How To Keep Your Restaurant Busy During Winter

keep restaurants busy during winter cold weather dining customers

Running a restaurant has always been a challenging business — it’s a commonly cited and dreaded fact that most restaurants close within one year of opening, and many of those that survive close within the next couple of years. 

There are different and complex reasons for this, but to prevent it happening to you, have a strategy in place for keeping your restaurant busy during winter, when business tends to slow down. 

Here are three tips to keep in mind that will help your restaurant thrive during winter. 

Stay Organized And Efficient 

While this is wise in any season, it’s extra important to operate efficiently in harder months. In one example, using cloud-based restaurant scheduling software will save you up to 80% of the time it takes to create a schedule for your employees. This software uses automation as well as inputs from all your staff, which are easy for them to submit from anywhere — it saves your employees from wasting time at work organizing schedules, and frees up their time to actually perform their jobs. It will also simplify what can be a frustrating and annoying task. 

This software also has a range of other impressive functions, so click here to see what the latest employee scheduling apps can do for your business, both in the winter time and in all seasons. 

Serve Seasonal Meals 

While it’s not easy or necessary to overhaul your menu to match the season, adapting to the cold weather by offering at least one or two warm, hearty dishes can make your restaurant more winter-friendly. Cheese fondue, tomato or French onion soup, chili con carne, stews and meatballs — these are all excellent offerings to fight back against the cold! 

Which winter dishes you serve will depend on what makes sense for your restaurant, but take this basic idea and apply it to your situation. 

Winter Drinks To Warm The Body And Soul 

Winter drinks are a great way to help your restaurant survive the season—it’s much easier to make quick changes to the drink menu than the food menu, and the margins are also much higher for drinks. Cast a wide net by offering your patrons both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. 

Drinks like cocoa, tea, hot chocolate, and apple cider are great in winter for people of all ages. Adults who enjoy alcohol will love warming up with a hot toddy, an Irish coffee, or a range of other winter cocktails

The temperature of the drink doesn’t have to be hot or even warm, as some flavours simply suit the season. Brown spirits like whiskey or bourbon are popular when the temperature drops. People coming together to cozy up with soothing drinks when it’s cold outside is a time-honoured winter tradition, and it’ll help your business thrive during slower months. 

These and other strategies will help mitigate, or even prevent, your restaurant from suffering any winter slow down. When it’s cold and dark outside for longer, remember to use employee scheduling software to keep your business operations efficient, and offer seasonal food and beverages to fight the weather. If you do, your restaurant will be in good shape come spring time.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post about how to keep your restaurant busy during the slower colder winter season.

Interested in more articles about the food service and restaurant industries?

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