Cities such as San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, and New York have the highest number of food businesses per capita, with around 20 to 21.5 eateries per 10,000 people, according to Bloomberg.com. This means that the competition for attracting customers is cutthroat. Eateries must win over restaurant traffic from other venues consistently in order to make the best restaurant profit possible. While limited time deals and occasional special events can boost business during slow seasons, having consistent strategies for how to attract customers can raise restaurant traffic in a continuous fashion.
How to Attract Customers
One of the best strategies for how to attract customers is to offer deals and discounts. Daily deals such as happy hour specials can spur a daily amount of restaurant traffic. However, having the same discounts every day is an ineffective strategy for increasing restaurant business because consumers will have no reason to frequent a venue on that specific day. On the other hand, having specials and restaurant deals that alternate on a regular basis will cause customers to feel like they will be missing out if they don’t dine at the venue within the deal’s valid period, increasing restaurant traffic during that time. For example, breakfast lovers will be likely to dine at a venue at some point during a specific week if they are offered free coffee with baked goods
Tabletop marketing is different than traditional restaurant marketing because it focuses less on getting the word out about a venue, and more on convincing those who are already familiar with the business to return in the future. Tabletop restaurant marketing is an almost-free restaurant advertising strategy, but it must be done right to be effective. There is a fine line between being persuasive and pushy, which must not be crossed in tabletop restaurant marketing, in order to preserve a pleasant restaurant ambience.
Tabletop Restaurant Marketing Platforms
There are a few ways that a restaurant marketing plan can incorporate tabletop marketing. Firstly, for venues with electronic menus, direct links to the business’ social media advertising pages can be available, allowing the customers to “like” the venue or join the mailing list at a touch of the screen. In general, the synchronization of social media and restaurants is extremely helpful to restaurant marketing, since it can help spread the word about a venue through reaching people that customers are connected to on social media platforms. Restaurants may even consider offering customers a discount or customer reward for joining the customer loyalty programs, especially while dining in the venue. Another popular way to do in-house restaurant marketing is with tabletop menu cards. Simple cardholders can hold
In the third quarter of 2013, tourists purchased about $903 billion worth of goods, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The tourism industry is huge, and, luckily for restaurants, includes dining out. In fact, culinary tourism is gaining momentum. More and more, tourists are choosing dining locations for the purpose of learning the food and culture of a country or region. Authentic restaurants, as well as high-end venues, can benefit from this trend directly. However, any venue can create a restaurant marketing plan that will focus on bringing in tourists and getting a piece of the profits that can be had from the tourism industry.
Here are 5 tips for drawing tourists to your venue:
1. Get a Tripadvisor Business Listing
Tripadvisor business listing and other tourism marketing sites are great ways for tourists to hear about your venue and read reviews written by past customers. Consumer apps that show menus of venues in different areas are also effective in getting the word out about a restaurant. Venues should get intact with these platforms to find out how to get listed. If a venue serves good food and has a high level of customer service, such free restaurant advertising sites can be extremely effective tourism marketing by making the venue seem appealing.
2. Have a Website and/or Social Media Page
Once tourists have read about a venue on a tourism
Chefs like Eméril and Paula Deen are now the faces of branded retail chef products. Wolfgang Puck has his name on dish sets as well, and Taco Bell co-Branded with Doritos to make the popular Doritos-flavored taco shells. For budding chefs, who have yet to make a name for themselves, chef products will not succeed based on name alone. But, in regards to restaurant brands, is it worth it for more modest businesses to pursue branded retail food product lines? The answer depends on the business’s goals, interests, and funds or investors.
Going Big in Food Branding
Selling branded retail food products in supermarkets is not as simple as it sounds. Businesses will need to make sure they have all the proper licenses for operating a food manufacturing business, as well as ensure they are aware of all the food safety regulations related to preparing and packaging retail food. Though homemade food such as artisan bread and homemade sauces are great additions to a restaurant, restaurant brands of retail food will be subject to a lot more regulation and requirements. In addition, supermarkets will usually only buy from suppliers that have the ability to keep up with their demand. This means that a business must be prepared to invest in equipment to facilitate large quantities of production. For some restaurant brands, projecting an appearance of offering homemade food is extremely important. However, even retail food marketed as homemade sauces or artisan bread will
Casual venues can significantly increase restaurant traffic by making the venue exciting for customers every day. Offering daily deals will keep customers thinking about the venue and make it worth their while to choose to dine at the venue, rather than somewhere else. Whether a venue chooses to hold a “daily deal month”during the slow season, or simply offers a different deal each day of the week, the restaurant deals will have customers flowing in and, when done right, will increase restaurant profit.
Which Restaurant Deals are Worth Offering?
