As part of my series about preparing for Denver Restaurant Week (you can check out general preparation tips here, and front of house tips here), this last blog will focus on the most important topic of all: your customer.
If you haven’t participated in Restaurant Week before, don’t worry. Restaurant Week is like a week (or 10 days) of back-to-back Saturdays.
Totally doable, right? Maybe? C’mon, you’ve got this.
Luckily, with the right preparation you can make sure your team is a well-oiled machine to tackle that constant stream of reservations. Here are a few tips from Denver Restaurant Week veterans Vesta Dipping Grill, Rioja and Edible Beats, that’ll make service go much smoother:
1. Create a new floor plan
Expect faster turn times during restaurant week due to the fixed menu. While your goal isn’t to rush guests through their meal, you’ll find that the kitchen will most likely be operating at a faster pace. Plus as reservations book up you’ll be able to anticipate your tables better (you might see more two-tops than on a typical evening). By creating a new floor plan and sections for servers during restaurant week, you can better control the flow of customers that evening.
2. Increase your price per head
One of the challenges of restaurant week is devising a 3-course menu that equates to $30. Many of you might see your margins decrease—but don’t be alarmed! Consider restaurant week a marketing opportunity (which you already do, otherwise you won’t be participating!). Still there are ways you can increase your price per head, such as offer additional add-ons (like $3 bites) for guests to order or add an optional wine pairing to the pre-fixe menu.
3. Value-driven customers want the true meal experience (at $30)
The biggest thing you need to remember is that the guests during restaurant week are not your typical guests. These customers are value-driven, wanting to take advantage of the pre-fixe meal deal. That said, these customers also chose your restaurant because they want to experience a meal in your restaurant. That means you need to still deliver on your quality, service and other reasons why your regular clientele come back so often. Tackle perceptions and ensure your guests see and feel the value of their meal. Remember, it’s your reputation at stake.
Don’t forget, the 2016 Denver Restaurant Week is happening 2/26 – 3/6. Learn more about it here »