We all know that running a restaurant can be full of highs and lows in customer flow. However, lots of restaurants and cafes are still struggling to book tables during quiet hours or days, this could be down to the ongoing recovery of the economy. We thought we would discuss ways to unlock hidden potential during quiet moments and utilise your space to get some extra revenue through the door.
Section off an area for smaller clubs and workshops
Section off an area that can be used solely for book clubs, parent clubs, coffee and a chat clubs etc and advertise the new space and events on your social media, through email newsletters and with eye catching posters inside and outside your establishment. If your website allows users to book the space hassle-free, even better! Get your website hooked up to an automated email platform like Mailchimp to get your customers prepared for their upcoming event/workshop/group.
Does your café/restaurant/bar have a niche or special dish? Maybe you make the best Macha latte in Brighton or grow your own mushrooms for a certain dish, or do you bake the best scones in Petersfield… Own it and teach it. Capitalise on your expertise and offer mini lessons or create a course. You will be surprised at who comes forward to learn about your incredible talents.
By using movable partitions, screens or dividers, you can easily separate an area as and when you need to use it for other things. If you know you’re quiet in Jan and Feb, use these months to book things in the diary, (but well ahead of time). This gives customers a chance to see upcoming events and book onto them.
Could you host larger scale events such as gin and wine tasting, networking events, book or product launches, art exhibitions and charity events… The list is endless, but once you know what you have time and space for, reach out to event planners, local businesses, community organisations and let them know your venues availability for events. By expanding your offerings beyond your regular dining experience, you invite a diverse range of customers who may not have known about you.
Would you share your restaurant with another vendor? If your restaurant primarily operates in the evenings, partnering with someone in need of daytime premises can be a win-win situation. We have seen it done before and it’s genius… changeable signage, separate menus, and different staff. It all depends on your lease and if you can sublet, so check with your lease provider first.
Guest chef or neighbouring business collaborations
If you would like to give your customers something different; monthly or ad-hoc collabs are a great way to keep your venue interesting. You could host a cheese and wine event with a local cheesemaker… or you could create a menu using local produce from a local farmer. If you have a cinema or theatre nearby, you could offer them a discounted set menu before shows when you might be quieter. It’s always worth a conversation with other small businesses in the area, even if it’s not the right time for them now, it might be in 3,6,9 months. Plus making friends in business is always a good idea!
By embracing these strategies and thinking creatively, you can change your once quiet restaurant, to a dynamic space that caters to an array of events. Staying open to new opportunities could make your restaurant or café the place to be! However, we understand that converting your restaurant into a multi-use event space may require expert guidance and assistance… That’s where we come in! Ceba Solutions is a team of experts who can advise, design and build your dream space. Please get in touch for more information, we would love to talk more.