Four Ways To Promote Your Restaurant During The Slow Season

Posted on: 6 March 2018

If you're like most restaurant owners or managers, you probably already know that certain times of the year are busier than others. Perhaps your restaurant is located in an area that gets a lot of summer tourism, for instance, and you're used to being packed during that time while business in winter months languishes. It can be challenging to lure local residents into restaurants in communities that get significant tourist trade, but fortunately, there are strategies available that are designed to bring in business in the off season. Following are just four of the many things you can do to bring new customers into your restaurant during the off season. 

Hosting Wine and Beer Tastings

Wine and beer tastings provide an excellent way to get more people coming through your doors -- and because these events are typical fun, social happenings, those who attend will form pleasant associations with your restaurant. However, hosting a wine or beer tasting is more complex than simply uncorking or opening a few bottles and placing them on tables. You should provide hors d'oeuvres that reflect your menu selections as well as thoughtful wine or beer selections designed to complement the food on offer -- and make certain that most of the wine and beer is featured on your adult beverage menus. 

It's also essential to have the appropriate glassware when hosting adult beverage tastings. Proper beer and wine glasses show that your establishment has class. If you're unsure about what glasses are best for different beverages, your glassware distributor will be happy to provide you with a comprehensive tutorial designed to provide you with a quick education on what type of glass to use for various kinds of wine and beer. For instance, red wine glasses should be taller and with a larger bowl than their counterparts designed for white wine because the more complex flavor profiles of red wines mean they need more room to breathe. Beer glasses differ as well. Pilsner glasses are tall and narrow, while traditional Guinness glasses are short and wide. 

Check out sites like and work with glass suppliers to expand your glassware collection in order to serve various beverages.

Host Meetup Groups

Meetup groups are huge in many communities, and they're generally more active during the slow season because people are less busy with seasonal travel and outdoor activities. Offering your restaurant space for local meetup groups increases your visibility within your local community, and those who show up for Meetups may return with their friends and families at a later date, particularly if they have a good experience at your restaurant during their Meetup session. 

Reach Out to Local Businesses 

Reaching out to local businesses and letting them know that your restaurant is available to host events can go a long ways toward filling in the typical slow-season gaps. For instance, many companies treat their employees and their families to holiday parties, so why not offer a place for those festivities to happen? Some modern businesses even offer employees recurring Happy Hour sessions as a team building strategy. Community groups such as Toastmasters and Rotary Clubs frequently meet for breakfast during the early morning hours before normal business hours begin. 

Adjust Your Menu to the Seasons

Local residents are far more likely than their seasonal counterparts to want down home cooking rather than fussy, special occasion cuisine, so consider adjusting your menu to meet off-season tastes. Comfort food such as meatloaf, pot roast, and macaroni and cheese is always popular in the winter, and you can keep costs down by running specials on these items. Be sure to advertise as heavily as possible in all local media options so that people know what's available.