Combating against weather or seasonal changes can be a major issue in the restaurant business. According to weather-tracking analysts Blue Sky Local, undesirable weather can account for greater than 20% of loss in revenue each year. In fact, their research shows that 75% of restaurants report a sales drop of at least 10% from bad weather.

Regardless of your location, the elements will affect business at one time or another. But by planning, you can keep the same customers in winter, spring, summer and fall and even grow business. Here are a few tips to help you weather the storm:

1. Create Incentives: If you live in an area where severe weather makes commuting difficult, give your customers an incentive to come in. Pizza parlors have often used this technique by giving out coupons that are redeemable on “crummy” weather days.

2. Be Vocal: Discuss the weather with the audience you get face time with – customers who come in and follow you online (after all, it’s the perfect small talk!). Even in the midst of a torrential rain storm or a bout of extreme heat, challenge your staff to put a positive spin on it and invent new ways to provide customers relief from the elements with great meals.

3. Prepare: When bad weather hits you may have a hard time finding the products you need. This could result in last-minute menu changes unless you are prepared well in advance. For example, did you know that the drought in the Midwest will be affecting your meats and milk products soon? Conversly, you don’t want to lose money on spoiled products, so avoiding excess amounts of materials during potential bad weather is another valuable method of preparation.

If you’d like to learn more about how the local weather affects sales at your business, check out Upserve’s Payment Marketing service. It’s a new way to process payments that gives you valuable insights into how your customers shop, including how those trends relate to weather patterns.

Accept payments, understand customers & grow your revenue

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As part of Upserve’s family of more than 10,000 restaurants, The Chef is Restaurant Insider’s secret weapon in the kitchen. As a restaurant expert in all things marketing, menu building, management, training and more, restaurateurs trust The Chef and the award-winning Restaurant Insider to dish out the ingredients needed to make your business a sweet success.