Preparing for the Summer Business Rush

The summer business rush is an exciting and busy time for most restaurants. This is especially true for restaurants in locations with heavy tourist traffic during these months. With the rise in business comes an increase in competition as well. Summer is only a few weeks away, and now is the ideal time to prepare so you can effectively attract current and new customers. Create a great dining experience, so they leave impressed and come back again and again.

Here are some to-dos to optimize business this summer:

A Convenient Takeout Process in Place

Don't underestimate the importance of an easy and quick takeout process. This is a huge factor in customer satisfaction. It can decide whether a customer chooses to order from you or chooses to come back in the future.

  • Ability to place an order online- There are still many people who would instead place an order online than over the phone. People like to see the options out before them and choose what they want that way. This is beneficial to you as well because it saves time. One less person takes up time answering the phone and one less person who needs to be rung up for their order at the register. Some restaurants have this integrated into their website, and some choose to use a third-party application.
  • QR code menu- This makes it easy to quickly view the menu if a customer is standing in line waiting to order. This will make the line go quicker and help when short-staffed. 
  • Physical takeout brochure or menu available when they walk in for those who don't want to bother with a QR code.

Update Your Google Business Profile

Google Business is a powerful way to reach people who may not even know you exist yet. This is great if you are located somewhere people tend to vacation during the summer, such as along the beach. When unfamiliar with the area, they will take out their smartphone and search for places to eat based on their location. Google maps information is associated with a Google Business account. Google Maps is used by many people in order to navigate while driving in an unfamiliar area. Learn how to claim your business through Google Maps here.

How to edit your Google business information:
  1. Sign in to your Google account used for your business profile.
  2. To find your business profile, just Google your exact business name.
  3. Click on Edit Profile, then on Business Information.
  4. After changing the fields you wish to change, make sure to press Save.

Be Staff Ready

If you do not have enough staff to operate with the seasonal rush, start recruiting a little each day now. We know it isn't easy to find help these days, so try some of these tactics to see if they help:

  • Ask happy employees if they have friends or anyone in their network that is looking for employment, with an incentive if they bring someone in who gets hired.
  • Cross-train everyone on staff so, on your busier days, you’ll have the help where needed. For example, in a pizzeria, everyone should know how to make pizza.
  • Encourage followers on social media to share your post with information on employment needs, so their network can see it. Your fans love to support local small businesses within their community.

Maximize Profit with Dessert

One of the key ways to boost sales during the summertime is to offer a special treat after their meal. Whether very casual or more of a fine dining establishment, everyone loves dessert! The best part, many deserts come premade and require little labor.

  • Have the freezer space? Gelato is easy to boost profit and is meant for summertime. Whether you prefer individual-sized gelato or an entire pan to serve from, gelato is the way to boost sales in the hottest months.
  • Offer individually packaged cookies and brownies. Ask your Ferraro Sales Associate about our individually packaged dessert options, or bake your own and put them in a plastic wrap. A tip is to put them right near the register or front counter to entice guests as they check out.
  • Enhance everyone's dessert favorites such as cheesecake and tiramisu by topping them with fresh fruit. Use prepared dessert, so you only have to cut the fruit. This will give it that homemade, unique look without the homemade time. Each bite will be delicious and refreshing for summer.

Outdoor Dining Setup

A functional dining space outside can allow you to serve many more guests, so if you have the room take full advantage of it. If staffing is an issue, consider having a setup with materials outside to prevent running back and forth to serve diners, such as utensils and napkins. If you need any outdoor dining tips and inspiration, check out our A Refresh for Spring article here.

Here are some ways to start preparing now:

  • Give the outside space a deep clean of any dirt or debris it accumulated in the offseason
  • Clean up the landscape and maybe plant some flowers
  • Check for any damaged outside furniture and make repairs or replace them
  • Think back to last summer season. Was there anything you wish you had for the convenience of your customers or staff?

Update your Website

One of the first things people do when they want to know more about a restaurant is to look it up online and hopefully find the website. Here, they should see all the critical up-to-date information they need to know and what to expect.

  • If offering specials during the summer, be sure to put this information on your website or update the menu on your website with these items.
  • Consider putting a calendar on your website with planned events or promotions during the summer months to keep guests in the know.

FOMO Inducing Social Media Content

Leading up to summer and during the summer months, post content daily that makes them keep you on the top of their mind. For your potential new customers, this is a great way for them to get excited about what to expect at your operation. The younger customer, such as Gen Z and Millennials, will most likely look to your social media platforms to gain insight into what you offer and whether it looks appetizing to them, so be sure your photos of food are amazing!

Optimize these coming weeks before traffic picks up in the summer by preparing smartly. By using these tips, you are off to a great start.