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11 Creative Strategies for Attracting More Customers to Your Restaurant

Unearth the secrets of thriving in the competitive restaurant industry! This blog reveals actionable marketing strategies, from local partnerships to smart social media use, and more. Continue scrolling to discover how these innovative approaches could transform your business.

Monday, July 17, 2023

As more and more restaurants appear on high streets and in our shopping districts, it becomes increasingly important to keep those customers coming through the door. Staying ahead of the competition can be a tricky thing to do, and in an ever-evolving industry staying relevant is more critical than ever before.

It does not matter if you’re a brand new food joint or an age old institution; your marketing efforts will mean the difference between success and empty tables. 

The restaurant industry takes no prisoners so make sure your service is impeccable, your food is delicious and follow these superb creative strategies to help you find success

Link Up With Local Businesses

One of the best ways you can ensure that your restaurant reaches as many people as possible is by linking up with other businesses in the area. 

Using local stores to sell products like coffee, cakes, or jars of your delicious creations is a great way to support the local economy whilst exposing more local people to your brand; it’s a win-win! 

As walking tours and city-wide treasure hunts become more popular, it would also be a great idea to contact tour operators to see if your restaurant could be included as a stop or a puzzle location. What better way to fill your seats than by inviting in a whole group of gourmands? 

Run Limited Time Offers

Limited time offers are a great way to bring in new customers. Offering percentages off the price of meals is a great way to entice people; especially in a time of inflation. You could also try things like offering ‘buy one get one free’ on new products, 'Grab and Go' menu Strategies or even special discounts for specific groups of people. 

Having cocktail deals on a Friday, and cheap wings on a Wednesday could help you to fill otherwise quiet parts of the week, and maybe even allow you to move some excess stock. Making these offers limited creates scarcity and should encourage people to walk through the doors.  

Holiday Specials

Holiday specials are a great way to keep people coming back throughout the year. Christmas and Easter themed special recipes are the obvious starting point but don’t limit yourself to the major events. 

Check for things like ‘World Pizza Day’, ‘International Coffee Day’ and even ‘World Nutella Day’. You’re bound to find something to celebrate in your niche; and if not, just make one up. There are hundreds of holidays and special events so check them out and make the most of them. 

Offer a Loyalty Card Scheme

Business owners are often afraid of loyalty schemes as it means you’ll eventually have to give something away for free, but there can be no question that the benefits outweigh the cost. Winning a customer's loyalty and rewarding them with a free sandwich, pizza, coffee, or whatever it is, will keep them coming back for more.

Everybody loves free food and your customers will be very excited to earn theirs; you aren’t just giving something away for free, you are booking their next 10 purchases. 

Happy Hour

A special offer like happy hour is something that people often look for when choosing where to eat, and it does not just have to apply to drinks. Pick a menu item, set a time to make the offer, and watch the orders roll in. 

Update Your Menu

The food industry is ever changing and dishes are constantly being created, adapted and updated; so it’s important not to get left behind. 

Refresh your menu as often as you can, and allow your chefs, cooks and staff the freedom to be creative and develop new things. Nobody will know the product as well as them, so who better to improve it. 

Maintain Your Socials

Even though it may seem difficult to some, the modern world of marketing is built around social media. You don’t necessarily have to make videos of you dancing and lip syncing, but maintaining activity on platforms like Instagram is a foolproof way to reach more people. 

You can inform your followers of new dishes, special promotions, and the limited time offers you’ll soon be implementing. 

Make Things Easy

Making things as easy as possible for your customers is essential. Your menu needs to be clean and simple; don’t overcrowd it with pictures, logos, and endless dishes. Having a simple menu also means that people can clearly see food allergens and order by dietary requirements without any worries

You may find that groups often ask for split bills or complex payment splits, so having a fast and smart POS system is essential if you want those big groups to keep coming back.  

Good Coffee 

If you’re a coffee shop then serving good coffee is a pretty obvious prerequisite, although some places still don't do it right. But even if you’re a restaurant, you’ll still find people who want to order coffee after a meal or during the day. 

Serving them a high quality espresso says a lot about your quality and standards, and it’s a simple thing to get right.  

Play Good Music 

Creating a pleasant atmosphere is a crucial element of running a successful restaurant. You don’t want your music to be played too loud so people have to shout, nor do you want to play royalty free drivel that people don’t want to hear. 

Keep the music contemporary and at a low level. Lots of places will actually match their ‘vibe’ to a specific genre. The idea is that you want people to hear it, but not to listen to it; it’s a fine balancing act which, when done properly, can make all the difference. 

Create an Elegant Website

As a food outlet you don’t need a website with all the bells and whistles; it does not have to do anything fancy. But having a bad website can undo a lot of the good things you’ve introduced. 

Use high quality images of your food, not stock food images. Have someone proofread your text, or have it written by a professional, and keep your design clean and simple. It’s also great to have a table booking system included in there, and make sure you put your current address and clear, up-to-date contact information. 

Bon Appetit 

Using these simple and creative methods to boost sales should be relatively easy, and will pretty much be guaranteed to fill seats. Make sure your products are reaching larger audiences, prepare some great special offers, and make sure your socials are active and interesting. 

From there, all you have to do is make delicious, fresh food and people will come.

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