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How to Attract People to your Restaurant. Checklist. Part 1.

Whether you are a new restaurant, or you want to boost your existing food business, you should always be on the lookout for new strategies on how to attract customers in restaurant. We’ve come up with some strategies that might work best for you in 2021.

Placing an ad in a local paper or playing a spot on the radio may seem like an obvious solution, but this might be too expensive and the audience might be too broad. Read our article to find out less outdated and more efficient ideas on how to attract people in your restaurant.

1. Provide Special Offers in Collaboration with Local Businesses
When you use specials and discounts to drive more sales, you generally need to offer a considerable price reduction. While this solution is evident, you should consider your chances of attracting the right demographic and customers who will actually return and become your regulars.

The same goes for the strategy when you offer buy-one-get-one discounts when you might just end up having a lot of customers who use the offer once and never come back.

We recommend you consider partnering with other businesses for promotion. Look for nearby movie theatres, entertainment centers, and escape rooms. If you have a pizza place, see if you can partner with children’s birthday party venues, like trampoline centers, video arcade centers, or bowling alleys. If you have a fine dining place, contact your local theatres or art galleries.

After purchasing an event or entry ticket, people should be able to purchase dinner for two at a discount rate at your place. And the other way around, clients can get a discount on an event ticket if they show proof that they ate at your restaurant. Try contacting some popular entertainment spots in your area to check if they’d like to partner and drive more business to both of your companies.

2. Offer Free Wi-Fi
When people get free Wi-Fi, they tend to stay in your business longer, and this usually means more orders.

Of course, any business hosting customers is expected to provide free Wi-Fi, especially in big cities. However, if you are in a more rural area, having free Wi-Fi might become the primary reason clients come to your place at all. If people know they might get online and check their email and social media while waiting for their order, they will be glad to stop by over and over again.
If people are coming in just to use your Internet without ordering anything, you may want to give Wi-Fi passwords to those who buy food or beverages. Make sure to change your Wi-Fi password regularly.

3. Embrace E-mail Marketing
Using online marketing tools may be quite efficient for businesses that know their target audience well. Email marketing is a great tool to drive sales. Try building a customer base by leaving out a sign-up form for your newsletter. Do not forget to publish links to your website and social media pages, from Snapchat to Facebook.

If you offer some additional perks to those who sign up, this will drive interest in your restaurant among the audience. Offering specials and exclusive bonuses to newsletter subscribers and social media followers will sustain interest and drive more sales.

A person who subscribed to your newsletter is likely to be already interested in visiting your place. By offering newsletter-only coupons for some menu items you will convert these followers into real-life customers.

Try offering a more substantial incentive for the initial sign-up, like buy one get one free coupons. After that, more modest discounts of 10-15% will be a pleasant addition driving more sales.

4. Make the Most of Your Hours
As a food business, you should track the time when you make the most sales. If you understand the macro trends in your customers’ behavior, this will give you lots of insights on how to make more profit. Define the times when your business goes slower - this could be a certain season, certain days of the week, and certain hours during the day.

Having this data will help you turn your slow hours into your busiest ones by introducing specials and discounts during these times. It is always a good idea to make variations. You could offer 50% off appetizers for one entire day of the week, and happy hour pricing for the entire afternoon on another.

Use discounts and special prices to get people in your restaurant during the downtime between lunch and dinner, and they will be sure to come back as long as they like the service and the food at your location.

5. Engage Local Foodies in Your Area
Local gourmands and foodies exploring the best locations and menu items in your area can become a great source of the traffic to your restaurant. People who post comprehensive and professional reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, and their personal blogs usually get thousands of followers. By reaching out to them personally, you could leverage their social media influence.

You could treat them with a free meal or tasting in your restaurant in return for an honest review. Another idea is creating a discount code that their followers can use if they come after they’ve read the blogger’s review. These free meals will pay off nicely as you will reach new customers and enjoy the long-lasting effects of online reviews, as long as they are positive.

Want more tips on running your restaurant business? Read more articles on our blog. Be sure to reach out to Tawreed if you are looking for a reliable wholesale supplier for your restaurant.