Creative marketing—and a little rest—can yield positive results for your RDS during the slow summer months.

Every business has its season. In the restaurant delivery world, demand tends to correspond with the school year: Busy season runs from September to May.

But once summer rolls around, there’s a natural dip in demand for restaurant delivery. As a result, business is much slower for restaurant delivery services (RDS), which can be stressful for RDS owners. But, with the right strategy and a little creativity, summer can be rich with opportunities for your RDS.

Here are three ideas to consider when thinking about your summer strategy:

Focus on what people love to eat in the summer.

Technically we can eat year-round watermelon thanks to modern-day logistics, but it tastes better in the summer. Food is seasonal—both when it grows and when we eat it. You can tap into your customers’ seasonal cravings by offering special deals on their warm-weather favorites.

Of course, summer promotions do depend on what your restaurant clients offer. So it’s worth discussing how you might leverage their menu for the season. But here are a few classics to consider:

  • Barbecue: ribs, brisket, steaks, and more.
  • Burgers, brats, and hot dogs
  • Lemonade
  • Fresh fruit desserts, such as peach cobbler and cherry pie
  • Pasta salad and potato salad

Consider a social media campaign or newsletter highlighting summer menu items. You might run a few promotions, especially around the summer holidays. For example, encourage customers to post photos of their warm-weather feasts! You can use those images to market the experience to others who might be compelled to place orders.

Make it easy for people to try something new.

After so many months of sheltering in place and avoiding crowded restaurants, people are eager to try new things. According to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), 75% of people have expressed interest in expanding their food horizons. Prime your RDS to deliver that experience.

Talk to your restaurant clients about their most unusual menu items or dishes that most people haven’t tried. Yelp has shared that many people are curious about international cuisine, so pay special attention to those options. Get a little background or cultural context from your restaurant clients, so you know the whole story.

Post pictures on social media with a short writeup. Send out email newsletters. Share reviews from people who have tried it. Leverage the carefree mentality of summer and encourage people to place an order for something totally different.

Take a step back.

Of course, you don’t have to aggressively hustle for business during the summer months. Instead, you can choose to enjoy the break. Without so many immediate demands on your time, you may finally have the headspace to focus on strategy.

Enjoy the extra breathing room and use the time to:

  • Figure out your hiring strategy for fall.
  • Upgrade your gear with new uniforms, insulated bags, or a fresh batch of car magnets.
  • Treat your drivers to a mini retreat, such as a barbecue or other seasonal gathering.
  • Treat each of your restaurant customers to a meal and take the opportunity to talk shop in a relaxed setting.
  • Refresh your website with graphics and season appropriate content.
  • Work on those projects you never seem to have time for during your busy season.
  • Take a well earned vacation.

Whether you choose to hustle or take a breather, enjoy the possibilities of the summer months. Be open to the opportunities for your RDS to generate additional revenue. With a little planning and a good strategy, you’ll weather the warm weather just fine.