Keep the Customers Coming

The vacationers are starting to dwindle down as they get ready for back to school, which means you have to make the most of the last wave of summer crowds. Plus, you want to attract your regular customers back, who may have been hiding from the vacationers. Here are a few ways to keep the summer sales flowing.

1)      Celebrate food holidays.  Yes, food holidays are a thing. Crazy food holidays are an easy way to attract attention.  Simply promote an event or a new entrée! Have customers dress up to receive a discount, or host a food eating competition. Here’s some upcoming food holidays:

  • July 29 – National Lasagna Day
  • July 30- National Cheesecake Day
  • August 3 – National Watermelon Day
  • August 6 – National Root Beer Float Day
  • August 25 – National Banana Split Day

2)      Host a happy hour. Promote a happy hour that no one can turn down.  Of course you will offer unbelievable drink specials, but you need to make it unique. If you have a patio, invite dog owners to bring along their furry friends, and spice up the atmosphere with live music. Consider pairing a food holiday with your happy hour. Create a spiked root beer float, or a watermelon martini. You can even consider pairing an appetizer with a drink and offering a special on the combo as a way to increase your sales.

3)      Create impulse sales. Utilize social media and email to promote flash sales. These sales can be as easy as a lunch special or half off appetizers after 10pm. Determine when your slow period is during the day, and that’s when you should offer a flash sale.

Take some time to craft a calendar of events and sales to make sure you strategize for the end of summer. Your sales won’t regret it and your customers will love it.

Creating a Great Cocktail for the Crowds

Whether you have big weekend crowds coming into your restaurant, or you are throwing a holiday house party, you need to know how to properly make a cocktail for the crowd. Creating cocktails one at a time isn’t the most efficient method when it comes to serving a group. Now is the perfect time to master the art of creating a batch. Choose your favorite, most popular, or signature cocktail and keep these tips in mind when preparing it in advance:

  • Most cocktails involve some type of juice, which goes bad quickly so make sure you have a method to keeping the cocktail mix chilled while you are serving the crowds. Some beverage dispensers have an ice chamber to help solve this. You also need to keep the cocktail chilled as the night goes on so look into purchasing an ice tote to refill the beverage dispenser or have the ice easily accessible for the bartender.
  • Prepare days ahead of time, if you can. If your cocktail doesn’t involve juice then you can certainly prep and prepare your batch days in advance. Just make sure not to put any ice in the batch until the day of, for fear of diluting the mix. The cocktail mix still needs to be chilled so place it in a fridge until you are ready for the ice. Some cocktails need a bit of water to soften the flavor which means you can’t forget to taste the cocktail before shaking and serving it to your crowd.
  • Stock up on cocktail glasses. You have a large batch of your favorite drink ready for the crowd which means you need plenty of cocktail glasses.  There are many different styles of glasses because there are many different styles of drinks. After you select your drink, order the right glassware.

If you plan and prepare correctly, your crowd cocktail is sure to be a hit. Your customers and party goers will be coming back for more. Cheers to a great crowd cocktail!

7.19

4 Quick Tips to Take Care of Your Kitchen Knives

A good kitchen knife is well balanced, sharp, and fits in your hand well. You pay good money for your kitchen knives so use these quick tips to make sure they last. If you maintain your knives properly, they will continuously perform well and save you a lot of money since you won’t have to replace them as often.

1)      Learn how to hold/use – Let’s start with knife safety. Curl your fingers on the hand holding the product you are cutting away from the knife so that your knuckles lean against the knife blade. This will help ensure no fingers get removed!  When you are finished cutting the product, do not use the sharp side to scrape your freshly cut product into a bowl. Flip the knife over and use the back of the blade. This will keep you from damaging or wearing down the blade.

2)      Sharpen up – The key to sharpening is to keep up with it on a regular basis. You should sharpen your kitchen knives every 30-90 days, depending on how frequently they are being used. Avoid an electric grinder because they are known to take off large amounts of metal, ultimately shortening the life of your knife.

3)      Store Smart – You may not realize this but the way you store your knives has an impact on their lifespan.  If you are keeping them in a drawer or block you must make sure that all the blades are separated. You do not want two blades to be positioned against each other. This could damage the blades and make them more difficult for the user to pick one of them up without touching the other blade.

4)      Use the right cutting board – Avoid plastic cutting boards! These will dull your knives faster. Your cutting board of choice should be made of wood.

Make sure everyone in your kitchen who uses knives is trained on proper usage and maintenance. Have your employees come in 30-45 minutes early one morning and pass along these quick tips. If everyone has your knives’ best interest at heart, they are sure to last a long time.