As a franchise owner you are always working hard to find new ways to engage customers and get them through your front door. One tried and true method is to piggyback off of the excitement around the holidays.
Here are some tips on how to capitalize on holidays to help your franchise business.
Offer a Meatless Option for Lent
For your Catholic customers, Lent can be a hard time to go out to eat because they have restrictions like not eating meat on Fridays during Lent. You can still draw them in though by offering a variety of meatless options like fish sandwiches. They will appreciate still being able to eat a delicious meal out.
Offer Special Promos during Local Holidays
It doesn’t just have to be the big national holidays that you celebrate with your customers either. Celebrate your local sport teams making it to the playoffs or championships with a special dish named in their honor and offer loyal fans a special promo to use.
Launch a Contest to Celebrate Popular Holidays
Whether it’s Christmas, New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day or even Cinco de Mayo, create a fun atmosphere in your franchise by launching a contest to celebrate popular holidays. Ask your customers to help name a new dish in honor of St. Patrick’s Day or ask them to submit their favorite recipes for Christmas cookies. By engaging with your customers during these festive times, you will earn a special place in their hearts.
Create a Special Menu for Restaurant Week
If your local community runs a Restaurant Week every year and you participate, then create a special menu for your Restaurant Week customers and be sure to promote it like crazy and offer some good discounts to boot.
Run a Fundraiser for Your Customers to Participate In
Giving back to others is a great community bonding experience. There is no better feeling than being a part of something bigger than yourself. By running a fundraiser for an important cause or nonprofit and asking your customers to participate, you are showing how committed you are to be an active part of the community.
Use Social Media to Generate an Excited Buzz
For all your special celebrations and promos, use social media to generate an excited buzz about it. Start with little teasers leading up to the big day and then livestream the festivities.
Decorate Your Franchise Business or Restaurant for the Holiday
Colorful twinkling lights, festive wreaths and other decorations can really do a lot to get people into a celebratory mood. Have fun with the holidays by creating a fun, welcoming atmosphere for your customers.
Other Tips for Running a Successful Franchise Business
- Hire staff that share your passion. In order to create that warm, friendly and personable environment in your franchise, of course, you need to hire the right staff. Your employees need to share your vision for the restaurant and be as passionate as you are about providing each customer the best experience possible. Besides hiring the right people, you also need to train them appropriately so they know how to handle any situations that might come up in the restaurant.
- Make delicious food. This goes without saying, but with barbecue it can be especially challenging until you find yourself in the sweet spot of what goes into making each dish perfectly. Barbecuing just right is a slow process and can take anywhere from 12 to 16 hours. Sometimes it can feel a little hit and miss at first perfecting the process to get the right amount of tenderness. And finding the right sauce is a big ingredient too.
- Creating an attractive menu is also important. With a barbecue joint, you don’t have to go crazy with having a lot of different types of dishes, but you do want to offer enough options to draw enough of a bigger crowd.
- Invest in quality side dishes. While Grade A juicy, delicious meat is of course important, your side dishes matter as well. As you build out your menu more, make sure you offer a variety of good quality dishes. This will help draw in customers who may not be big meat eaters, but who would appreciate your other offerings. Make sure you prepare fresh side dishes and not stuff out of a can or a tub. Your customers will be able to tell the difference.
- Create daily specials. Daily specials are a great way to move your more expensive dishes that don’t get ordered quite as often and it is also a good way to gauge customer interest in your different dishes. If you offer a dish on special and the customers don’t eat it up then maybe you should consider taking it off the menu until you can perfect it more.
- Find the price sweet spot. The costs of running a barbecue joint is more expensive than other franchises which can be a challenge. You need to recoup your losses and make money, but you know too high prices will drive most customers away. Your loyal customers who are truly barbecue aficionados understand that quality meats will cost a little more and will be expecting it. Just try to find that sweet spot where you keep your restaurant thriving but keep costs manageable for the customer.
- Never bite off more than you can chew. When it comes to investing in and running a business, there is always an element of risk involved. To protect yourself from going completely belly up, you need to make sure you have a fail-safe. Make sure you have money coming in from another avenue to keep you afloat if things don’t go as well as you hoped. That way you can rebound easier from a failed business.
Interesting in getting into the BBQ franchise? Chaps Pit Beef is now offering franchise units for its nationally known barbecue restaurant. For more information about running a BBQ franchise or on how to capitalize on holidays to help your franchise business, contact us today.
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