Seasonal fluctuations in business can bring a flood of customers to your restaurant, and you need cash on hand to cover the expenses associated with higher demand.
Whether you’re known for smashing summertime drinks or a quirky atmosphere that attracts curious tourists, you can’t enter your busiest season without money to support these four essentials for great service.
Summertime means vacation time, and the arrival of travelers at hotels inevitably brings more traffic to restaurants. Local events, such as concerts and street festivals, attract even more people, including residents eager to get out after a long, dreary winter. Add in road trips and day trips, and you have quite the combination of seasonal factors affecting business.
Why? Everyone needs to eat, and you need enough staff to cover the sudden rush when hunger strikes. Thanks to the “always-on” nature of today’s culture, this may or may not happen at traditional meal times, so it’s important to be ready for a flood of visitors with big appetites at any time of day.
Keeping cash on hand helps you get a head start on seasonal hiring. Bring new employees on board in advance of the summer rush to allow enough time for proper onboarding and training. When business picks up, you want the staff to be prepared.
Delicious local produce and specialty items are highlights of the summer season, and visitors are eager to experience the unique tastes of the area. Incorporating these items into your regular menu or using them in daily specials makes your establishment stand out and attracts a wider customer base.
If you’re serving up the best of the area’s seasonal flavors, you can expect to have people coming back regularly to see what’s new. Do you have the right equipment to prepare seasonal specialties in a way that brings out the best flavor? Is your current equipment up to the challenge of serving a larger volume of patrons?
Upgrading to new equipment means you’ll be more efficient and have the most up-to-date options for serving your summer customers. You can also use the cash you have on hand to set up regular maintenance to ensure existing equipment operates at peak capacity all season.
Modern restaurant POS systems blow old-fashioned cash registers out of the water. If you’re facing the insanity of the summer season with the same POS setup you’ve had for years, it’s time to use some of your cash on hand to invest in an update.
Look for a user-friendly service with options to make servers’ jobs easier and customers’ experiences better. Touch-screen ordering streamlines the serving process by letting waitstaff zap orders off to the kitchen or customers to put in their own orders with just a few taps.
If you really want to speed up table turnover and make it possible to serve more customers at your busiest times, look for a system with a “pay-at-table” option. Making this simple change can slash wait times by 20 percent!
The best POS systems integrate with accounting and inventory to make real-time updates as orders are received.
Looking for a way to capture more mobile customers? Get an online ordering system for your business. Young consumers are particularly fond of the option to order in advance and are driving the technology to grow 300 percent faster than dine-in ordering.
It all comes down to personalization. People know what they want, and they’re not fond of waiting for it. Using cash on hand to partner with a third-party ordering system or get a custom app makes it possible to serve anyone who wants to experience your amazing cuisine but doesn’t feel like standing in line. With the tech in place, you can handle a higher volume of orders at any time of the day.
You can also make quite a bit more money with online ordering. Statistics show people tend to buy 15 to 20 percent more when putting in their orders on a website or through an app, so whatever you spend is likely to pay for itself over the course of the summer.
If you’re facing the coming summer rush without enough cash on hand to give your customers the best possible service, a business loan could help. Term loans provide the large sums necessary to support new equipment purchases and other investments in growth.
For smaller expenses like replenishing inventory or launching a digital marketing campaign, a revolving line of credit provides a revolving source of cash from which you can draw as needed.
A representative from National Business Capital and Services can guide you to the right type of loan for your restaurant’s needs. National has multiple solutions to the question of how to finance a restaurant business during the busy season and throughout the rest of the year.
Get the flexibility you need to adapt to customer demands with a smart restaurant funding option. Call (877) 482-3008 for a free consultation with a live Expert Financing Advisor, or fill out our 60-second application online to get the funds you need in as little as 24 hours.
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Matt Carrigan is the Content Writer at National Business Capital & Services. He loves spending every day creating content to educate business owners across every industry about business growth strategies, and how they can access the funding they need!