Getting Your Restaurant Ready for Black Friday Shoppers
Black Friday is the biggest day of the year for shopping but that doesn’t mean that stores are the only businesses to benefit from the Friday after Thanksgiving. If people are going to be out shopping all day, chances are that they will work up a huge appetite and look for somewhere to eat. Unless they plan ahead and bring along some snacks, they will probably be heading into your restaurant. Because of this, it is important that restaurants are ready for crowds that are larger than usual and more tired as well. Here are some ways that restaurants can get ready for Black Friday shoppers.
Have Enough Staff
The most important thing that any restaurant owner needs to remember when getting ready for Black Friday is that they will need to have plenty of staff on hand. This includes everyone from kitchen staff to servers. On Black Friday there will be more people out shopping than usual and if you are located near a shopping center or brand name store, chances are that your restaurant will get a great deal of walk-ins. They will also probably be in a hurry so that they can continue shopping, therefore they will want quick service and the best way to do that is to have enough staff on hand.
Have Enough Food
All restaurant owners need to be aware of how much food they have on hand at all times but this is especially important on Black Friday. Some people may make reservations, but most people will just walk in for a break from their shopping. This means that you will need to have an accurate idea of how many customers you think you will get and have the appropriate amount of food available. Based on data from previous years, you may be able to gauge the approximate numbers of customers to expect this year and thereby determine the amount of food to prepare. So, while you never want to waste food, it is better to have too much food, rather than run out halfway through the day.
Be Prepared for Heightened Emotions
One problematic aspect of Black Friday is that it tends to bring out the negative attributes of people. People often get up early and wait on long lines in crowded stores to get great deals, and may come into your restaurant tired and upset about a great item that was out of stock. While most of your walk ins will be made up of perfectly reasonable and patient customers, your restaurant needs to be prepared for an increase in the customers that may be upset and cause conflict. The best way to handle the potential for conflict in this, and every situation, is to instruct your staff to be extra patient, smile, and repeat the motto "the customer is always right".
Holiday Themed Food
When it comes to Black Friday, your restaurant will be competing with others in the area in order to attract shoppers. One way to help beat the competition is to advertise a few holiday specials. For most people, Black Friday is when the Christmas season begins so try offering a festive drink, food item, or dessert to get people in the Christmas spirit. The benefit of doing this is that you can charge a bit more for the novelty of the dish, and because it is the holiday season, customers will be willing to spend the extra money.
Deals or Gift Cards
People go shopping on Black Friday because of the great deals and they will be more likely to select your restaurant if it also offers some type of deal. You can advertise a special discount for the day on certain items or giveaway coupons or gift cards that can be used in the future. This is a great way to take advantage of any new customers and make sure that they come back to your restaurant again.
Quick Meal Options
Some shoppers will come into your restaurant on Black Friday when they are done shopping for the day, and others will want to continue shopping after they eat. Because of this, it is a good idea to offer some "quick meal" selections and make sure that they are prominently displayed on your menu, either as daily specials or as Black Friday specials. If someone is in a hurry to keep shopping, they will be more likely to pick your restaurant over a competitor if they know that there are certain stand out menu items that are sure to be served quickly. It also means you will be able to serve more customers and thereby increase sales.