Extreme winter weather is impacting business. Not only do entrepreneurs have to deal with the actual assault of storms, it is an extra effort to get customers into the mood to spend. Many restaurateurs are experts in finding creative ways to entice customers out of their cars and homes into businesses during winter.
Why are successful restaurants so great at winning customers in winter? They have a lot of experience. Every year, after the winter holidays many customers resolve to lose weight, save money, or even give up on going out. These popular resolutions have prompted restaurateurs to find creative ways to attract new guests.
Slashing prices on the menu isn’t the first choice for most restaurants because it cuts profits. Instead, special opportunities for guests and personalized promotions are very popular for many hospitality businesses. These custom experiences can include classes, competitions, or partnerships for charities or community efforts. Not only can these special events attract positive publicity, it shows customers they’re patronizing a business that gives back to causes they care about.
Restaurants are great at creating customer connections in their communities. Some 94% of U.S. restaurants make charitable contributions, which add up to more than $3 billion a year according to the National Restaurant Association. For example, during the government shutdown hospitality businesses in Washington, Saint Louis, Atlanta and many other cities reached out to furloughed government employees.
So what can you do if your business is not in the hospitality industry? Partnerships make it possible for entrepreneurs to expand their reach in their communities. For example, during the government shutdown businesses outside the hospitality industry stepped up to aid restaurants feeding furloughed workers. Offering this help creates connections to long-term loyal customers who will remember long after the event.
It doesn’t have to be a food event to partner with local businesses and attractions. Think about what sets your company apart and how you use this difference to give back. A car dealership might inspire a video game competition at a popular sports bar or a local wellness center might help sponsor a smoothie tasting event. Coming together on an event or special menu item can connect with customers’ health goals or leisure activities while providing some excitement on cold winter days.
Are you looking for a way to get started? Look around your community and at your calendar. Special days like “Random Acts of Kindness Day”, “World Smile Day” or “Hugging Day” can give you some inspiration for a low cost promotion and perhaps a new partnership to connect with new customers.