Now that fall is here, things are finally starting to cool off nationwide. Time to bundle up and get ready for some colder weather.

For restaurants, we’re heading into uncharted territory. With many establishments relying on outdoor seating to make ends meet, the upcoming colder months are going to present some difficulties. When the temperature plummets and snow starts to blanket the streets, your customers might not be so thrilled about eating outdoors.

Here’s three considerations your restaurant needs to make as we prepare for winter.

Outdoor seating is cooling down. Things are getting colder. You know that. And you know outdoor seating is going to be impacted.

If you’re somewhere in the south, colder weather might not be so much of an issue for you. You’re in luck. Sure, some days will be colder than others, but it’s a lot easier to make outdoor seating more appealing when you’re not facing subfreezing temperatures.

Now if you’re somewhere that regularly gets a ton of snow? Outdoor seating suddenly won’t be quite so appealing. Take New York City for example, where close to 10,000 restaurants have set up outdoor seating, as reported by The New York Times. We only just entered October, but the snowy months are going to be here before we know it. When that happens, restaurants need to be prepared.

There’s going to be operational changes. And these operational changes need to be sorted out now. Whether you’re setting up a heated tent, like the restaurants featured in this article from The Columbus Dispatch, or you’re investing in other solutions, you need to have a plan.

Government aid. As we continue forward, you’ll want to keep a close eye on government relief programs at every level. From local initiatives to the federal government, varying discussions are taking place regarding the looming issue. Depending on where your restaurant is located, you may be able to secure funds to help your restaurant survive.

Take Washington, D.C. for example. The Hill reports that Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced a $4 million grant program with the goal of helping restaurants prepare their outdoor dining areas for the winter. The grant would provide $6,000 to recipients, allowing them to purchase heaters, propane, and tents. If your restaurant is in D.C., you’re almost certainly going to want to look into this.

And if you’re anywhere else? Watch what’s happening. Regularly check out the National Restaurant Association’s COVID-19 page for updates. Make sure you’re armed with all the latest information.

Packaging on the go. If you were leaning on takeout and delivery before, be prepared to embrace it further as we head toward winter. Less customers dining outdoors means you’re going to want an efficient to-go business to make up for lost sales.

On top of that? You’ll need packaging that keeps food fresh and warm. It’s a lot harder to do that when it’s colder outside.

If takeout and delivery weren’t a large focus for your restaurant prior to the pandemic, it’s time to reevaluate things heading into winter. If your packaging isn’t up to snuff, you’re going to wind up with bad reviews. With the ongoing pandemic, that’s the last thing you want to be dealing with right now.

So before it gets too cold, evaluate your packaging. You’ll be glad you did.

Thrive With CoGoBuzz

CoGoBuzz is here to help your restaurant succeed as it moves forward from the pandemic. Our state-of-the-art digital marketing service can help your restaurant build and maintain a strong base of loyal customers, which will ultimately help your restaurant survive.

Our service directly promotes your services to customer mobile devices. Leveraging advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, CoGoBuzz promotes your restaurant both in-store and out. It comes packed with a fully digital, text-based loyalty program, allowing you to let your customers know what services you’re offering – all with just a simple text. Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz.

Whether you’re one of our current customers, or you’re interested in joining the CoGoBuzz family, we’re committed to helping businesses affected by COVID-19.

For current customers, we’re providing free text message service, allowing you to send a link to order online, purchase gift cards, and/or notify customers of new hours.

For new customers, we’re offering our hardware at cost, donating our services, time, and covering shipping costs. Prepare for the future with CoGoWiFi Free to collect your customers’ phone numbers. There are no contracts or monthly fees, and we offer unlimited customer data storage.

Message from our CEO

“From pricing to packaging, our mission has always been to provide customers with unbeatable value. That’s why, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeking to provide the most aggressive offers to help suffering restaurants survive. We believe that half of small restaurants will fail in the year after operations return to normal. The restaurants that survive and thrive will be the ones that win loyalty and focus on bringing customers back over the following year.”

– Steve Gould, CEO

Click here for more details on how we’re handling the crisis.

Has your restaurant started preparing for winter? Let us know in the comments.