All businesses have a particular season in which they thrive. This is considered to be their busy season. It’s possible for that to be during the summer or during the holidays. So, when is the busy restaurant season? That depends.
In the restaurant industry, establishments thrive at different times of the year due to their location, offerings, and local weather. However, the busy season for restaurants may also be year-round. During this time, it’s crucial to prepare your business for the rush and restaurant seasonality. If you're in eCommerce within the restaurant industry, check out our eCommerce business guide.
The key to restaurant success and running a successful restaurant business is preparation. It’s especially important when trying to maintain a high level of service during the busiest months for restaurants.
This article will cover all you need to know about the busy restaurant season including how to ensure your establishment is set up to thrive during seasonality. With proper planning, you can focus on providing the best possible customer service.
What Is Busy Restaurant Season?
Busy restaurant season refers to the busiest months of the year for the restaurant industry. This time is typically between April and September. For some establishments, the busy season is also between November and January 1st. However, these busy periods will depend on your location and the weather.
Tourists and locals are more inclined to venture outdoors during good weather. That’s why the busiest months for restaurants are during the summer when tourism is at its peak. Tourism also encourages events such as parades and festivals which increase restaurant traffic.
For restaurants that are located near ski and snowboarding resorts, the winter months are the busiest. This is because the weather makes it prime time for such activities.
Key Takeaway: Proper planning for the busy restaurant season is essential in order to stay successful and calm during the rush.
5 Ways to Thrive During the Busy Restaurant Season
Having a busy restaurant is great, but it’s not always easy to manage. As a restaurant manager or owner, it’s crucial to prepare for this rush.
Five ways to have a thriving business during the busy restaurant season include:
- Employing the proper staff
- Incorporating online and mobile ordering options
- Forecasting demand through past-year data
- Tracking inventory
- Utilizing social media marketing efforts
Planning ahead and utilizing restaurant management software will allow you to stay calm while managing a thriving business. Let’s look at the five smartest ways to keep your restaurant running smoothly when business is booming.
1. Employee the Proper Staff
Hiring the best people for the job is crucial for any successful business. Working in the restaurant industry requires you to employ different types of chefs. These include a sous chef, executive chef, and potential Michelin star chefs. You may also need wait staff and bar staff.
After employing the proper staff, it’s essential to get them fully trained to complete various tasks in the restaurant. As an owner, this will give you peace of mind knowing that you have employees you can trust to complete all restaurant operations.
Scheduling staff appropriately during the busy restaurant season will ensure that you have enough hands on deck. Be sure to account for the slow periods throughout the day and reduce restaurant expenses and labor cost by scheduling fewer people during those hours.
2. Encourage Online and Mobile Ordering
Online menu ordering allows restaurant staff to focus on food preparation and increasing customer satisfaction. Aside from having an online ordering platform, you may also consider investing in restaurant management technology such as self ordering kiosks.
It’s possible to include these ordering options as part of your action plan to increase sales in a restaurant. This way, you have the opportunity to increase efficiency and speed up the order fulfillment process.
3. Forecast Demand Based on Last Year’s Data
A restaurant POS system will allow you to look back on data analytics from previous years. These POS system features make it possible to utilize demand planning and inventory forecasting techniques to plan for this year’s business.
The data will give you an idea of what items sold best during previous years and what customer demand may look like. This is also useful if you run a seasonal restaurant and for employee scheduling and inventory control. Consider calculating inventory turnover to know how much product you're moving.
4. Keep Track of Inventory
Most restaurant POS integration features allow you to keep track of inventory items and what is low in stock. This will prevent you from running out of essential ingredients. You may also want to consider having safety stock for several goods, especially during the busy restaurant season.
Your POS system will alert you when you need to replenish inventory levels. You can set a specific reorder point based on the items you have and how often you use them. With this integration, you avoid the need to remove items from your menu.
5. Utilize Social Media Marketing
When opening a business or opening a restaurant, you want to get the word out. Utilizing social media will help you create buzz about your business. It’s one of the restaurant marketing strategies you’ll want to utilize.
Including social media in your restaurant marketing plan will allow you to keep new and existing customers updated on current offerings. You can share new menu offerings such as your seasonal menu, events, and promotions with your niche market.
Daily Peak and Off-Peak Times
During the busy restaurant seasons, establishments will still see dips in business. This is due to the daily peak and off-peak times. These may vary based on the day of the week and the location of the restaurant.
For instance, restaurants that offer breakfast items may see individual customers come in before 9 AM during the week. However, the same restaurants may see groups and families dining in the mornings, at lunch, or for the brunch menu specials during the weekend.
Fast food and casual dining restaurants are often the busiest during lunchtime. This peak may also depend on how close your restaurant is to other businesses and offices.
During the week, Mondays and Tuesdays are slower in terms of business compared to the rest of the week. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest as people seek to get out to unwind from long workweeks.
There are certain days of the week that will be extra busy due to people celebrating special occasions and nights out. Restaurants may cater to these customers with unique menu offers in order to stand out from the competition.
Attracting customers is easier during peak times, but during off-peak times it gets tricky. A way to improve business during off-peak times is to offer happy hour deals, early bird specials, or host special events.
Frequently Asked Questions About Busy Restaurant Season
Having a busy restaurant is what many people dream of. However, in order to stay successful, you need to plan ahead and properly prepare. Here are commonly asked questions about the busy season in the restaurant industry.
How Can I Increase Business for My Restaurant?
Unique ways to increase business for your restaurant include:
- Offering the best food delivery service possible
- Hosting special events
- Taking advantage of seasonal flavors, ingredients, and fresh produce
- Utilizing social media to engage with customers
- Forecasting demand to ensure customer satisfaction
- Offering a loyalty program with exclusive perks
What Seasons Are the Busiest for Restaurants?
In the restaurant industry, the busiest season is the summer and between the months of April and September. Some restaurants are also busy during the holiday season which lasts from November to January 1st. The location of your restaurant is a crucial factor when it comes to determining the busy season.
What Is the Busiest Day of the Week for Restaurants?
The busiest day of the week for restaurants is Saturday and Sunday. Due to the rush during the weekends, many restaurants keep their all-star staff scheduled to accommodate the large quantities of people. This keeps up customer satisfaction, especially during busy restaurant season.