How to Bring in Diners at the Beginning of the Year

One of the top tips for eating healthy is to cook your own food and stop eating out. In early January, the catatonic state of post-holiday partyers, paired with a resolution to lose weight, can mean less dining out for your restaurant and bad news for your business.

So if you’re a restaurant owner, you need to get creative to continue to drive diners into your business in January. Here are some ways to cater to your diners’ New Year’s resolutions and still have a steady flow of business in January.

Share photos of healthy foods on your social media accounts.

Maybe your typical customer comes in for your amazing French onion soup or that juicy cheeseburger with extra fries. Since you already have salmon or a chicken dish on the menu, it’s time to advertise it. Snap a photo of your healthiest dish on the menu against a clean white surface to help it pop and look delicious. Then post the photo to social media with a tagline about how customers can eat healthy but let you do the cooking.

Run a promotion.

Offer a 10 percent discount or a free appetizer on traditionally slow nights with the mention of your social media post or a marketing email that you sent out. Even when people are on a diet, it’s hard to resist a deal. You could also run a promotion exclusively for new customers to motivate new diners to try your eatery.

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Try adding delivery to your services.

It’s cold in January, so some of your regulars might not want to leave their homes. Try offering delivery in January — and advertise it. This can help increase sales, especially on weeknights. Your customers will also love the convenience.

Train your servers to upsell.

If you’re struggling to get customers in the door, you need to really capitalize on the ones who are coming to your restaurant organically. Train your servers how to upsell to increase each bill. Servers can suggest menu items to try in addition to what is being ordered, or get more descriptive about items to ensure customers are salivating. You can also have waiters bring dessert menus over to customers, even if customers don’t ask. This makes it hard for them to resist once they see the lava cake on the list!

Have cozy decor.

It’s still cold out, so if you have a fireplace, make sure it’s burning bright. You also want to think of some warm drinks to keep people feeling cozy as you wait out winter together.