Serving the best food in town doesn’t guarantee customers – unless they have tasted your food, at least once.
Indeed, getting people through the front door is a major obstacle in any restaurateur’s journey and, sometimes, it takes a wee bit of extra effort to attract new customers to a restaurant.
So how do you increase foot traffic in your restaurant? In this post, we share five factors that convince people to try your restaurant Of course, they double up as marketing tips, too.
An Interesting Ambience
Food alone may not bring people to your restaurant for the first time but beautiful or eye-catching décor could. It is a fact that décor and ambience, in addition to food and customer service, sum up the dining experience of a restaurant guest.
Remember, customers today are always on a lookout for new experience, and a fresh restaurant design can deliver this. It could be a Victorian-themed restaurant or one that recreates the stone age or anything else you fancy – the aim is to lure customers with the promise of unmatched experience, and, of course, deliver it.
Take the example of the Victorian Café and Restaurant located in Dubai’s City Mall 2. Inspired by the grandeur of the British history, the restaurant serves delicious food in an exceptional setting where “ladies and gentlemen are served by ladies and gentlemen.” The elegance of the period it recreates resonates in every detail of the café, including the décor, the signature menu items, and presentation of the food.
Who doesn’t like freebies? Running promotions such as happy hours, two plus one offers, discounts, etc. can be quite a crowd puller. However, there’s a smarter way of doing this. How about providing a free appetizer or drink to someone who checks-in or leaves a review on Facebook?
In a world connected by social media, each 5-star review on Facebook makes your restaurant look better. Besides, such offers also incentivize the reviewer to visit again, creating brand loyalty in the process.
A word of caution though – do remember to keep the promotions in line with your brand strategy. The idea is to pull the crowds, not sell things for cheap. So, if you specialise in cocktails, it might be a better idea to have a cocktail night, lining up your specials at a discounted price, instead of a regular happy hour with cheap drinks on the menu.
Free Wi-Fi can help your restaurant attract quite a few guests. People often find it awkward to sit alone in an eatery or a café. However, [bctt tweet=”Survey points out that 53% of people would gladly sit alone in a restaurant provided there is free Wi-Fi on the menu!” username=”foodics”]
You’d be glad to know that installing a Wi-Fi network is cheap, but it has several advantages. Most public hotspots offer users a choice to opt in while allowing the business to use their details for marketing. And, what’s better than utilizing this data to target your customers through email marketing by offering specials – such as, say, a cake on their birthday!
Limited Time Offers
Creating a buzz around your food, service, or ambience could be vital to attracting customers to a restaurant. Yes, people suffer from FOMO (the fear of missing out), and by using time-limited offers, you can play this fear to your advantage.
To run a successful LTO, think about popular national holidays or events in your area and build an offer around it – for example, it could be serving a particular dish only during a specific time of the month or year. Think, the 5-day Christmas Tree Frappuccino introduced in December 2017 by Starbucks or the Zombie Frappuccino available during Halloween in the same year.
Live Music Gigs
Who doesn’t enjoy some dinnertime entertainment? Organising live music gigs at your restaurant could significantly increase your customer footfall. Live music provides restaurant guests with a fun experience, at no extra cost, adding more value to their experience. Besides, the bands that perform at your place are likely to invite their fans, bringing in new business through the door.
In the end, to run a successful restaurant, attracting customers is not enough. You want your guests to return regularly and spread the joy by bringing friends and family in the tow. Thus, in addition to attracting new customers, you must aim to convert them into loyal customers through inspiring dishes, regular promotions, and stellar customer service.