Restaurant Toolkit

6 Ways To Get Your Restaurant Ready for Winter

June 15, 2022

Restaurants, here’s how to prepare for winter.

Winter is in full swing down under and with temperature in the low degrees and customers staying indoors, it’s time to kick into high gear and get your restaurant ready to survive — and if you do it right — maybe even thrive this season.

When the days seem darker and shorter and the winter chill sets in, all your customers want is to stay home under a doona with a piping hot meal ready to go. That means while you’ll have to work a little harder to entice them for dine-in, delivery orders will be heating up and you’ll want to be prepared. 

6 ways to get your restaurant ready for winter:

  1. Winterise your menu
  2. Extend breakfast and brunch hours
  3. Make it easy for customers to order from your restaurant
  4. Run winter promotions
  5. Make a social media calendar
  6. Manage reviews and make more money with insights

Keep reading to dig into the ways to prepare your restaurant for winter, from delivery to dine-in.

1. “Winterise” your menu for the season 

When it comes to updating your menu for winter, let seasonal produce guide you! When it’s dark and gloomy out, it’s easy to forget that winter vegetables can be just as exciting as their colourful summer counterparts. Think artichoke, asparagus, cauliflower, snow peas, endive, leek and more. Bonus points if you can partner with a local farmers market to source seasonal produce — offering your customers the freshest picks and promoting environmentally-friendly options.

Assess your most popular items and see if there are any seasonal ingredients you can add. Many people love to order soups and stews to combat the cold, and an easy way to give your menu a winter twist is by adding in-season ingredients to these staples. 

Soups and stews are great options for a winter menu at your restaurant.

Another great way to “winterise” your menu is to offer belly-warming drinks. Sure, people can make their own mulled wine at home, but can they have your special hot buttered gingerbread rum? When it comes to happy hour in the winter, make sure to serve seasonal drinks such as spiced negroni, espresso martini, cinnamon hot toddies and more. So many hot favourites for those who enjoy a good beverage!

As you may know, the conscious consumption movement is on the rise, meaning many Aussie drinkers are opting to skip the local pub and stay home for a safer, moderate drinking experience. Adding warming winter drinks to your delivery menu is an easy way to ensure all customers can join in on the cool perks of the season. 

Updating menu items across your multiple delivery apps can be a headache when you’re testing new additions and working with seasonal items that run out easily. Try Hubster’s menu management tool, which lets you edit, change or mark menu items unavailable across all your delivery platforms from a single tablet. 

2. Extend breakfast and brunch hours

Let’s face it, we’re all a little sluggish and like to stay in bed longer when it comes to those windy winter mornings. So are your customers, but that doesn’t mean they want to miss out on their hearty first meal of the day! If you serve breakfast and brunch, it’s time to extend those hours or make them available all day so your regulars can have a relaxed morning while still getting their sunny side-ups, shakshuka and avo toasts.

Extend breakfast and brunch hours during the winter to encourage footfall or delivery orders.

During the winter break, customers are also less likely to venture out and would rather stay indoors with family and friends after dark. Consider shifting your dinner service to delivery instead of dine-in so your staff is less stretched trying to juggle both. You can also bundle family meals, winter specials or the options to add on drinks to your delivery menu to make it more enticing for dinner.

3. Make it easy for customers to order from your restaurant

With most businesses in decline during winter, you want to pay extra attention to your bottomline. The good news is, 63% of Aussie customers want to support their local restaurant by ordering directly from them. This means you can skip the delivery partner commissions and keep your margins healthy with 100% of the profits using your own online ordering system.

Make it easy for customers to order from your restaurant in the winter.

Direct Orders by Hubster gives your restaurant access to a flexible and easy-to-update digital menu so customers can place their own orders for pick-up, takeaway, delivery or dine-in. Orders then flow through to your kitchen through a single system, which you can fulfil in-house. All you have to do is share your ordering website with customers by listing it on your Google My Business and social media profiles. Check out how Direct Orders can help your restaurant save time and money and increase revenue. 

On top of your own online ordering, you can also make it easier for customers to order from your restaurant by:

  • Signing up for multiple delivery apps, which can boost your sales and give you a competitive advantage. Think of a listing on a delivery app like Uber Eats or Deliveroo as a “digital billboard” for your restaurant. Each listing serves as an ad and a way of getting your name out there to potential customers on the internet. The more platforms you’re listed on, the more digital storefronts you have “open” to attract new customers.
  • Creating virtual brands for your best selling items. A single restaurant can have multiple brands in the same space, making many restaurants more profitable. For example, if your restaurant is well known for its Italian food and also makes pizzas, you can start a separate pizza virtual brand. Customers looking for pizzas will instantly discover your virtual brand and be able to order from your restaurant without much effort. The idea is to use the resources you already have (space, staff, ingredients) to significantly increase your investment return. 

4. Run winter promotions or events

Running promotions is a great way to entice new and existing customers. Create limited-time offers for winter brunches, hot cocoa hour and family meals to get your customers excited enough to leave the house. 

