How to Embrace Cold Winter Weather at Your Restaurant
Winter is in full swing and there are a variety of ways restaurants and bars can optimize this season. From assessing the safety of your building to warming up your menu and focusing on the overall guest experience, here are a few ways to embrace the cold weather at your restaurant or bar.
Assess Logistical Concerns
It’s critical to consider building safety aspects. When temperatures drop, pipes can freeze or burst. Be proactive about building-related concerns like these. A potential flood would leave you with a hefty bill and could potentially put you out of service while pipes are repaired.
If you’re in a destination that gets a lot of rain and/or snow, you might need a snow or ice removal service to keep your parking lot accessible. You can also peruse options for snow or ice removal for sidewalks. While you should always want to keep your sidewalk free of snow or ice for safety reasons, it’s more important now with the influx of patrons ordering takeout.
Revamp Your Takeout Menu
Speaking of takeout, some customers may prefer to eat at home but not cook. Nothing says winter than cozying up with loved ones on the couch. Address this problem by creating “take and bake” options. Think of dishes you can prepare for your guests to finish cooking in their ovens.
Pizzas, pot pies, and one-sheet meals are excellent, no-hassle options for your customers. Enhance the experience by including special instructions for re-heating the leftovers or other baking tips! You can also provide resources to make winter cocktails at home so your customers can have a unique, enjoyable experience tied to your brand while they relax in the comfort under their own roof.
Warm up Your Menu
Add hearty fare and warm drinks to your menus. Consider integrating holiday favorites like warm cider, cocoa, and mulled wines throughout Q1 as well. The winter months are the perfect time to experiment with comfort foods as well.
Think about dishes people know and love that give them a sense of nostalgia. Baked goods like corn bread, pot pies are grits are great. Hot soups are a staple of any restaurant winter menu. French onion, butternut squash, and chicken noodle are just a few perfect soup flavors to have on hand.
Keep Your Guests Warm
Invest in items like patio heaters, especially as outdoor dining continues to thrive. These ensure your guests remain comfortable while they dine throughout these colder months. Blankets also add coziness to the experience. (Consider branding your blankets for an added benefit.) Restaurants and bars with unique touches like this tend to be photographed by guests for social media and review sites, so take advantage of the opportunity for some free marketing!
You can also use warm items to encourage community participation. For example, set up a fire pit on your patio and let your patrons roast marshmallows for smores. You can also place a grill or smoker on the patio. Passersbys will smells the delicious aroma, encouraging them to stop in and it will also create a more interactive experience for guests.
Simplify the Guest Experience
In addition to keeping your guests warm while they dine outdoors, consider which systems will help simplify the whole process. Make sure you’re using an online reservation system that makes it easy for guests to book a table indoors or outdoors.
We also recommend integrating a visually appealing online menu for guests to explore before they arrive to cut down on ordering time. You should also utilize contactless menus so guests can immediately access your menu from a QR code.
Take advantage of these tips to help your bar or restaurant maintain business throughout the winter months! By ensuring guest safety, creating innovative menu options, and enhancing the guest experience, you’ll be on track to keep business booming.