In Hospitality you know that there are rarely weekends or evenings for operators and employees.
In Hospitality when everyone else is enjoying holidays your working!
This also means that you have to pay premium rates to employees who give up their holidays to work.
No Break In Sight
Also, recent news from the Sunday Morning Herald from the article, Full cuts to Sunday penalty rates delayed until 2020, stated that:
“Fair Work Commission, has ruled that the reductions to existing penalty rates of up to “double time” paid to retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy staff will be phased in gradually and not take full effect until 2019 and 2020.”
No break in sight for penalties on Sundays and heavy consumer demand is forcing hospitality businesses to stay open later and on Sundays!
So…how can you not only benefit from staying open later and on Sundays but profit from doing so outside of penalties?
There’s a couple ways…let’s talk about the first one.
1. Testing the Market
Who says you need to stay open late? Maybe customers are wondering why you aren’t staying open late but if you where open late would these customers come?
Why guess when you can test…
If you aren’t open on evenings for example, to test the market try staying open late a couple days a week to see how your current customer base supports this decision.
2. Promoting To Late Night Crowds
By staying open late 1 or 2 nights a week for a month you could gauge who shows up and try and cater to them as well.
Maybe you can create late night food options like developing appetizers, or drink specials that work specifically with the most popular menu items that are ordered after 8pm.
It’s important to run your experiments over an extended period of at least a month or so to identify who your late night customers are and then market to them before making up your mind on wether staying open late is feasible.
You aren’t going to see the results immediately, so make sure, even if you are seeing a loss after a couple weeks, to stick to your experiment and see it through to the end to get a proper gauge.
3. Working With Sunday Penalties
The Chamber of Commerce & Industry Queensland, quoted one of it’s restaurant owner members regarding Sunday penalty rates in hospitality:
“We currently operate on absolutely skeleton staff on a Sunday which leads to customer complaints, but we cannot add any staff as we would lose money. The Saturday rate would allow us to staff to the correct levels.” (Accommodation, café and restaurants, South Brisbane)
Maybe a lot of you are running skeleton staff on Sundays because paying 175% wages on Sundays hurts!
If your competitors are open on Sundays, then you may not have a lot of options in terms of staying open.
So, what can you do?
Sunday could be a great time for a promo. Be creative with your Sunday promo but make it an unbelievable offer.
What’s an unbelievable offer?
Limitless fries, salad, or drinks with every meal, or 50% off all menu options. You aren’t making money on this offer you are building foot traffic.
Therefore, while your competitors might be trying to raise prices and have less staff working on Sundays, why don’t you try having your full staff on and decrease your prices.
That way you are offering better customer service and lower prices over your competitors on Sunday.
Increase Foot Traffic
The thing is, you might lose on Sundays but your increasing foot traffic, in the long game this strategy may prove to be profitable.
Of course, test it out for a couple of months and see what happens. Are you seeing an increase of overall foot traffic by running your unbelievable offer as a Sunday promo?
How you can you stay open later and on Sundays and still profit? Take this advice above and work with the aspects of your business that you can control, not the ones you can’t like penalty rates on Sundays.