5 Ways to Bring More Customers into Your Restaurant in 2017
Are you looking for a way to get new customers in your restaurant and to keep them coming back?
1. Take Advantage of Social Media.
According to Yelp, about seventy-two million people access Yelp on a mobile device per month, as of September 2016. Of the reviews, 18% were of restaurants, which means millions of people are reviewing restaurants every month. Websites like this and Foursquare are popular choices for potential first-time customers. With access to such sites, many people are more hesitant to go out to a place if they have not already seen stellar reviews. Take advantage of this opportunity to get great reviews to accelerate your business or turn poor reviews around. Social media is a lifeline for many establishments, so heeding customer advice will be critical to your business. A popular option people use is to offer a deal for leaving a Yelp review. Some eateries will offer a free ice-cream, beverage, or side of fries if the customer creates a Yelp review. Not only does this encourage more reviews, but the customer is more likely to leave a positive review if they are given something for free. Who doesn’t like free stuff?
Another rapidly growing site is Opentable. Opentable is a site—most often used as an app—that allows customers to reserve seating. Do your guests leave reviews that they can never find seating? A site like Opentable allows you to be more accessible to potential patrons.
Of course, let’s not forget the importance of other still popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Most people use one or several of these sites to network and find new places to go. Instagram is a fantastic way to show off your beautiful dishes and the atmosphere of your café or restaurant. Facebook is a popular way to inform people of the dates of certain events, or to post reviews made by local magazines and newspapers. Finally, Twitter is an option that can work much like Facebook in this regard, and will target a potentially expanded audience.
Another great way of attracting customers is to host events. The subject of these events can vary widely—perhaps you can offer live music to your guests every Friday night, or you can create a theme for a particular holiday. Depending on the kind of establishment you have, you may prefer to host common events such as “Taco Tuesday” or “Wing Wednesday.” Weekly events such as these are highly popular in certain areas and can be quite competitive. Sometimes you can find a Taco Tuesday as busy as a weekend!
3. Be Unique.
If you host an event like Taco Tuesday, or any other special days that you can alliterate, make sure that yours stands out. Do you find that a lot of establishments offer the same tacos? Make yours unique. Create taco dishes that boast the flair and panache of your eatery. For example, if you are a barbecue restaurant, consider offering pulled pork tacos on the menu. And it need not be limited to tacos; put a spin on any popular dish to make it your own. The options are limitless! Get people talking about your take on a popular dish, and you will have heads turning.
4. Meet the Chef.
There is hardly a more personable way to get to know guests then for them to meet their chef. Restaurants that allow their head chefs or managers to greet guests from table to table and ask about how they like their meals will show that you are friendly and that you genuinely care that they enjoy themselves. You will make a profound impression that your guests will remember and make them return again and again.
5. Offer Flights of Food/ Beverages.
Are you known for your thirty-seven different kinds of French toast? Your guests might agonize to find a way to try them all, but with a platter of tastings, your guests will be pleased to feel like they got the most variety for their money. The same can be applied to wine tastings. To really class up the joint, hire a sommelier who can offer expert advice to guests on food and wine pairings. This will give your restaurant an air of sophistication that will keep your customers talking. If you’ve forgone your liquor license, and let’s face it, buying liquor licenses in California can be expensive, keep in mind that the investment is more often than not worth the payoff.
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