As we are now comfortably into the new year, it time to think about seasonality within hospitality and how this can affect your business. Within hospitality, business levels can vary due to many different factors. One factor that will always be mentioned is the time of year and seasonality.
What is Seasonality?
Seasonality refers to the changes your business will see from season to season, these are predictable changes that repeat every calendar year.
So how does this relate to your business? Seasonality allows you to plan and assess your peaks and lows as they reoccur every year. Where these peaks and lows fall will vary from business to business, but regardless there’s bound to be a reoccurring yearly trend for you to follow.
Location Plays a Huge Role
Location is a key factor within seasonality, you need to know the facilities around you and how they will correspond with seasonality.
The holiday periods can vary your business levels depending on what type of hospitality business you are, reflect on your location, past sales, and the type of offering you have, to establish your strengths here.
Fast casual establishments tend to thrive with the increase in footfall with festive shoppers.
As a given, there will also be an influx in booking for Christmas parties, for this period ensure your team are ready to handle large tables and your restaurant is set accordingly.
On the other end of the spectrum, depending on you location, this may be a quiet period as you may have people within your local area travelling elsewhere to celebrate their holidays.
Summer tends to be a peak for hospitality. This is due to an increase in tourism and the warmer weather encourages people to venture outside, thus increasing the footfall for the majority of hospitality businesses.
If you have the capability within your site, focus on your outdoor dining and activities. Customers love to sit outside in the summer so do what you can the push that even further, with outdoor bars or live music.
Excluding the festive period, on average there is a decline in dine-in business in the winter months, the cold weather encourages people to stay inside. In contrast to this, with people staying inside this is a prime opportunity to focus on your delivery and takeaway.
The winter months are a mix of saving money during your quieter periods to invest back into your holiday period.
If you would like to plan your winter early read this article on how to prepare.
Other Seasonal Changes
Another big seasonal change is related to the school year. If you are located near a School, College, or University, you will notice the trend.
Due to this, if you are near to any of the above, I would recommend having your counties school calendar to hand to know when the half terms and school holidays are coming up for you to plan accordingly.
If you are near a college or university, you can use the term times to know when you may have an influx of part time team members applying and went you won’t.
It's clear that seasonality can affect all hospitality businesses, so it is down to you to use this information to plan accordingly.
Hire and rota correctly when you know there will be peaks, plan your promotions when you know there are going to be lows and use seasonality to your advantage.