It’s a fact, January is a killer on sales – especially in the pub and restaurant trade. Everyone is spent up after Christmas and the New Year. So how can you fill your pub in January and February?

Here with a few tips to help fill your pub or restaurant in January and February.

1. Offers

If your pub serves food, then you may want to think about a promotion. A two for one promotion, kids eat free, free wine with the meal, discount, free dessert etc. By promoting a couple of days a week within the two months (usually your quiet days), you can quickly fill up tables.

2. Entertainment

Cosy pub, atmospheric? Talk to local talent and look to bring them in for a night or two. An excellent example of a pub that has undoubtedly embraced this theory is O’connors Bar in Galway, Ireland. The pub, brimming with atmosphere and charisma has live, local music almost every night of the week. But it’s not enough to put on live music and not tell people about it. Embrace social media such as Facebook LIVE and Periscope apps to broadcast your live event on your social media channels. Let people see what they are missing and not only will your social following grow but you’ll convert web browsers into pub visitors.

3. Advertise

Quiet times are always a critical time to look at pushing your marketing. By looking at the ideas above you should look to promote your ideas as much as possible. This may be through the local press, but your social media marketing is where you’ll get the best-measured response. Don’t be afraid to go live on these social channels, be yourself and be confident. Going LIVE will interact with your audience – especially on Facebook where your page followers all receive a notification that you are life. Interact with them, make the video at least three minutes long or more and save the video to your timeline. Push the same on each of the other social channels, Instagram, Periscope, Twitter etc.

4. Engagement

Do you have a database of customers from last year? If not you should try to create one this year. Ask your customers to opt-in to your database or newsletter. If you have mobile numbers, you can try an SMS send out to promote your offer. Doing this through a reputable SMS delivery service such as Text Local will enable you to manage your list and have any opt-outs managed in a compliant way.

5. Email

Use an email broadcasting tool such as MailChimp to manage your newsletter email sends. You can promote your offer to your customer base (this won’t be as responsive as SMS, but you should cover this off as part of your marketing campaign.

6. Talk to other businesses and collaborate

January and February can be great times to plan. As a community why not speak to other businesses and associations in your community. Offer the use of your pub as a base for meetings. I often visit a small village on the coast of West Wales. The local pub offers the local lifeboat crew the venue after their training on a Thursday for their meeting. The chef makes a large pan of stew, and the place fills up with crew members and often family and friends too. By talking to other businesses and perhaps creating a town or village business forum it helps everyone in times of quiet periods. Collaboration and idea planning such as The Great British High Street Awards and so forth can be a positive way for people to think together and work towards a cause.