Winter Weather Impacting Your Business? Ways to Warm Up Customers and New Opportunities

wINTERCOUPLE_CM9W9UHKKKExtreme 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.

wINTER_TROPY_TRCKTBXVXSSlashing 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.photo-1514893011-72dfa15bd29c

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.

WINTER CITY_CNPDGXNQNPIt 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.LUBQRTO8JB_handshake

 

How Jimmy Kimmel Took Me Back to Mornings with Captain Kangaroo

The introduction of Peeps flavored milk by Prairie Farms Dairy got a lot of attention on television and online. Local news and national late night talk shows alike conducted taste tests with anchors and celebrities. For example, Jimmy Kimmel and the American Idol Judges all tried the three flavors of Peeps Milk and offered their reviews. You can view it here:

It was with a hint of regret that Kimmel explained the Peeps milk flavors are not available in California, so the show had to have them flown in from the Midwest. I chuckled and thought of my dear mother.
CaptainKangarooYou see, I grew up on Captain Kangaroo, a children’s television show that went off the air in 1984. It was a weekday ritual in our family. In between the cartoons and the skits, Captain Kangaroo advertised Wonder bread. He said so many wonderful things about Wonder bread all the children in our large family would beg for Wonder bread. The problem was that in the area of the country where I grew up, they didn’t sell Wonder bread. I remember her taking us to the bread aisle again and again, to show us there WAS NO Wonder bread to be bought there.

Decades later, a better job prompted my relocation to Saint Louis, Missouri. I was sharing the good news with one of my siblings. I recall he informed me with a lilt of excitement in his voice; I would finally be in Wonder bread country. Funny how you remember things like that.

So when Jimmy Kimmel advised the milk wasn’t available on the coasts, I was taken back to Wonder bread. I felt the disappointment of some youngster seeing the Peeps milk and getting excited only to discover it isn’t in local stores.

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I am fortunate to be able to buy Prairie Farms products where I live. It is well known here representing more than 700 farm families. Prairie Farms also helps families in need and non-profit organizations. The Prairie Farms charitable giving program, Our Caps, Your Cause, supports a variety of non-profit organizations ranging from food banks to animal groups and zoos. The dairy’s program also gives consumers a voice in helping local causes.

Perhaps the Peeps flavored milk will help spread the word about this way Prairie Farms customers can give back to their communities.10329194_651448261626775_6185995284465362652_n