Why September is the worst month for restaurants

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Why September is the worst month for Restaurants

Some really interesting analysis from Cardlytics regarding the drop in average spending in the restaurant sector during September, October and November.

Their analysis probably won;t come as a surprise to many in the restaurant industry, but it can give you some ideas around how to try to improve sales, through different marketing initiatives.

Bloomberg interviewed Matt Drewes, ‎senior vice president for national restaurant partnerships at Cardlytics. He said that with the start of the school year, “families are dining at home more and not going out as much,” in part to save money for new clothes and school supplies. “Restaurants take the hit from everybody else who makes money in back-to-school [time].”

Although the data is based on US card analysis, the similarity in the way that school years run, means that the data should be similar for the UK market.

One interesting aspect, is that larger restaurant chains have a huge amount of customer spend data to work with, so it is fair to assume that this is robust.

As the article points out, the bigger chains have been able to combat that by offering promotions aimed at bringing customers back in to the restaurant – even if that means lower average prices. The deals they offer however, are designed to last only through those few weeks until the sector recovers. In the case of Red Lobster (a seafood chain) their deal ends on 2nd November, whereas Olive Garden  has a ‘Never Ending Pasta Pass ‘ which runs for seven weeks from 22nd September to 9th November.

Matt also mentions that, “The bigger chains want to advertise an attractive price point and highlight in their commercials how families and larger groups of people should come out. They have created promotional events to fill the gap of fewer customers.”

For your restaurant in the UK, that might mean developing new promotions at a lower average cost per head or providing larger package deals for larger groups.

You can find out more about how we deliver strategies around this by giving us a call on 01772 978 101.

What strategies have you tried to fill the SON plateau?