Run winter promotions like hot cocoa hour to get your customers excited to dine in.

Reach out to local businesses near you to host a winter event—for example, a bookstore can host a reading at your restaurant, or a wine shop can sponsor a winter party. 

In addition, including promotions on third-party apps is an excellent incentive for more customers to order from your restaurant. Running promotions on food delivery apps can help boost your chances of showing up on the front page of each app.

If running promotions on your own sounds a little overwhelming or time-consuming, let the team at Hubster take that off your plate with our marketing automation solution, Boost. Learn how to increase sales through Boost’s automated promotions without lifting a finger here

5. Make a social media calendar

Did you know 90% of customers research a restaurant online before dining—more than any other business type? Enhancing your restaurant’s digital presence is crucial to staying competitive in 2022

Before making the social media calendar, ensure your information is up-to-date. For example, if your Google My Business profile is fully optimised? Are your restaurant hours, FAQ, and current menu listed accurately across platforms? Does your restaurant website need a revamp

After all information is accurate and up to date, take a look at themed winter dates (national Vegemite day, picnic day, world rum day etc.) and plan unique content around that. While it’s hard to prioritise amidst the endless restaurant to-dos, planning ahead can help you stay consistent on Instagram, Tiktok, and Facebook.

Make a social media calendar to help your restaurant get ready for winter.

Encourage customers to take photos at your restaurant or of their delivered meals to create user-generated content (UGC) to repost your stories. Post delicious food photography and discounts to get people through the door—or order from home. Here are some other resources to master restaurant marketing today:

6. Manage reviews and make more money with insights 

Did you know people are most likely to read reviews for restaurants and cafes over any other type of business? You must answer every thought since 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a company if it responds to negative reviews. Use Hubster’s 10 review response templates for your restaurant (positive & negative!) to answer quickly. 

Manage reviews and make more money with data-driven decisions.

Hubster Insights gives you a 360 view of your restaurant business to understand the reasons behind order issues and eliminate order errors. You can also see the best times for your business in the winter months. 

You can find Hubster Insights in the “Insights” tab within your Business Manager account if you’re already a Hubster customer. If you haven’t signed up for Hubster yet, you can get started with our free Insights tool in just a few seconds!

Overall, we hope these 6 tips help your restaurant thrive in the winter! 

If you’re looking for a partner in all things delivery and beyond, fill out the form below to get started for free. 

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6 Ways To Get Your Restaurant Ready for Winter

Winter is upon us and with the cold comes the need to crank up the heat on delivery and more. This article will cover the top 6 ways you can get your restaurant ready for winter.

Restaurants, here’s how to prepare for winter.

Winter is in full swing down under and with temperature in the low degrees and customers staying indoors, it’s time to kick into high gear and get your restaurant ready to survive — and if you do it right — maybe even thrive this season.

When the days seem darker and shorter and the winter chill sets in, all your customers want is to stay home under a doona with a piping hot meal ready to go. That means while you’ll have to work a little harder to entice them for dine-in, delivery orders will be heating up and you’ll want to be prepared. 

6 ways to get your restaurant ready for winter:

  1. Winterise your menu
  2. Extend breakfast and brunch hours
  3. Make it easy for customers to order from your restaurant
  4. Run winter promotions
  5. Make a social media calendar
  6. Manage reviews and make more money with insights

Keep reading to dig into the ways to prepare your restaurant for winter, from delivery to dine-in.

1. “Winterise” your menu for the season 

When it comes to updating your menu for winter, let seasonal produce guide you! When it’s dark and gloomy out, it’s easy to forget that winter vegetables can be just as exciting as their colourful summer counterparts. Think artichoke, asparagus, cauliflower, snow peas, endive, leek and more. Bonus points if you can partner with a local farmers market to source seasonal produce — offering your customers the freshest picks and promoting environmentally-friendly options.

Assess your most popular items and see if there are any seasonal ingredients you can add. Many people love to order soups and stews to combat the cold, and an easy way to give your menu a winter twist is by adding in-season ingredients to these staples. 

Soups and stews are great options for a winter menu at your restaurant.

Another great way to “winterise” your menu is to offer belly-warming drinks. Sure, people can make their own mulled wine at home, but can they have your special hot buttered gingerbread rum? When it comes to happy hour in the winter, make sure to serve seasonal drinks such as spiced negroni, espresso martini, cinnamon hot toddies and more. So many hot favourites for those who enjoy a good beverage!

As you may know, the conscious consumption movement is on the rise, meaning many Aussie drinkers are opting to skip the local pub and stay home for a safer, moderate drinking experience. Adding warming winter drinks to your delivery menu is an easy way to ensure all customers can join in on the cool perks of the season. 

Updating menu items across your multiple delivery apps can be a headache when you’re testing new additions and working with seasonal items that run out easily. Try Hubster’s menu management tool, which lets you edit, change or mark menu items unavailable across all your delivery platforms from a single tablet. 

