January is a time when most independents close for a much-needed rest. It’s also the one time of year where customers – after a run of heavy festive spending – tend to stay at home and not spend as much until their January pay cheque.

This means that this time of year is also the perfect time to spruce up your restaurant and get those repairs that have been building up finally fixed.

But it’s not just about essential jobs like repairs; a fresh lick of paint, new artwork and fresh tableware can go a long way to giving your customers something new to come back to (which, for relatively little cost, is always great for them and you!).

So… what can you do?

1. Paint, paint, paint!

There’s nothing worse (unless it’s in keeping with a theme), than going out to eat and being distracted by peeling wall paint and chips in the wall. It makes the place look uncared for and unloved, which subconsciously makes people think ‘well, do they care about the food?’.

It doesn’t matter if you paint the restaurant the same colours, or choose something new, a fresh lick of paint will brighten and freshen your building making it look new!

Also, don’t forget the toilets, which are often a forgotten place in restaurants. Chipped paint, mouldy grout and empty hand soap dispensers get left for another day. But everyone loves a sparkly loo!

2. The outside

The outside of your restaurant is the first thing customers see and of which they gain an impression.

Is your sign clear and not missing any letters? Could anywhere benefit from plants or accessories? Does it also need a lick of paint? Are there any old Christmas lights that really should be taken down? Are the menus clear?

Or is it simply time for a change?

3. Artwork

Whether it’s themed art, or helping out local artists by displaying their work, art can lift a restaurant’s atmosphere and provide talking points for customers. And, if you’re displaying local artists work, it can build a sense of local community and help your brand.

If you want to buy your pictures, look at antique shops for a bargain or go online for high quality prints.

Want to attract local artists? Simply put a sign up saying you’re looking to display work and contact any local art groups that might be around.

4. Glassware, linen and plates

When it’s hectic in the kitchen and at the bar, the little chips and scratches on your glassware and plates will sometimes go unnoticed, but when seen through fresh customer eyes, they’ll be clocked in an instant.

Take time to look at everything. From the tablecloths and cushions to glasses, plates and cutlery, is it all up to your standard? Or does anything need replacing?

Wrapping up

It can be a pain to get jobs done, but when it’s quiet this January and you’ve had a rest, now really is a great time to give everything a spruce up.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about it for another year!