Food & Drink
8 Strategies for a Successful Small Business Saturday

8 Strategies for a Successful Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday, held during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, brought in $19.8 billion for small businesses and restaurants. This is an increase of $19.6 billion from 2019. Restaurants looking to expand their business without hosting holiday parties are thrilled by the popularity of Small Business Saturday.

To attract customers to your Small Business Saturday, it’s tempting to offer lots of discounts and freebies. This is possible in retail settings where stock is stable, and costs are fixed. In 2020, 43% of Small Business Saturday shoppers claimed redeemed a special offer. Restaurants with tight margins need to remember that 57% of Small Business Saturday shoppers didn’t rely on special deals for their purchases.

To keep costs down and your staff from being overtaxed, we recommend that you lead by promoting your products and showing customers what your business can do. These are some simple tips to ensure that your restaurant or bar gets a boost on Small Business Saturday.

Register Yourself as a Small-Business Owner

Although it may seem obvious, Small Business Saturday will help customers know that your business is small. Place a sign on your front door so that customers can see it. Consider A-frame signs if your restaurant is far from the road. A-frame signs are a great option if your restaurant is far from the road.

Get your gift cards ready.

Independent restaurants can save their lives by using gift cards. Gift cards can provide a quick sales boost and low labor costs. Consider switching to digital or swipeable gift cards if you still use handwritten gift cards. This one step will help you save a lot of administrative time. Your credit card merchant services provider point of sale (POS) company can recommend a compatible gift card service.

Create Stocking Stuffers

Although gift cards are a great stocking stuffer, your strategy doesn’t have to stop there. You can make recipe kits, bottle your sauces, and package tea and coffee blends in giftable containers.

These kits do not require any additional cooking. A bar might create infusion kits using dried fruits, herbs and spices. Customers then add their favorite spirits to make a signature cocktail. Easy seasonal items include mulling spices for wine and cider. Hot chocolate kits make a great addition to coffee shops. Pancake mixes from local bakeries are also a good option for holiday breakfasts.

Streamline Your Menu

Hungry Small Business Saturday shoppers often need a quick snack. It is a good idea not to include items that take too long to cook, like thick cuts of bone-in beef. You should ensure that you have a variety of cooking stations, such as a deep fryer or skillet, standard cooktop, and a grill. So your fry cook doesn’t have to wait for orders while your griddle cook is busy making burgers.

Small Business Saturday is all about creating new businesses. Your goal is to introduce new customers to your favorite dishes. You can also offer specials by highlighting products from local farms and producers. Talk to your kitchen staff. Ask your kitchen team for their suggestions on how to quickly prepare dishes or streamline popular menu items to make it easier for busy services. You can also use the menu format from a citywide restaurant week as inspiration.

Optimize Each Shift

The restaurant business is not easy. A little planning can help you spread your business throughout the day.

Many shoppers prefer to start their day early on one of the busiest shopping days. Offering coffee and ready-to-eat (RTE) breakfast items at your shop top or street-facing window can help you capture customers early. To fuel early-arriving shoppers, ask nearby shop owners when their shops will open.

Brew fresh coffee after lunch if your restaurant is located in a busy area for small businesses. You’re more likely to see shoppers seeking a cup of joe during the too-late-for lunch and too early for dinner hours between 3 and 5 p.m. It’s a good idea to add some RTE snacks such as cookies, granola bars, and other teatime favorites.

Bouncebacks Available

A bounceback is a deal you offer to encourage your future business. You can only offer one Small Business Saturday deal. Make it a bounceback. Restaurants are more dependent on repeat customers than retailers, so it is crucial to encourage them to return. Your restaurant will be more popular if they have regular customers.

These are some of the most popular bounceback ideas you can use to get started.

  • For every $100 spent on Small Business Saturday, you get a $10 gift card
  • Complimentary dessert at your next visit
  • Complimentary appetizer with every future order

Get ready for delivery and takeout

There are still restrictions in many parts of the country on indoor dining. Even if there are no restrictions in your area, preparing for small business on Saturday is a smart idea. Now is the best time to start a solid online ordering strategy and delivery plan.

This will help your restaurant to be a success in the future. Open Table recently found that 91% of diners want restaurants to offer takeout and delivery services after the pandemic ends.

Keep an eye on your neighbors.

Small Business Saturday is not just for shoppers. Remember the people who own small businesses. Most restaurant owners are familiar with “Industry Nights”, though they are usually targeted at workers in the restaurant business. Open your industry definition on Saturday, November 27, to include small-business workers.

Bottom line

Small Business Saturday is more than just about retail. Smart marketing and operational strategies can help independent restaurants increase sales and grow their future business. Customers can support your restaurant by automating gift card processing, streamlining menus, and creating stocking stuffers. To increase future sales, add bouncebacks, prepare for online orders and welcome neighboring retail workers into your restaurant to help you keep it going.

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