs, and umbrellas, and watch the crowds of customers flock to your new outdoor setup.
But the benefits of outdoor seating don’t end at being able to seat larger volumes of customers—by catering to a hefty portion of your customers outdoors, the efficiency and quality of work indoors will skyrocket due to less cramped quarters for your employees and customers alike.
For those concerned about how much patio furniture would cost, NBC made a list of average prices depending on what you’re going for:
Tables: $1-500 for a 2 to 4-person table. Prices in the $100 range are mostly made of plastic, whereas higher-end tables are made with wood, steel or composite materials.
Chairs: Anywhere from $20-60 per-chair. The less you spend, the more vulnerable your chairs will be to the elements.
Umbrellas: $2-300 each.
Low-End Matching Sets (Tables and Chairs Included): $100-400 per table. Seating in this price range include picnic benches and small 2-person tables.
High-End Matching Sets: $500-$2,000 for large extended tables and chairs.
*Estimated numbers based on research from National Business Capital
If you’re wondering how much patio furniture you’ll need, consider this: do you want to be one of those food businesses that turn away people passing by only offering two outdoor seating arrangements that are always full, or do you want to create a unique outdoor experience for as many customers as you can handle? To truly make the most out of your summer, restaurant owners suggest purchasing seating for between 30-50 people. Get at least 2 long tables that can sit upwards of 10, and at least 5 other seating arrangements for smaller parties.
If summer preparation is starting to sound pricey, don’t panic—thanks to equipment financing, getting all the furniture you need to seat mass amounts of customers this summer has never been easier. Pay low amounts over a few years with equipment financing, and spare yourself from the massive single purchase of paying out of pocket.
One More Thing:
When you’re creating a summer experience for your customers this season, remember to have FUN while doing it! After all, what’s more fun than warm weather and money in your pocket?
Of course, when it comes time to financing your restaurant improvements in advance of summer, you’re going to want a fast, simple, and convenient funding process.
And so, instead of going to banks and waiting too long to achieve your business goals, choose a lender that puts the FUN in FUNDING.
Call (877) 482-3008 to speak with an expert Business Financing Advisor, or complete National Business Capital’s 1-minute, 1-page application online to receive funding in as little as 24 hours, so you can start turning your food business into a summer paradise!