Because the food industry is prone to seasonality, most restaurants and bars expect there to be slow seasons. However, some slow periods are tougher than others. How can your establishment stay in great shape?

Whether you are dealing with local health crises, new competition, or other interruptions to standard business, these practical strategies can help you cope. 

  1. Research the local economy. Is this slow time caused by a specific event? Is it a natural slowdown or a rare issue? How are other neighboring organizations being affected? Answering these problems can reveal if you are dealing with an isolated or ongoing slowdown.
  2. Cut costs when possible. One way to increase profit margins when business is slow is to become lean-focused. Consider controlling unnecessary costs, reducing your hours. and simplifying the menu to decrease expenses. Whatever the case, cutting costs can make a more efficient and better able to weather slow seasons.
  1. Find creative ways to promote. Some slow seasons are inevitable; others can come out of the blue. Determine how you can take advantage of the time. What are some creative ways to promote to potential customers and draw them into your restaurant? Planning events from trivia nights to karaoke to live music can be an effective promotion. Giving people a reason to come to your location beyond great food and beverages is a great way to promote opportunities for socialization and building a community. Partnering with other local businesses and creating cross-promotion with neighboring retailers is also a great way for promoting within the community during hard times. Are you also taking full advantage of promoting through social media? Creating awareness during off-peak months may be great to promote during the down season.

Every restaurant and bar experiences slow periods from time to time. For more information on surviving slow months as a restaurant, check out the accompanying infographic below. You will find a clear breakdown of financial tips and operational strategies that can make a difference during the slow months at your restaurant.

Infographic created by TouchBistro, a restaurant inventory management company