Given the busy work schedule people have these days, it takes a lot of creativity to manage to increase restaurant traffic during off-peak hours. Most restaurants focus their efforts and special offers on the weekends, but it is not enough to cover for the lack of activity during the other five days of the week.
This is why restaurant owners should come up with ideas and build effective strategies to attract more customers for lunch and dinner from Monday through Friday. This means targeting busy working individual and making efforts to answer their needs for taste, nutritious value, fast serving and affordable price.
Finding the Right Recipe for Drawing Customers In
The search for the perfect marketing formula to increase restaurant traffic is ongoing at all levels from small family-owned diners to gourmet restaurants and even restaurant chains. People are more likely to bring lunch to the office and have dinner at home.
The reason behind this decrease in restaurant-going is not always connected to a lower budget but often has to do with lack of time or motivation. People need a specific reason to eat out; give them the incentive with either a special event or a special offer. This means that restaurants have to rethink their customer targeting strategies and be more creative in promoting their business.
It is necessary to create a wide-reaching strategy, covering both the online and offline environment. This way, restaurant managers and owners can reach out to potential customers through all the possible channels they use to obtain information about products and services.
Building Solid Strategies to Increase Restaurant Traffic during the Working Days
The key to approaching people and convincing them to enjoy a meal at a restaurant during the working days is presenting them with an escape from their daily routine. If they are convinced that they will have a good time and enjoy a special treat, people are willing to spend money on a lunch or dinner out in the city.
Despite what many restaurant owners think, effective marketing strategies are not very expensive. When you learn how to harness the power of internet searches and social media, you can build great traffic funnels for your restaurant even on a shoestring budget.
Here are five of the most effective ways to get more business at all times of the week:
1. Promote the Daily Special Dish on Instagram
A picture is worth one thousand words – this may seem an old saying, but it remains true. Posting a great quality photo of a special “dish for the day” on Instagram will attract a lot of people who are at least curious if it tastes as good as it looks.
Instagram is a great social media platform for restaurants because the main media shared there are photos and short videos. It is possible build loyalty programs and a strong brand image solely on Instagram with the goal to market your restaurant to a larger audience in a short time.
2. Meet the Chef
Set aside an evening during the week when your clients can have a meet and greet with your top chef. The idea of meeting the specialist behind the curtain is very enticing for customers of all niches and industries but even more for restaurant goers.
Instruct your chef to share a few simple and helpful tips such as how to chop onions without crying or how to prepare the perfect barbecue, and these special evenings could become the highlight of the week, competing with the weekends in terms of number of customers.
3. Create a Fixed Price Lunch Menu
Another creative way to increase restaurant traffic during the week is to prepare a special menu at fixed price for people working nearby. If the price is right and you promote your offer by leaving leaflets and brochures at the reception desks of office building within walking distance, you will certainly see an increase in the number of clients coming into your restaurant for lunch.
4. Introduce Flavors of the World
Since many individuals are interested in international dishes and flavors, consider creating a special day during the week when you offer Chinese, Italian, French or Indian cuisine and advertise it properly through all the marketing channels, including your website, email newsletter, social media and physical leaflets or other distribution materials. Bringing something original to spice up your menu every once in awhile is a great way to increase restaurant traffic even on a moody Monday.
5. Offer Special Discount Cards and Gift Cards
Although it is not recommended to promote discounted offers publicly, you should always consider rewarding your loyal clients in a discreet manner. Offering them a discount card together with their bill or sending it to their email is a very meaningful way to thank them, make them feel special and incentivize them to come back, helping you increase traffic on any day.
Similarly, making gift cards available could turn your repeat customers into brand ambassadors simply by having this option available in plain sight near the counter. When your most loyal customers are considering friends and loved ones, a gift card makes a great caring gesture, and each one that is purchased has the opportunity to bring in someone new that has never experienced the food at your establishment.