Update your menu. Springtime is a good time to include lighter fare on your menu, better suited for warmer weather. Think salads, cold soups, fresh seafood and tropical drink specials. Check out local farmers markets for good deals on local seasonal produce. Many farmers will deliver bulk orders right to the restaurant. It is also a good time to compare food costs with menu prices to ensure you are maximizing profits. Read more about how to price a restaurant menu.
Have your commercial equipment serviced. The dog days of summer are no time for your air conditioning to quit. Ditto for your walk-in cooler and other commercial refrigeration. That’s why it’s important to have them cleaned and serviced at least once a year. This is also a good time to have your other kitchen equipment cleaned and serviced, such as your hood and sprinkler system. Read more about restaurant kitchen equipment.
Train new staff. If you restaurant hire’s new staff for the summer season, consider having a mandatory training day for them before it gets busy. You can review your employee manual, job descriptions and expectations, let the staff sample menu items and have the servers and bartenders take their TIPS training for alcohol serving. Read more about hiring restaurant staff.
Schedule a cleaning day. Many restaurants are open seven days a week, all year long. Even with the best cleaning crew, dirt and debris build up – on walls, floors, carpets, etc… A one, two or even three day cleaning spree gives you a chance to fresh up with new paint, shampooing carpers, cleaning out wait stations, and all the other jobs that don’t get done during regular business days.
Update your marketing and advertising. Busy holiday seasons like Memorial Day and Fourth of July are a good time to run extra print ads and coupons in newspapers and radio spots. Partner with other local businesses (hotels, shops, chambers of commerce) to promote one another. You can swap brochures and take out menus as well as links on your websites. Read more about restaurant advertising on a budget.