You should take advantage of holidays and special occasions to bring in more customers and to make more money for your business. Occasions like Christmas, Halloween, New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day, birthdays, and work parties are times when you should get creative and make your café a community hotspot. People look forward to going out and celebrating holidays, so you should use them as promotional and marketing opportunities.
Get Some Decorations
Get your customers in the mood to celebrate by decorating your café. Get some streamers, garlands, and other ornaments. Create the right atmosphere by coming up with unique themes. For example, at Christmas, you could make your café look festive with a small tree, colourful baubles, and some fairy lights. You could also stick up decorations such as tinsel and put a wreath on the front door. A bit of Christmas music might be good too.
Make sure any décor is well thought out and planned in advance.
Have a Seasonal Menu
Having a seasonal menu is a great way to attract new customers. You could also have a set menu, 2 for 1 offers, or discounted three-course meals. People are always looking out for a good deal, so you should make it worth their while.
You could come up with special names for the items on the menu that correlate with the holiday, and have special pastries, desserts, and other goodies. Holiday-themed cookies always go down well, for example, gingerbread men and trees at Christmas; hearts on Valentine’s Day; ghosts and pumpkins for Halloween; and fireworks for New Year’s.
Offer seasonal drinks with a choice of syrups, like vanilla, orange, mint, caramel, and gingerbread, and offer other drinks, such as pumpkin spice lattes and black forest hot chocolate. For holidays and special occasions that take place in the summer, offer iced coffees and fruit smoothies.
You should also make sure all your equipment is in working order as you don’t want to close early on some of the busiest days of the year. Drinks are a café’s biggest selling point, so make sure you have a reliable and hard-wearing coffee machine, like a Saeco automatic espresso machine.
Reward your loyal customers with incentives to encourage them to return and bring their friends.
You could have holiday-themed loyalty cards, for example, Valentine loyalty cards. Customers could buy seven drinks, and they would get an eighth one for free for their Valentine. You could also offer gift cards, so that your customers can treat their friends and family to a few coffees or a meal.
You can also have competitions, like offering a free minced pie to the person wearing the ugliest Christmas jumper or a free cup of tea to the person wearing the scariest Halloween costume. You could also have a competition where people like and share your social media post and someone is picked at random to win a free drink and meal. This will help to generate interest in your café.
You could sell refillable travel mugs with your logo printed on them and offer customers 20% off drinks when they use them. You could also offer a discount for those who book online in advance or have a points system where people get a certain number of points for every £1 they spend, and then they can get a free drink or free dessert when they build up points.
Make your café everyone’s venue of choice. Make it clear on your site that you can host parties and events. This is your opportunity to provide your customers with a unique experience. If you keep your café open on holidays, people may be interested in booking it as a venue for a private party. If you have free spaces in your calendar, you could even host your own events, such as a comedy night or an open mic session. You should also think about talking to local bands and musicians to see if they would be interested in providing live music during these events.
Plan for the Season
Winter or summer, you should always be prepared for the weather. Because holidays fall on different times of the year, you need to think about keeping your guests comfortable.
If your café is going to be open when the weather gets colder, then you should make sure that you have an efficient heating system to keep your customers cosy and warm. It may be wise to invest in pipe warming wire to prevent damage to your pipes and to stop them from freezing.
On warmer days in the summer, you should make sure you have fans or an air conditioning system to keep your customers cool. You should also open some windows to let in the fresh air.
Image Credits: Kong Ruksiam