Does summer for you mean working your ass off, or looking at an empty terrace because everyone's at the beach? For many hospitality entrepreneurs, summer is an elusive and unpredictable season that consumes all their attention. As a result, creating visibility and attracting prospects gets put on the back burner. But summer actually offers countless opportunities to stay top-of-mind!
The city is buzzing again, people are heading out, and the first beach days are eagerly awaited. It's that time of year to excite your (potential) guests with fun promotions, activations, and other marketing initiatives. Don't put it on hold for too long though. Start brainstorming, developing, and planning your ideas now. What do you need (staff, more guests)? What does your target audience like? And where will you find them? Go all out, because most entrepreneurs scale back their marketing activities during this period, which means more distinctiveness and visibility for you!
Bright marketing and PR tips
It has been shown that guests stay more loyal to you if you connect with them throughout the year. You'll stay top-of-mind. And those guests are just more relaxed in summer. The weather is great, people are planning holidays, we are crawling out of our holes again, and social life is booming. And what better place to celebrate summer? Right, all the bars, restaurants, and hotels the Netherlands has to offer. But how do you ensure all those people visit you? Read on for some inside tips from Typhoon Hospitality!
- Newsjacking and PR themes
Need inspiration? No problem, because summer offers plenty of PR themes. Think of major sporting events like the Tour de France or football tournaments. However, you can also respond to the weather, local events like farmers' markets and the start of the new school year.
- Sun & drinks
Create a special summer cocktail menu with spritz's, highballs and ready-to-drink cocktails. These are quick and easy and offer a higher margin than regular cocktails. Remember to put tinto de verano on your list! This Spanish wine highball is the summer trend of 2023 and consists of light Spanish red wine, lemon soda and ice. Take advantage of the paloma boat too. This highball with tequila and grapefruit soda is a huge summer hit. Many highballs are also available ready-made without the quality being compromised. To attract even more guests to your establishment, organise a recurring activation. Think Sangria Sunday or Tinto Thursday, where you sell the show's star for a friendly price. The repetition creates brand awareness and therefore a packed bar, or terrace....
- Your terrace as a canvas
Do you own a terrace? Make the most of the long summer days by inviting musicians for a (acoustic) live performance. Create an entertaining agenda that draws guests to you instead of the beach. Additionally, you would want your terrace to be bookable because there is nothing more annoying than looking forward to a sunny day outdoors and seeing a fully occupied terrace. Create an oasis where people feel at home. Use plants and tree lights, and provide comfortable furniture so guests can enjoy your terrace for as long as possible. And it's all Instaproof too!
- Summer campaigns
Put mouth-watering light dishes on your menu that go effortlessly with summer afternoons filled with delicious food, friends and a bottle of rosé. Make sure you excel at something. A particular cuisine, the best appetisers, a tasty cocktail. That way, you will build notoriety, and people will have even more reasons to visit you instead of your neighbour. Do you experience some quiet days now and then? Offer attractive promotions during these hours. Longing for busy mornings? Put together a lovely breakfast promotion at an affordable price. Of course, you can also do this for lunch or afternoon (hello cocktail deal!). If you want to take this a step further, you can set up a summer loyalty programme running in July, August and September, for example. The more often your guests visit you, the more they get in return. Think of discounts, complimentary refreshments or fun perks, such as game nights or priority on reservations. Dress up your business by working with brands that suit you. Cooling footbaths from Lipton, table fans from Absolut or branded beach chairs from Gulpener. Think out-of-the-box, so you stand out!
Communication is key
Of course, your (future) guests need to know about all your fantastic summer initiatives. Communication is key here. You can start on the spot by informing them via a leaflet or the menu. Put up posters on your walls and terrace windshields, and flyer in the neighbourhood. Keep people informed through your website and newsletter and, of course, social accounts. Announce your initiatives, engage your audience, and reflect on fun days by sharing photos and videos. And consider advertising locally. Social media ads are particularly effective at targeting your audience. If you have an extensive network, you can also ask them to share and tag. In exchange for a complimentary breakfast or one or two drinks for instance (of course, this depends on their reach!). Or get an agency to help you by taking care of all this. This way, you can return to focusing on the live activities of your business!