January is here and you may well notice a dip in sales after the madness of Christmas. Are your guests tightening their belts or are they changing their habits for the New Year?
What should you do? Grin and bear it and wait for things to pick up, or get on the front foot and look for opportunities to boost sales in different ways. Here are our top tips to stimulate sales as we kick off 2018.
Dry January or Try January
There is a growing trend in January to take a break from the booze. What people are really doing is looking for healthy options after overindulging in December. Why not feed this new found taste for healthier living with some tempting additions to your drinks lists. If wine is off limits, how about fresh juices, Virgin Mary’s and Detox cocktails. These will all appeal to those looking for drinks that are kinder to their bodies. Make cleansing fun with creative cocktails and you won’t miss out on valuable sales.
Something on the Side
If your diners have decided that their body is a temple, they’ll also be looking at the food menu for ways to nurture themselves. Why not run an incentive on the sale of side dishes in January? Your staff will find it easier to tempt guests with healthy salads, green vegetables and the like. This form of cross-selling is invaluable for any business and its bottom line as they represent additional sales. It will also give your staff the skills to confidently offer such add-ons, long after January has faded away.
Less is Sometimes More
Not everyone will be going into complete withdrawal. Some will simply be looking to cut down the volume of their alcohol consumption when going out. This is a great opportunity to focus on the quality of what they’re drinking, rather than the quantity. Offer up more premium bottles of wine on the list, or look to the top shelf of the spirits bar (rather than the speed rail). Your staff will have more time to spend with their guests in January; use this time to upsell. There are so many great wines, beers & spirits on your lists. Take the time to share the interesting stories behind the labels and your guests will happily trade up with confidence.
The 80/20 Rule
If you follow the teachings of Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, you’ll probably discover that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your products. Why not double down on these wines during January. If your standard Malbec sells like hotcakes, why not add a premium version to the list? If Chablis is in demand, add a Premier Cru as a ‘Wine of the Month’. This is a great time of year to try out new listings. Order a few new bottles to start, and work on your teams upselling skills. Given a tempting alternative, you’ll be surprised how many people trade up on their favourite style of wine.
How are you dealing with the potential post-Christmas slow down? What things do you do to optimise sales, and still keep your guests happy? How are you using training to help drive sales? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Happy New Year to everyone! We hope you have a successful 2018...