Preparing for summer diners

The weather is lovely, the drinks are flowing and friends and family are out in force, seeking a good meal. For hospitality venues, summer often represents time for change. Soups are out, and salads are in. Where sitting inside was all the rage, now diners are looking to soak in the sun. The atmosphere may become less chilled, and more lively. Here’s a few tips that may be helpful in preparing for summer and setting your venue apart. 

  

Set the ambiance

 

For hospitality venues, it might be worth altering the physical environment and social calendar to suit changing customer priorities. If possible, consider brightening the colour scheme, moving tables outdoors and joining them together to facilitate larger bookings. Customers may be more willing to stay out for longer as the weather becomes more hospitable, so – depending on space – consider bringing in live music and an outdoor stage to keep customers in for longer. Cultivating a festive, entertaining atmosphere will help to attract groups, and a promotion or two might encourage them to book for the day – and continue ordering – while they are in.

 

Create a seasonally appropriate menu

 

Tastes change in summer, and so does the produce, so seek what’s in season. There’s a huge range of summer fruits and vegetables that may be worth incorporating into meals, and Australians tend to drink more during the summer months, with Roy Morgan research showing that the number of Australians aged 18+ drinking at least one beer over a 4-week period rising from 37.6 percent (July-September) to 43 per cent (January-April) over a 10-year period to 2015. So, it may be a good time to reinvigorate the drinks menu. It might not be worth discarding the favourites, but adding a selection of summer-appropriate dishes – perhaps a selection of ice creams or a BBQ on the deck – may be a winner.

 

Offer special deals

 

Host viewing parties for the cricket and tennis. Sell tickets for music, dance and/or art performances. Create a new dish, and offer discounts for customers to sample the new offering. Christmas, New Years Day and New Years Eve provide amazing opportunities for different opportunities and events. In summer, there may be an opportunity to sell hampers, bottles of wine and takeaway dishes for picnics. If possible, set up an outdoor projector, and roll in some classic films. The opportunities to bring customers in are endless.

 

Prepare for an influx of numbers

 

With COVID-19 related restrictions easing across the country, hospitality venues may be busier than usual, and it is critical that venues prepare for the logistical challenges that may arise during summer. That can include organising staff rosters ahead of time, maintaining stock levels and discussing table layouts in line with bookings ahead of service. Meticulous preparation will leave the venue well-placed for festivities and an influx of group bookings.

 

Summer is an exciting time for hospitality venues. There’s big events and even bigger spenders on the horizon, so be proactive, and capitalise on the festivities to come.

 

Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether this is right for your business.