Restaurant deals should offer customers a bargain, while still leaving room for restaurant profit. For venues offering weekly deals, discounts should be focused on making the most of the ingredients available and limiting food waste. For example, fresh fish is often not available on Sunday and Mondays. However, if a venue does not use up their fish from the previous week, it will go to waste, which means lost restaurant profit. Offering (cooked!) fish dishes as happy hour specials or as part of restaurant deals, on Sundays and/or Mondays, can help increase restaurant business and restaurant profit by bringing in customers and making sure to minimize food waste. Other daily restaurant deals can include a daily flavor of soup, buy one get one free on soft drinks, desserts, or appetizers, and “children eat free on Wednesdays,” for example. Restaurant deals should offer customers a bargain, but make sure that restaurant profit is maintained as well.
Restaurant Marketing for Your Daily Deals
Restaurant marketing of daily deals can be done in a number of ways. Tabletop advertising (on the menu or using table tents) will help current customers know about the restaurant deals. Social media advertising can also be used, announcing the special deals of the day and reaching out to customers
Some of the public has a romantic notion that the best food can be found in a food truck, at anytime, anywhere. Food truck owners enjoy relatively low venue expenses, and freedom to operate as a gourmet fast food venue, mostly having to worry about quick restaurant service and rounding up customers. Those thinking of starting a food truck business, though, should be careful to read up on legislation, as each city has its own regulations about where a food truck can operate, among other logistics. Winter weather should also be taken into consideration, as business and convenience of operating decrease significantly in unpleasant weather. A food truck should be focused, simple for customers to understand, and offer food that is simple to serve, in order to be most successful.
The Concept of a Restaurant…In a Food Truck
Since food trucks offer such a small workspace and are under pressure to sell quick meals, most of the components of the dishes will have to be prepared in advance. More than the food though, they must be able to draw customers who want a particular type of food, and advertise accordingly. A food truck that offers a little of this and a bit of that will not be focused enough to draw customers craving a specific type of food. Customers of a food truck are usually looking for fast food because they are in a rush, or on-the-go, so they should be able to guess or
Happy hour specials allow restaurants to make the most of the end of a workday by offering customers restaurant deals, thereby drawing them in. Happy hour restaurants can take advantage of off-peak hours late in the afternoon by offering discounted appetizers and drinks, encouraging consumers to unwind and relax at their venue. Planning how to execute offering happy hour specials will help ensure that restaurant traffic and restaurant marketing are at their prime during happy hour.
Happy Hour Specials Are Great Restaurant Marketing
Customers may be hesitant to try dining at a venue they don’t know, or spend the money on dining out. Happy hour specials give them the opportunity to taste and experience the restaurant deals at a relatively low price, hopefully winning them over so they will return, which will increase restaurant business not only during happy hour, but also in the future. In restaurant marketing, and marketing in general,
Hot, steamy, fresh hot cocoa, spiced hot wine, homemade soup of the day, winter vegetable chili…such dishes are often available on winter seasonal menus, and suggested as tips for restaurants to offer in the winter, since “warm” foods are in high demand as the weather cools down. A restaurant marketing plan for the winter season should be focused on publicizing the winter menu and making the venue seem as warm and cozy as possible. By using restaurant marketing to publicize the offer of a warm meal or drink during the winter, businesses can increase restaurant traffic despite the tendency of customers to want to stay home to avoid the chill.
Whether using local advertising, social media advertising, or print advertisements, a restaurant marketing plan for the winter can have increased affectivity by publicizing the menu items which are seasonal and will appeal to customers the most. In the winter, dishes with lots of spices and herbs, which are served warm, such as stews, chili, and soups, are extremely popular. Holiday menus and special events
Off-peak hours are those awkward times in the day or early evening when there are barely any customers. These hours can be expensive for food businesses since kitchen and wait staff will be paid for their time regardless of the amount of work. Here are 5 tips on how to make the most of the off-peak hours to increase restaurant business and profit:
1. Offer Restaurant Deals
Everyone likes a good deal, making offering restaurant deals one of the best ways to increase restaurant business during typically slow hours. Offering discounts such as “happy hour,” prix fixe, or business meals during hours projected to have low restaurant traffic can draw customers who enjoy good restaurant deals.
2. Throw Special Restaurant Events
Competition can be great motivation for improving a business and drawing more customers. By looking at competition, a business can learn new tactics to increase restaurant business. Though sometimes competition can be understandably frustrating, at other times it can be a positive way for food businesses to build relationships with others and learn more about the niche of running food businesses.
Having restaurant competition that offers a dining experience similar to yours (whether the menu, venue, or concept is the same) can cause your customer base to dwindle. When this new competition pops up, business owners may be skeptical about the positive side of competition. However, challenges can make a business stronger. The competition will force a business to consider their weak points and strong points, to locate areas for improvement, and to ensure they are offering customers the best dining experience possible. This may mean reviewing the prices to make sure they accurately reflect the food costs, improving the customer service, tweaking the restaurant ambience, or adding creativity to the dish selection. Monopolistic venues, those offering a dining experience unparalleled in the area, may be