Too Cold to "Chill" at Home?

Getting Consumers off the Couch and into Your Store During Bad Weather

This year’s bitterly cold temperatures seem to have cooled the enthusiasm for popular winter activities, such as sledding, ice skating, and - even to a certain degree - going out to dinner, the bar, or the movies. Restaurant and destination managers are well-aware of the reluctance of their consumers to come out during unseasonable weather, but that doesn’t mean these businesses need to hit the brakes.

Indoor-only businesses usually thrive in the winter; however, with large amounts of snow on the ground and the temperatures in the single digits, getting people out of their homes can be a challange. Family activities like bowling, laser tag, and mini golf, along with adult-centered activities like restaurants, gyms, vineyards and bars should focus their marketing efforts on convincing consumers that bearing the cold is worth it. Here are some tips on how to get people to strap on those winter boots, throw on a jacket and drive to your business:

1. Offer a Sale or Weekly Special - This doesn’t have to be just for retailers; perhaps a restaurant has a 2-for-1 Soups special on Fridays, or a bowling alley offers a 2 for 1 special during snow days. When customers know they will be rewarded, they are more likely to commit to visiting your business.

2. Create Advertisements that Consider your Consumers’ Lack of Winter Activities - Being a shut-in is fun for a day or two, but week after week of Netflix binging is sure to wear on the spirit. Create ads that are colorful, fun and alluring. Use your consumers’ daydreaming habit to your advantage! This is especially important this time of year because outdoor businesses are closed for the season. Don't hybernate with the zoos or golf courses, remind consumers that you are open and the heat is on!

3. Be Active on Social Media - Consumers are more likely to purchase products, or take part in activities, that they have seen or researched online. Being active on social media could lead to people being more interested in what you have to offer. All businesses should respond to questions or reviews on social media, as well as post pictures of other customers having a good time. Maybe you’ll to inspire others to come out as well.

4. Serve Hot Chocolate and Coffee - Just as a summertime event benefits from offering water or lemonade in the heat, a wintertime event will benefit greatly from offering hot drinks during events and activities. This applies to all indoor businesses too because who doesn't love a free cup of hot chocolate when you walk in the door? This simple beverage will show your patrons you care about their well-being.

5. Offer Entertainment - This includes bands, comedians, maybe a movie on a projector? Give consumers something different to do. People like trying new things.

From brainstorming ideas for your winter events to executing a full-service marketing plan, please contact Dining Out Marketing Group at 631-207-1057 x112, or shoot us an email at info@diningoutli.com.