Meals I've Eaten, Issues I've Seen & Operations Advice


What Restaurants Should Do on a Snow Day


It’s January in Wisconsin and the snow is falling…..and falling…..and falling.  Snow days are terrible for the restaurant and retail business, but owners should not be so caught off guard. Let me tell you why…..

Owners and managers need to be clever about getting customers in the door on days like today or other inclement weather days. They need to think about their winter plans and promotions well in advance.  When cool weather arrives in fall, plans should be made for “Winter Warmer” bar specials, additional soup offerings, snow day discounts and social media scrambling. Pictures of your restaurant or bar full of customers having a great time, should be taken so you can pull them out, post them to Facebook and say, “Hey, you should be here, it’s awesome!”

If you build a reputation as a place that’s a warm, welcoming and fun hangout during the storm, they will come.  If you serve amazing soup and comfort food that appeals to your region, they will come. If you build a social media following and invite your tweeps over, again, they will come.

One of the best examples I’ve seen this season is a Snow Day campaign created by DLUX, Madison’s new gourmet burger and swanky cocktail hot spot.  By partnering with their liquor vendor, they are able to offer guests $9 glasses of Veuve Cliquot anytime it snows.  Anytime.  Even a dusting. Sipping some of the world’s best known champagne inside while the snow falls lightly outside. Sounds pretty fabulous.

A quick check on Facebook found only a few others making attempts. Graze invite guests over for coffee and tea but Madison Sourdough made this perfect post (complete with picture)  to their Facebook page saying, There is a lovely view of the snow from our warm and baked-goods scented cafe. Take a seat at the bar with a bowl of hot soup (cuban ham and black bean or curry tomato) or a tasty sandwich to fortify you against the bluster and burrr. –Molly”  Personal and so appealing! Bravo.

Most spots I found on Twitter or Facebook today were just posting pics from outside their shop windows or inside their empty bars.  Please remember these pics are not inviting and instill in people a reason to stay home.

Get excited and creative about the snow, offer discounts or fun promotions and engage your customers and I promise….they will come.



  1. Laura Gallagher
    January 30, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Terrific post Cheri! Great points! Batch does a nice job this too – it usually involves discounted bakery but I bet they don’t have much left over at the end of the day as a result of their social media efforts!

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