Coffee

After the frenetic phase of the busy holiday season, people like to hunker down inside their homes and stay inside away from the cold, harsh days of winter. Many restaurants see a huge dip in sales during this time of the year but there’s a silver lining.

Fortunately, many people still like to have their cup of coffee every day, even in the deadest of winter. If your restaurant capitalizes on this by offering an improved coffee service, you can expect to keep sales up even on those days where customers would rather stay at home.

#1. Provide outdoor heating

There’s something nice about the idea of sipping a cup of piping hot coffee in an outdoor patio where you’re only just a few steps away from the snow. If your restaurant has a patio, why not set it up so you can offer this novel experience to your customers. There are plenty of portable heater options that are available to you. Some are powered by gas while others run on electricity. Take a look at your most cost-effective options and invest in a heater for your patio.

#2. Create an innovative winter menu

Restaurants offering coffee face a lot of tough competition. People can get their coffee from pretty much everywhere these days. So stand out from the rest by offering something that others don’t. Do you have a specialty secret recipe that puts your competitors to shame? Do you have a novel theme that you know will attract extra foot traffic? Or are you bold enough to venture into other territories and offer something very different? An example of this is Starbucks offering wine at some of its locations starting at 4 p.m. Wine certainly veers a little bit too far from their initial offerings but it has paid off with an increase in foot traffic during the slower times of the day.

#3. Deal with Wi-Fi squatters.

Offering Wi-Fi is a great way to attract and retain customers. Unfortunately, some people sometimes go too far and abuse this free service. While big coffee chains can survive the onslaught of the Wi-Fi squatters, smaller shops that need a fast turnover to make money may not. Consider setting time limits on Wi-Fi use for customers or changing the password every couple of hours so that they will be forced to buy a new item if they want to continue using Wi-Fi. Or you can go old-fashioned and get rid of Wi-Fi altogether.

#4. Prepare your equipment for the cold weather

Certain types of kitchen equipment need to be serviced in time for the cold, harsh days of winter. A Beverage Air cooler, a Manitowoc ice machine, or a walk in freezer, for example, needs to be winterized by insulating the water pipes that deliver water to these equipment. Insulating prevents water passing through exposed pipes from freezing due to the frigid temperatures and allows your machines to work properly even in the cold.

#5. Provide online ordering and delivery service

People will still want their coffee even in the dead of winter, but how can they get it if it’s below freezing point outside? The solution is to provide online ordering and delivery services for your restaurant. It’s best to define your delivery area and target a place where there isn’t a lot of competition. Do your research and find insulated coffee cup carriers so that your coffee arrives hot and flavorful when it reaches your customers’ doorstep.