Every restaurant experiences quieter trading periods. Whether you’re affected by seasonal lows you can predict, or those odd days of quiet that you can’t, it can be difficult to stay motivated without customers coming through the door. However, quieter days don’t have to be the demotivating waste of time that they might seem…
Either literally, or in terms of looking at operations and strategy. Quiet trading periods are the ideal opportunity to step back and assess what you have and what you need. Look back at goals set last time around and analyse whether you’ve achieved them, and if not, why not? Review working processes and identify where positive changes can be made. With time on your hands there’s no excuse not to.
Use quiet time for training
If you find that everyone starts to slow down during quieter periods then set some training objectives. If senior staff train junior staff then everyone is occupied and doing something positive. Setting goals and tasks around the training will ensure it holds everyone’s attention. This is a great opportunity to encourage bonding and progress, so don’t waste it.
Re-evaluate your marketing
Be honest, is this quieter trading period simply the result of a natural dip or has it been going on for far too long? If your business is suffering then now is a great time to do something about it. Start with your marketing – are you quiet because no one knows you’re there? Do you know how to reach out to customers? There are all kinds of marketing tips and tricks to try, from establishing a new social profile to planning some advertising. Taking action to create a new strategy and actionable points will fill you with renewed motivation and energy.
Test new dishes for the menu
Inspiration rarely comes when we are flat out busy. However, quieter trading times create perfect conditions for innovating and testing new dishes. Get others involved and set a challenge to create something new for the menu. This is an ideal opportunity to see which of your team has creative potential, as well as to overhaul a menu that might be getting a bit tired.
Tackle the worst tasks
It might be paperwork, perhaps it’s administration – maybe the tasks you hate most of all like budgeting or a deep spring clean. These may not seem like the most motivating of tasks but the sense of satisfaction when they’re done is…plus they’re off your list so when you get busy again you can enjoy the benefits of not having them hanging over you.