Taking Advantage Of Dry-January

“Attitude is the little thing that makes a big difference”

Sir Winston Churchil

January can be such a daunting time for business owners, especially in the hospitality sector. After a busy festive period, many choose to stay at home or start the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle in 2023.

Dry-January is a very popular trend that many see as the mortal enemy of bars and restaurants. It’s where people decide not to drink alcohol for the whole month of January, normaly due to a few weeks of binge drinking between Christmas and New Years Eve, thus creating a ‘quiet time’ for hospatiality buisnesses. However, this should be used as an opportunity to bring in new customs, maximise sales during the ‘slow’ period, and show the local area that your business is aware of current events.

To take advantage of this time of year, we need to bring about more ideas to get people through the door without being too dependent on alcohol sales.

-Show Your Support-
Don’t be like the other venues, trying to persuade your customers to give up. Be different, What your regulars will remember is how your team supported them and offered incentives to stay dry or even reward them with a free pint in Febuary. It’s very likely that when they complete their goal, they’d much prefer going to the place that was excited for them rather than trying to turn a quick profit.

-Adapt The Drinks Menu-
Adapting the drinks menu can have a refreshing start to the year, and a perfect time to run a promotion on non-alcoholic drinks to show your support for those doing dry-January.
Imagine being able to offer a wide range of sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks or cocktails, not just juice or kids’ drinks. somthing with quality ingredients that shows your customers it’s not all about getting drunk, it’s enjoying the experience.

    2x lemon wheels
    3x whole raspberries
    Pour 25ml of FunkinPro Rhubarb Syrup
    Add ice
    Top up with Fevertree Raspberry and Rose Lemonade

Running events is an easy way to bring buisness during ‘off peak’ times of the year. However, keeping with dry-January in mind, it’s unlikely sober people are gonna want to dance or do karaoke. A pub quiz is a perfect (and cheap) oppitunity to bring in the locals. With every sale, there’s a chance to upsell your food too, especially items like fries or chicken wings etc.
We could even offer premium ticketed events like a murder mystery night or a live culinary experience, moving the focus onto providing a high quality service for a selected few guest.

-Host A Walking Group-
Along with dry-January, it’s common to see more people on hikes and walks at the start of the year. Those trying to keep up with their healthy new years resolutions. With so many of these people on social media, why not create a post suggesting to host a walking group’s meeting point before going on the hike. Alternatively, have your pub/bar/restaurant as the finishing point to which you can offer free sandwiches and dog biscuits, spending a little money to create loyal regulars, furthering profits and expanding your reach in the community.

Telling people to think outside the box is such a clichĂ©, but if you’re the only one doing it, then more rewards for you. With so many places struggling to keep the lights on, we need to re-imagine the part we play in the community.



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