A thought popped into my head....that can be scary!
How about selling gift cards for your food for people to give as gifts?
Say, $4.00 for a $5.00 meal.
If you've got a regular spot, and are always there, this could be lucrative, and many reasons why.
Money up front, and in theory some folk may buy many. Help you get thru the winter, afford those days off when it's too nasty to work.
Companies can use them for Xmas bonuses (cheap Bastards).. Convince them to buy "10-paks" of them.
Good "Secret Santa" item.
It could bring in lots of new customers.
A percentage will never use them, so it's like free money.
If you currently use a "punch card", just fill them up....no added expense. If not, buy the Avery blank biz cards and use their free software.
One drawback is having all these coupons show up at once and no cash. Simple, just put that money aside and use it when you need it.
Just a thought to kick around...............
Put an experation date at about the time you get busy in the Spring.