If you own or manage a restaurant, then you will agree with me that your industry is a tough one. Not only are there millions of other restaurants competing with yours, online food delivery companies are getting customers to dine in the comfort of their homes. That ultimately means that there are fewer and fewer people dining out in recent times.
According to a post on The Wall Street Journal the reduction in restaurant visits resulted in business loss to the tune of $3.2 billion in 2016. That number will only continue to climb as long as the factors mentioned above exist. Restaurants now have to come up with ways to get new customers to dine with them.
The question is: Do you know how?
Here in this post I will show you the top 9 ways to pull customers to your restaurants. Some of these methods were not possible in the past but they are now, thanks to technology.
Let’s get started…
- Social Media
Social media is an excellent medium. You can use it to create awareness of your restaurant and also to get people to dine with you. Even though this is a no-brainer, not many restaurant owners or marketers use social media adequately.
Since food is the centre of attraction of your restaurant, you should post photos of your meals on a regular basis. You could create a photo contest amongst your followers to boost engagement and offer a price (in the form of discounts, free lunch, free candy, etc.) to the winner of the contest.
- An Active Website
You do not only need to have a website. You need to have an active website; one that is constantly updated with fresh content. Even you will go online to research a business before buying from them. Your customers do the same thing. And so, you must make sure that your website is designed to look professional and easy to navigate. Remember, a bad website makes your restaurant look bad.
- Listing Your Business On Google
You can register your business on Google and have your business profile pop-up every time a customer searches for you. Doing this will help your business show up on Google maps and will help potential customers find you faster. Be sure to ask your customers to leave hearty reviews about their experience at your restaurant. And the best part is it’s free of charge.
- Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is a very effective tool for reaching out to your customers. With over 3 billion people having email accounts, you could reach a really wide audience. You need someone who can write creatively to produce lively content on a weekly or monthly basis. Try not to overwhelm your customers with too many emails. And make sure that every email newsletter you send contains value for your audience. Read this article about Content and Email Marketing for Restaurants and Retail Businesses to learn more.
- Offer Birthday Promos/Discounts
Offering Birthday specials is a unique way to attract customers. People love to go out on their birthday; the trouble is they do not always know beforehand where they’d love to go. So offering a birthday promo will give them a reason to celebrate their special day at your restaurant.
If you could get the birth dates of all your loyal customers and offer them discounts on their birthday, you will have them for life. You can get that data using a robust Wi-Fi analytics and marketing platform.
- Organize Events
Want a fun and exciting way to attract customers? Organize events. Events like guest talks and game nights to cooking competitions and wine tasting can help your restaurant get the needed attention. You should offer happy hour, if you don’t already. Strike a deal to be the host restaurant or wine provider for a local or corporate event. You want your local community to associate your brand with fun and quality.
- Look To Local Media
There are always media outfits around you, whether your restaurants is situated in a small town or a large city. Contact local newspapers or bloggers/writers, offer them a free meal and ask them to write about their experience in their publications or websites. If they have got a large audience, it’s going to get your restaurant a lot of attention and ultimately, new customers.
- Offer Gift Cards
With gift cards you can attract some new customer who may never have visited your restaurant. A friend, relative, or colleague of a loyal customer, perhaps? People who receive your gift cards will make a purchase when they visit your restaurant to redeem the cards. Don’t offer physical gift cards? Then offer digital credits so that your customers can buy some for their friends or family.
- Provide Catering Services
Catering gives you the opportunity to showcase your quality meals and services to hundreds of potential clients. Visit local offices and give them your catering menu. Ask to be the provider of breakfast and lunch for their staff. You could also get enlisted on wedding service providers’ sites and you will be visible to couples who need catering services for their wedding event.
Another thing that can get you new customers is integrating a Wi-Fi analytics software like SpotOn Wi-Fi to your Wi-Fi system. This tool will help you collect valuable customer data that will make your marketing more effective. With a more effective marketing campaign, you can reel in new customers. You could do this by starting a referral program to get your loyal customers to bring their friends who are currently not your customers. Because of the data you have, you know what offers will appeal to your loyal customers to get them to bring in their friends/family as new customers.
These 9 methods will give you the needed edge to survive the highly competitive restaurant industry. Want to know how our platform can help you? Shoot us a message on our contact page and we will provide all the information you need.POSTED ON August 27, 2019