Across the United States, schools are beginning to open for the 2021-22 school year. There is a lot of excitement this year, especially, as schools attempt to reopen for full-time, in-person learning. It isn’t back to “normal” yet, but we have seen many schedules normalize, including at universities and colleges.
Anytime there is a shift in seasons and routines, it’s an opportunity for restaurants to make adjustments to best serve their customer base. UpServe™, the national POS company has a blog post about exactly this—and you don’t have to be in a college town to maximize on back-to-school season.
Among other suggestions, the UpServe™ article focuses on how you can cater to returning students: offering student discounts, utilizing the newest technologies, and engaging them socially. It’s always a good idea to adjust your hours too, keeping in mind that college students (and even high schools) operate at a later hour than other guests might.
But back-to-school isn’t just about the kids—it’s an incredibly busy time for parents, teachers, and administrators, too. There is a lot going on to slip back into more structured routines, longer working hours, and running kids to and from activities. With new carry-out methods and expectations at restaurants, this is an exciting time to get creative about reaching the on-the-go parents and teachers in your community and to generate some fun energy for the kiddos too.
Richard Weil, owner of National Restaurant Consultants (NRC), along with Brian Devine, owner Top Line Management and Café Fuel, have been noted the need for online ordering and cashless and touchless payment system. There are systems available at no cost to the restaurant owner. NRC can help you get started with a simple email or phone call (303-757-FOOD).
Weil notes, “Online ordering creates follow-up opportunities and the chance to build your ‘list’ of customers, which enables you to easily present offers and new information about your restaurant such as back-to-school specials, updated hours of operation, and more.”
Take stock of the schools in your area, the schedules, and the general needs of the neighborhood. Remember that your restaurant is a mainstay of your location, and that it serves the people—and you—to take that role seriously. Our restaurant consultants feel strongly about the positive influence of the hospitality industry, and we are here to help you build a strong community.