If you’re in a service based industry, you have definitely felt the pressure of low traffic off-peak hours. As you watch your staff sit idly waiting for customers, you can almost see your overhead dollars swirl down the drain. Low volume hours are normal for any business, but you don’t have to accept your current level of traffic as the norm. Here are five easy ways to improve your footfall.
Invite Groups to Hold Events
Assess when your traffic is the slowest and try to identify groups of people that may be interested in having a space to meet during those time periods. If mid-week mornings are when you really feel the crunch, you could entice mothers’ groups to hold their coffee mornings at your restaurant by offering a free coffee to all attendants. If weekends are your struggle, finding a special interest group that needs a space to meet on the weekend could be the right option for you. Check out meetup.com and contact the administrators of groups you would like to encourage to visit your space. Offer the organizers an ongoing special deal on food and beverage if they agree to regularly host their events at your restaurant.
An oldie, but still a goodie. Offer discounted rates on your services or special bonuses during slow hours and promote this on your social media channels. Happy hours don’t only apply to the food and beverage industry, but can work for a variety of businesses. If you run a beauty salon, for example, you can offer specially priced services or extra add ons for every customer during off-peak hours.
Organize a Community Event
People tire of their regular routines, so why not create a weekly event at your venue that offers something new in your city? Live music is always popular, and open mic nights serve as a 2 in 1 attraction. Not only will people come along to enjoy the music, but performers will also invite their friends to come support them. Other ideas could include marketplaces, free movie screenings, karaoke nights, poetry slams, business talks, and book clubs.
Special Off-Peak Membership
If you run a membership based service, offering a lower monthly rate to clients who are willing to only come in during off-peak hours is a fantastic way to fill the quiet hours. This is a popular strategy with gyms, beach clubs, and other sports facilities. Make sure that clients are fully aware of the terms of this membership, however, to avoid any awkward encounters with your staff during peak hours.
Large groups are a blessing in the service industry, and attracting groups fills up your off-peak hours more efficiently than individuals. Offering free service to one guest of the group of 4 or more encourages larger parties as it lowers the bill for the whole group. This tactic could apply to most all businesses including salons, movie theaters, restaurants, sports clubs, and more.
Low traffic hours are a given in the service industry, but this should not keep you from being creative and working to fill those hours in new, revenue-generating ways. It’s important to ensure, however, that whatever tactic you choose does not actually end up costing you more than you make.