Seasons & The Impact To Foodservice Operators
By Dwayne Reno
There are factors that impact Canadian foodservice operators, so much so that you will see a change in business. One of these factors is the economy, if the economy is good business will reflect that. If the economy is bad, business will reflect that also. The changing Canadian seasons are another factor that can impact foodservice operators here in Canada.
The Seasonal Factors Impacting Foodservices
Like it or not, seasonal food is one of the major changes the changing seasons can bring upon Canadian foodservice operators. Some operators will notice an increase in food costs, or loss of key menu ingredients. This has encouraged many large competitors to market fresh seasonal foods as LTO’s (Limited Time Offers). This trend is on the up, since most customers want to eat more seasonal menu items.
Foot traffic is also greatly impacted by the changing seasons. The summer months usually sees an increase in business for foodservice operators. The city is filled with tourists and the good weather also encourages more people to venture outside.
The fall months on the other hand usually indicate that “winter is coming”. Winter can slow down business as many patrons might not want to travel to a restaurant for a meal. This can be more devastating during bad weather such as snow, ice or freezing temperatures.
The holidays are great! And since everyone is eating and drinking, you might as well get then to do it at your restaurant. The trouble is that major holidays also play a part in leaving restaurants half full. During holidays more and more patrons are choosing to stay home with family and cook their meals.
Preparing For Seasonal Change
A good strategy is to plan your year accordingly. This can be done by analyzing your sales from previous years. This will give you a good idea of how much marketing dollars will be needed to help your location drive customer traffic during the slower months.
Also running seasonal marketing campaigns is on the increase among many large operators. Many are opting to add fresh seasonal ingredients to their menu's as LTO's (limited time offers). Just look at Mcdonald’s and Starbucks. They are huge chains and yet they still offer seasonal promotions, like the Pumpkin Spiced Latte and McCafe Peppermint Mocha.
Large competitors are using LTO (Limited Time Offer) campaigns as a way to introduce seasonal items to customers. Seasonal items can increase frequency of visits from loyal customers, but also increase new customer trials. Obviously, restaurant neighbourhoods are generating foot traffic, customers are out there, and they are looking for variety.
Foodservice operators should keep a close eye on industry trends. I don’t recommend jumping on every food trend, like wrapping everything with bacon, but being aware of what your customers are eating is a part of the job.
Until next time your customer want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant. So give them the goods! Need inspiration? Checkout some of our services.
Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
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