It's an unfortunate fact that while our Bank Holidays can be some of the best times for UK businesses, they are also the most difficult to plan for.
The British weather adds a decidedly uncertain edge to every long weekend from April to August. The advice for visitors to the 2012 Olympics- 'pack sunscreen and a waterproof'- said it all!
Here's our guide to planning the (almost) unplannable.
Prepare for success
If you can, look back through previous years' sales figures. Whether you run a restaurant or a convenience store, this should give you an idea of how many covers you'll make/drinks you'll sell/ice-creams you'll need.
To be on the safe side, it's probably best to book staff based on your best sales figures. Then, if rain is forecast nearer the time, you can always ask if anyone would rather have time off.
When it comes to catering supplies, don't be afraid to over-buy ambient groceries, soft drinks and alcohol, as Booker are offering most of these on a 'sale or return' basis this summer.
The vast majority of our branches are open on a Bank Holiday, so we're here for you if you run out of supplies, or if you have a small stock room. You can check opening times at your nearest branch up to two weeks in advance here: https://www.booker.co.uk/help/branchfinder.aspx.
The Great Outdoors?
A beer garden filled with happy, celebrating customers is every publican's dream. There are very few overheads associated with outside space, and as customers feel further from the bar, they are more likely to order large rounds.
Outdoor space is also a selling point at cafés and city pubs, as customers appreciate the opportunity to catch some rays.
However, as with everything else, you'll need a sunny weather and a wet weather plan. Once you have these ready, you can check the weather forecast 2-3 days in advance, and decide which to go with.
We're offering some great prices on aluminium tables and chairs right now- great for cafés and handy for pub beer gardens when all the wooden tables are occupied.
No crystal ball needed!
Have you seen our recent Best Sellers leaflet? The prices of these products are held until 9th September, covering all the summer bank holidays.
Retailers should take a look at our Great Margins leaflet, which features some fantastic deals on multi packs of cider and beer, sure to be popular over the Bank Holiday. These prices are frozen until 13th May.
If you need help with any aspect of planning Bank Holiday trade, whether you're looking for unbreakable beer glasses, or considering putting on a barbecue, have a chat with your local branch. You'll find that your branch manager or CDM can offer a wealth of advice and experience.
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