2. Extend breakfast and brunch hours

Let’s face it, we’re all a little sluggish and like to stay in bed longer when it comes to those windy winter mornings. So are your customers, but that doesn’t mean they want to miss out on their hearty first meal of the day! If you serve breakfast and brunch, it’s time to extend those hours or make them available all day so your regulars can have a relaxed morning while still getting their sunny side-ups, shakshuka and avo toasts.

Extend breakfast and brunch hours during the winter to encourage footfall or delivery orders.

During the winter break, customers are also less likely to venture out and would rather stay indoors with family and friends after dark. Consider shifting your dinner service to delivery instead of dine-in so your staff is less stretched trying to juggle both. You can also bundle family meals, winter specials or the options to add on drinks to your delivery menu to make it more enticing for dinner.

3. Make it easy for customers to order from your restaurant

With most businesses in decline during winter, you want to pay extra attention to your bottomline. The good news is, 63% of Aussie customers want to support their local restaurant by ordering directly from them. This means you can skip the delivery partner commissions and keep your margins healthy with 100% of the profits using your own online ordering system.

Make it easy for customers to order from your restaurant in the winter.

Direct Orders by Hubster gives your restaurant access to a flexible and easy-to-update digital menu so customers can place their own orders for pick-up, takeaway, delivery or dine-in. Orders then flow through to your kitchen through a single system, which you can fulfil in-house. All you have to do is share your ordering website with customers by listing it on your Google My Business and social media profiles. Check out how Direct Orders can help your restaurant save time and money and increase revenue. 

On top of your own online ordering, you can also make it easier for customers to order from your restaurant by:

  • Signing up for multiple delivery apps, which can boost your sales and give you a competitive advantage. Think of a listing on a delivery app like Uber Eats or Deliveroo as a “digital billboard” for your restaurant. Each listing serves as an ad and a way of getting your name out there to potential customers on the internet. The more platforms you’re listed on, the more digital storefronts you have “open” to attract new customers.
  • Creating virtual brands for your best selling items. A single restaurant can have multiple brands in the same space, making many restaurants more profitable. For example, if your restaurant is well known for its Italian food and also makes pizzas, you can start a separate pizza virtual brand. Customers looking for pizzas will instantly discover your virtual brand and be able to order from your restaurant without much effort. The idea is to use the resources you already have (space, staff, ingredients) to significantly increase your investment return. 

4. Run winter promotions or events

Running promotions is a great way to entice new and existing customers. Create limited-time offers for winter brunches, hot cocoa hour and family meals to get your customers excited enough to leave the house. 

Run winter promotions like hot cocoa hour to get your customers excited to dine in.

Reach out to local businesses near you to host a winter event—for example, a bookstore can host a reading at your restaurant, or a wine shop can sponsor a winter party. 

In addition, including promotions on third-party apps is an excellent incentive for more customers to order from your restaurant. Running promotions on food delivery apps can help boost your chances of showing up on the front page of each app.

If running promotions on your own sounds a little overwhelming or time-consuming, let the team at Hubster take that off your plate with our marketing automation solution, Boost. Learn how to increase sales through Boost’s automated promotions without lifting a finger here

5. Make a social media calendar

Did you know 90% of customers research a restaurant online before dining—more than any other business type? Enhancing your restaurant’s digital presence is crucial to staying competitive in 2022

Before making the social media calendar, ensure your information is up-to-date. For example, if your Google My Business profile is fully optimised? Are your restaurant hours, FAQ, and current menu listed accurately across platforms? Does your restaurant website need a revamp

After all information is accurate and up to date, take a look at themed winter dates (national Vegemite day, picnic day, world rum day etc.) and plan unique content around that. While it’s hard to prioritise amidst the endless restaurant to-dos, planning ahead can help you stay consistent on Instagram, Tiktok, and Facebook.

Make a social media calendar to help your restaurant get ready for winter.

Encourage customers to take photos at your restaurant or of their delivered meals to create user-generated content (UGC) to repost your stories. Post delicious food photography and discounts to get people through the door—or order from home. Here are some other resources to master restaurant marketing today:

6. Manage reviews and make more money with insights 

Did you know people are most likely to read reviews for restaurants and cafes over any other type of business? You must answer every thought since 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a company if it responds to negative reviews. Use Hubster’s 10 review response templates for your restaurant (positive & negative!) to answer quickly. 

Manage reviews and make more money with data-driven decisions.

Hubster Insights gives you a 360 view of your restaurant business to understand the reasons behind order issues and eliminate order errors. You can also see the best times for your business in the winter months. 

You can find Hubster Insights in the “Insights” tab within your Business Manager account if you’re already a Hubster customer. If you haven’t signed up for Hubster yet, you can get started with our free Insights tool in just a few seconds!

Overall, we hope these 6 tips help your restaurant thrive in the winter! 

If you’re looking for a partner in all things delivery and beyond, fill out the form below to get started for free. 

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