10 considerations before opening a cafe
Seasonality is a huge part of being in the hospitality and retail game. You have peak times of day, and peak seasons of the year.
And what better season than Christmas?
Christmas is a time of celebration, letting loose and giving back. For your customers. For the hospitality industry – it’s the busiest time of year.
In the spirit of giving back, we’ve put together some initiatives that will help you and your business prepare to make the most out of the holidays:
1. Throw an event
The best way to guarantee customers during the most important days of the holiday season?
Have them make a booking.
When you throw an event and sell tickets you gain a clear idea of how many people are going to be in attendance. Also if you’re selling tickets your customers are more likely to show up as they’ve already spent on the event.
Throw some specials in there, do a sit down degustation with a glass of champagne to start if that’s your style.
Perhaps your quick service restaurant or café isn’t set up for that type of event. That doesn’t mean you can’t come to the party.
Think outside of the box with the type of event you throw. Try a orphan’s Christmas brunch, or a singles mixer to target a specific type of customer.
2. Remarket to your existing customers
Gaining a new customer is so much harder (and more expensive) than getting one of your customers to come back.
This is where your loyalty strategy comes into play. Is your business harnessing data to remarket Christmas specials to your current customers? No. Well that’s where you should start.
Check out our restaurant tech cheat sheet to understand how you can connect your applications to remarket to your current customers and reach new ones.
3. Put together a holiday specials menu
Themed specials are great for the silly season.
And you can’t go wrong with clichés here either. Think hearty flavours that’ll inject the Christmas spirit into your menu.
Why a holiday themed specials menu? It helps your customers get into the spirit of things and adds a certain pizazz to the experience you are creating.
4. Get into the spirit of things
When your venue helps your customers get into the spirit of the holidays, they’re more likely to eat, drink and make merry. And what does that mean for you?
Cha- Ching. That’s right.
So get to work with red and green tones for the next month. But don’t just stop at generic Christmas/ holiday decorations. Look to incorporate it into the specific style of your current décor so that you stay true to your branding.
Run a 70s style venue? Look for old-school posters of Santa Claus. Running a venue that’s more minimalist chic?
Looking for inspiration on how to decorate for Christmas? Pinterest is a great place to start mood boards and begin collaborating with your team as to how you are going to tackle the look and feel of your holiday season décor.
5. Give away tasty tasters
Run a café in a location with a lot of retail outlets? You don’t have to feel left out of it all. Sure you can’t compete with a degustation. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play.
Give out tasters of your most festive dish to tempt tired shoppers to come in for a quick coffee and bite.
This will help you draw in more of the increased foot traffic.
6. Make sure the tools you use for service run seamlessly
Imagine if your payments device stopped working on Christmas day. Nightmare.
That’s why it’s important that you, your staff and your systems are braced for the busiest night of the year.
Sure – no one’s switching providers when they’re ramping up for the busy season, but if you’re having problems with your payments device now, rest assured those problems aren’t going to just disappear come Christmas day.
We can all hold out for a Christmas miracle – or you could get in touch with our friendly team who will help you make the switch to an EFTPOS machine that takes transactions in less than 2 seconds.
The holiday season is the busiest time for hospitality and retail professionals.
We hope these tips help you make the most of the Christmas crowd this festive season.
Merry christmas and happy holidays.