Summer Preparation Guide
This Summer Preparation Guide will give you a list of 10 To-Do’s so you can ensure this summer is your most efficient and fun one yet.
School’s out, travel luggage is packed, and a whole slew of eager patrons are about to be knocking down your business’s doors—be it a restaurant, bar, brewery, tasting room, or music hall. And with 2 slow pandemic summers behind us, you want to make the most of the incoming crowds.
This Summer Preparation Guide will give you a list of 10 To-Do’s so you can ensure this summer is your most efficient and fun one yet, leaving you with an abundance of lifelong fans and a fat wallet!
Preparing To Attract: How To Incentivize Newcomers
1. Mix Up Your Menu
Nothing gets hungry people’s ears perked like the promise of new menu items. Take advantage of the fresh, seasonal ingredients available to you and mix up your menu offerings. This will attract new customers and seasoned regulars alike!
Quickly make changes and add new menu items with a digital menu. With cloud-based technology, all changes are reflected instantly across all staff and guest devices. The editability of digital menus makes it easy to incentivize certain menu items or promote any upcoming event, too.
2. Try Community-Focused Programming
How can you reach more people in your neighborhood? By throwing an event that benefits their community! Teaming up with a local organization or nonprofit is a great way to get the word out about your event, get more people in your doors, and use your business to do good.
Further uplift your local organization by offering donation at checkout. Just pick an organization close to your heart to benefit, and guests can either round up their tab or donate in whole dollar amounts. Small change can make a big difference, especially with a jam-packed event!
3. Try Unique Events That Fit Your Demographic
We’ve all tested our luck with a Trivia or Bingo Night. That’s why this summer is the time to try something more unique that gets newcomers interested in your business and also fits your consumer base. With an exceptionally engaging event, you can guarantee that guests stick around longer and therefore have bigger tab sizes.
Fitzhugh Brewing’s Goat Petting Paaaaarty
Fitzhugh Brewing in Dripping Springs, TX retired their bingo cards in exchange for some baby goats, filling their taproom with the families they knew make up a majority of their customers. Kids and adults alike eagerly flooded their space, petting goats and imbibing all afternoon long.
4. Collaborate With Other Local Businesses
Fill a gap in your business and gain visibility from another business’s customer base at the same time! Bringing in something you know your customers are interested in, without having to start from scratch and do it all yourself, presents a great opportunity to collaborate with a master of that craft instead.
Seattle Cider Company + Food Vendors
Seattle Cider Company is brewing up the most eclectic ciders around. (Check out their Odyssey Imperial Cider for an 8.4% ABV apple-heavy punch!) But, all that cider sipping was making their customers hungry. Now they work with food trucks and other commissary kitchens to bring food onsite, encouraging guests to choose Seattle Cider for mealtime, and stay longer! Plus, fans of any specific food truck find themselves as newbies to the cidery taproom, increasing the likelihood of new fans for Seattle Cider.
5. Communicate Your Efforts
You’re doing all this work to attract newcomers to your space, so you must be communicating it all to the world! Make sure you’re being loud ‘n proud on your social media accounts, signage onsite, or whatever medium best fits your customer base. Include in your posts all information regarding new menu items, upcoming events, or anything else you’re doing to enhance the guest experience.
Sing Sing Kill Brewery’s Weekly Email Newsletter
Sing Sing Kill Brewery updates their customers every week on the happenings at their Ossining, NY location. By promoting their sustainable taproom, new brews on the menu, and more, they stay top of mind to their loyal fanbase.
Preparing To Impress: How To Dazzle Customers Once They’ve Arrived
6. Provide Exceptional Service
This one’s a no-brainer, and likely a to-do during your every day. However, now more than ever, this summer must have every guest walking away with a superb experience, so they can claim your business as a summer spot and invite all of their friends and family!
It takes an army to provide great service, but there are 2 main players driving service satisfaction: your staff and your POS. With mobile devices that free your staff to move about the space, and an easy-to-use interface that streamlines inputting orders, your guests will be wowed by the efficiency in your space. Plus, cloud-based technology allows staff devices to seamlessly communicate with each other, so kitchen and bar staff receive orders instantly from roaming servers’ devices. Hot plates and cold drinks are up in no time!
7. Educate Your Staff On How To Educate Your Guests
What gets first-timers immediately engaged with your brand? Learning about how your business came to be and all the amazing products you have to offer! By providing regular trainings on how staff can communicate transparent product information with customers, you set them up for success and wow your guests at the same time.
Elkins Distilling Co. Educating Tourists
Located in the Colorado mountain town of Estes Park, Elkins Distilling Co. has seen a lot of tourist traffic over the years, with “a variety of tastes and variety of experiences with spirits.” In order to provide a welcoming environment for novices, Elkins committed to an expanded portfolio and staff education to help ease guests in. Distillery staff strike up conversations about what else guests like, and carefully help them choose the best option in the tasting room. Not only does this create a better experience for guests, it introduces them to products that may become their new favorites!
8. Offer Service Flexibility With Contactless Ordering
With the likelihood of kids and large crowds stopping in, it’s important that you mitigate ordering chaos by providing different options via contactless tech. QR code ordering allows for on-demand ordering power by busy parents, hungry baseball teams, or indecisive children. With QR codes, your staff can focus on dazzling customers by inviting them to upcoming events or telling them about the herb garden out back, and not have to waste time collecting a bunch of orders that can otherwise be input by guests themselves.
QR code ordering benefits more than just staff workloads and guest satisfaction. It’s also proven to boost tab and tip sizes, which is an opportunity to seize in the profitable summer ahead. Plus, it’s an easy tool to ease into using: Start with QR code ordering for drinks only, see how your guests and staff adapt, and iterate as you see fit!
Preparing To Retain: How To Engage Guests Long Term
9. Create Community & Build Your Fanbase
Guests return back to the places they feel most comfortable. One way to ensure their comfort is by creating a community within your business for your most loyal regulars. By offering exclusive merchandise, monetary perks, and a group of like-minded individuals that can’t get enough of your stuff either, you are generating a welcome space that satisfied loyalists will choose time and time again.
Loyalty programs that are fully integrated with your POS system make for the flexibility and insights you need to identify what your guests love. Whether you run a point-based program or a standard Mug Club, be sure to add a personal touch to make your loyalty program stand out from the rest. With email marketing tools and easy access to member profiles and stats, you can better drive traffic and engagement!
10. Think Outside The Box
Doing things the same way every time gets boring, even for your most faithful fans. As a business owner, you should be constantly thinking of new ways for guests to enjoy your products. Whether it’s working towards offering delivery or opening a dog-friendly patio, you should always be strategizing how to better satisfy and engage your customers.
The Whale: Craft Beer Collective’s Innovative Guest Experience
The Whale’s entire ethos behind their bottle shop and tasting room is to constantly rotate taps and have something new for their thirsty customers to try. But when the pandemic hit, they had to think of new ways to keep those fans engaged. In response, The Whale sold 4-packs of a variety of cans, and hosted Zoom tasting sessions where they talked about the beer and shared first sips. With their 3rd location having opened at the end of 2021 and prominent fans across state lines, it’s clear they’re doing something right.
Hope you feel better prepared for the summer ahead! If you want to hear more success stories and POS solutions from thriving businesses committed to enhancing the guest experience, check out the Summer Comeback Series on YouTube!