Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolutions and Revelations

Seizing market opportunities is something that all smart business people do to keep ahead of the game and stay competitive. When summer rolls around you roll out your new line of fruity iced cocktails, during the holiday season it’s all about corporate banquets and holiday parties. So what is on diners’ minds in the New Year? NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!

Some interesting resolution facts:

• In 2010, about 45% of U.S. adults will make resolutions for the new year.
• Surprisingly, 40-46% will be successful at the 6 month mark.
• For the past few years the three most common new year’s resolutions have been: 1. get out of debt, 2. lose weight, and 3. develop a healthy habit (i.e. healthy eating, exercise, ..etc.).
*Franklin Covey Study.

It’s no wonder why many restaurants report low sales in January; after the holidays people are trying to save money and eat healthier. It’s also no wonder that health-focused businesses generally see an increase in business during resolution season (i.e. health clubs, yoga studios, spas, health food stores). Tis’ the season to be dieting.

To drive the point home even further I took a look at some statistics for Google search terms throughout the years. During the month of December the number searches for the word “gifts” spikes, as does “golf clubs” over the summer, and “costumes” during October. Are you shocked that searches for “healthy eating” and “restaurant nutrition” spike in January? I’m not.

So how do you take advantage of this opportunity? I would suggest offering at least a few healthy options for those looking to cut calories. Intense dieters like keep track of their intakes, so providing nutrition information for those healthy items is very helpful as well. You can take the opportunity to cut food costs by reducing portion sizes and filling space with cheep veggies that are also nutritious, this gives you the opportunity to tackle 2 resolutions (cutting price and calories).

No matter what the resolution, people want to feel good about moving towards their goals. Nothing does this as effectively as a "resolution victory." These are the small steps along the way to fulfilling a resolution. This could mean choosing a healthy menu item for lunch instead of that slice of deep dish pizza, or saving half of your jumbo portioned dinner for lunch the next day instead of buying lunch and eating the whole thing. Even though you can’t help them fully achieve their resolutions, you can offer them these opportunities and a powerful bonding moment with your brand.