winter storm warning in effect

It’s no secret that winter storms hurt the restaurant industry this year. Restaurant patrons across 33% of the country have been reluctant or unable to leave their homes for the better part of 2014, Wade Handson, a principal at Technomic says. As Spring arrives, consumers will reenter the foodservice industry, but January and February have left a mark that most restaurants will be hard-pressed to gain back, according to QSR magazine’s article Operators: Is Winter Over Yet?.

“Tin Drum Asiacafé, … based in Atlanta, had to close all six of its restaurants in the area for four total days during the ice storms, resulting in around $20,000 in lost sales,” according to QSR magazine.

4 days. 6 restaurants closed. $20,000 in lost sales. That’s harsh.

And that was in Atlanta, Georgia! Coming from the cold Midwest, I would have considered spending the winter in Atlanta to thaw. Prior to 2014, at least.

Cabrio Structures doesn’t usually ask for hard numbers from our Cabreeze™ restaurants, but John at Lake Elmo Inn gave us his numbers for the 1st Christmas season his retractable patio structure was open: an additional $50,000+ simply by having their patio open for business.

One might say, then, prior to 2010, they were losing $50,000 in sales.

31 days. 1 restaurant patio closed. $50,000 in lost sales. THAT’S harsh.

Think about $50,000 in lost sales the next time your outdoor restaurant patio shuts down for the season: are you accepting $50,000/month in lost sales?