Posted by Patrick Maness
In the winter, the number one challenge restaurant owners face when trying to get people to come out to their establishment is the weather. No matter where you are in the country, whether you're looking at piles of dirty snow in the northeast, bracing for damp cold in the south or looking at rain in the Pacific Northwest, for about five months each year the weather does all it can to keep people indoors.
As a result, restaurant owners and managers need to think about what they can do to make it easy and enjoyable for customers to leave home. Here are some ways to make it easier for people to visit you during the cold months.
It's a fact that people don’t want to walk far in the cold, and they don’t want to drive around the snow-filled streets looking for parking either. Providing an affordable valet service greatly simplifies the process of going out in the winter.
Add an extra foyer
In order to keep the draft out, many restaurants install a temporary foyer. This allows people to get in from the cold before they enter the restaurant and does wonders for reducing the cold drafts that can spoil an experience.
In addition to shoveling the outside walk and parking lot, and being liberal with your de-icer, take extra measures to make sure the exterior looks better than great. Additional outside lighting and heaters add a large amount of warmth and style, elements that are key to attracting customers. It suggests that the inside is cozy and inviting, and that leads to our final point.
When thinking about how you should set up the dining area in your establishment, your goal should be to make people think and feel they are exactly where they want to be on a cold night. A fireplace is a great idea, of course, but if you don't have one, consider lowering your lights and adding warm bulbs to great a fire-like glow.