How Holidays Effect a Coffee Shop - Analyzing 10,000 Visits
Gazella Wifi Marketing solution tracks the number of visits to restaurants around the country. Allowing restaurants, cafes, bars, and other small venues to make better marketing decisions, and collect unique customer profiles to keep in touch with their customers keeping them in the loop of whats going on at their favorite BBQ joints, coffee shops, and other fine eateries.
While the running joke around the office is if you don't show up to work on Saturday, don't bother showing up on Sunday or Monday either. (We work alot). We actually do give employees the day off for holidays. Our team has remote workers all over the country and the world. Often these remote workers enjoy working out of coffee shops.
That's when we got to thinking that if our productivity is down during the holidays, the coffee shops we are visiting are probably hurting a bit on those days as well. That's our hypothesis. Here's what happened next.
We then decided to take it a step further and analyze the data. Nearly 10,000 visits to coffee shops that is. We pulled the last 3 months of data from our favorite coffee shop clients to see if there was any patterns. Sure enough we found a few peaks and valleys during those "Holidays".
To be completely fair, most of the data is coming from coffee shops near colleges. Which probably has a greater swing in attendance while students are on/off campus for certain holidays. But hey 10k visits was enough data to get us started.
Over the past three months the notable holidays we analyzed were:
And to make things interesting we threw in the 2016 election.
While we definitely appreciate celebrating the anniversary of Christopher Columbus arriving in America. Let's be honest not too many people claim Columbus Day as their favorite holiday, or even know the date it lands on for that matter. Monday October 12th, 2016 (Columbus Day) was one of the highest traffic days for the data studied. Showing a 67% increase in traffic that day.
Our hypothesis here is that Columbus Day is one of those holidays a handful of people get to take the day off, but typically won't spent the day with the family. So a little extra time to take a trip for that cup of Joe.
Other holidays also seemed to show peaks and valleys. Here was the breakdown:
Above Average Visits:
- Columbus Day - 67% Above Average Visits
- Veterans Day - 54% Above Average Visits
Below Average Visits:
- Halloween - 19% Below Average Visits
- Election Day - 21% Below Average Visits
- Thanksgiving - 99% Below Average Visits
- Black Friday - 45% Below Average Visits
The Locations we looked at were actually closed for Thanksgiving. Which makes sense as to why there was a 99% drop in visits. Turns out Coffee shop employees have families too, and we appreciate that they got the day off for some turkey as well.
These numbers are based on approximately 10,000 unique visits to independent coffee shops and/or cafes in the United States.
Our conclusion on this data is that coffee shops on holidays have some pretty big swings. Accounting for some of the best and slowest days in the coffee shop business. We need a bit more data to confidently predict the amount of traffic your coffee shop will receive on these upcoming holidays and would likely need a Data Scientists to accurately take other factors such as weather and other political factors into consideration. However from a marketing perspective we can tell you, that by knowing the peaks and valleys of holiday traffic are upon you. You can make better marketing decisions.
Cool Data? Now What?
Here are some tips from coffee shop and restaurant marketers from around the world letting us know how to handle the holiday season when it comes to wifi marketing.
1.) "Thank your customers for their patronage throughout the year by sending them a thoughtful holiday greeting."
This tip actually comes from the team at MailChimp. Even if you are going to be closed on a holiday such as Thanksgiving. Make sure you let you know your customers know you are thinking of them.
2.) "Start restaurant holiday promotions in November."
Posector is referring to the big Christmas and New Years holidays in late December, but hey have a good point. Your restaurant can be swamped taking on company holiday parties and families looking to do some takeout with all the chaos of family being in town for the holidays. Or their restaurants can sit empty while folks are out doing their Christmas shopping. The choice is yours.
3.) "Gift cards are the obvious answer, I did not want to state the obvious"
A twitter post from TheRestaurantGuy @BradelyToft featured first on Toast. A handful of restaurants run specials on the classic buy $25 get $5 free. This is a perfect way to say "Thank You" to those loyal customers of yours.
Quick Wifi Marketing Tip: While you don't want to give away the house, giving your loyal customers (those that have been in a handful of times- Which you know based on your wifi marketing data) a different discount. Maybe it's a dessert instead of that $5. They are your regular customers, get them to try a desert so the next time they are in, they are hooked on your delicious desert items. Increasing the total cost per visit. On the flip side, a customer that only has been in once may need a little more convincing as to why they should buy your holiday gift cards.
4.) "Often a personal gesture goes even further than a promotion or invitation to book"
OpenTable says personal gestures are the way to go, and we couldn't agree more. During the holiday season there are so many businesses sending out coupons, discounts, and sales. A personal gesture will stick out during the holiday season. Plus your not having to give anything away. But you bet when those customers get hungry, they will remember that personal gesture you sent them.
5.) Don't be a Grinch, be social.
Bentobox alludes that sometimes the holidays can get away from restaurant and coffee shop owners and the social media accounts are neglected. Don't be a grinch and keep those social media accounts active.
To summarize holidays are a great time for family and friends, but can also be incredibly fruitful or harmful for a business. With the proper planning and right marketing strategy. You can definetely grow your business during the holiday season. Nurturing your coffee shop and restaurant customers so you have the best New Year yet.
For information on how to automate all this stuff we talked about above. Send us a message requesting a demo and trial of the Gazella platform. Consider it your holiday gift to yourself to automate your restaurants marketing.