11 marketing tricks to attract more customers to your restaurant
"We know we have delicious food, but I don't know how to attract more customers to my restaurant so that they can try it and want to come back". This phrase must be familiar to you, either because it is or has been your experience or because you have heard it from industry colleagues. And it's because having the best food is merely one of the strategies for having full tables.
We have discussed this topic many times. We at TheFork constantly strive to create solutions so that restaurateurs can attract more and more customers. Today, we will propose these 11 methods for winning over customers.
Run limited-time promotions. It is a marketing classic that's just as relevant as ever. In fact, in this day and age where immediacy is so important, customers feel the urge to enjoy a promotion before it ends.
You can run promotions (free desserts, 2 for 1 on specific days and times) scattered throughout the year in key months like January, an important month for boosting sales.
Run promotions throughout the entire year. You can complement limited-time promotions with ongoing promotions of 30% to 50% off menu items for reservations made through specific channels like TheFork.
On our platform, you can configure your profile so that customers earn points with every reservation and afterwards have exclusive discounts. You can also offer discounts all the time, attracting customers who know they can consistently expect these offers. Click here to start offering discounts now.
Create strategic alliances with local businesses. Another effective way of getting taste buds to habitually consume our products is by creating alliances with local businesses that organise events and meetings and where they regularly need menus and other products to feed and entertain staff. This is one way of having a fixed source of income and attracting customers who come by way of recommendations from these companies' employees.
Hold giveaways regularly. Customers love to participate in giveaways, and they love to win even more. Make your restaurant stand out from the competition by holding two giveaways per month, e.g. a free meal or dinner for two people. Customers can participate by providing their information before leaving the establishment, which would also give you information for running your e-mail campaigns.
Advertise special days with free products. On Thursdays, you can serve various trays buffet-style as an appetizer and let customers serve themselves for free while they enjoy a delicious cocktail.. On Mondays, you can serve coffee for free during your dinner service. On Sundays, you can provide free, small samples of your new recipes to your customers, see how they react, and determine what works and doesn't.
Invite people to celebrate their birthdays. It's another classic that keeps working because customers increasingly value personalised treatment. It consists of sending a birthday greeting e-mails to the customer database with, e.g., an invitation to celebrate it at the restaurant, including a toast on the house or a free meal for the birthday person if he/she comes with friends.
Review service and periodically improve it. Customers come to the restaurant for free promotions and products and, naturally, for the food. Still, there is something that they particularly appreciate, and that is feeling like they are receiving special treatment. To that end, it is advisable to conduct service reviews, e.g., every two months to ensure that it is going well and even to consider new customer needs. Pampering customers will make them come back again and again.
Upload real-time images of what leaves the kitchen. For instance, cooks or a staff member assigned to this role can take pictures or videos of freshly prepared dishes and post them on the Instagram account's stories during strategic dinner services.
It is a very powerful way to consistently tempt users and always remind them what they could enjoy if they come to your restaurant. It could also surprise customers in your restaurant that are online, as they will see that the dishes on their table also appear on social media simultaneously.
Meet the chef. Imagine you are eating at a restaurant, and the chef shows up with a smile and asks you how was the lamb stew that you just finished eating. Wouldn't it be a nice gesture? Now imagine that the chef is a recurring personality in that restaurant's dining hall and appears during dinner services and is interested in finding out what customers think about his or her creations...would that make you come back? Of course. Do it to attract more customers to your restaurant.
Install a screen with the best opinions and posts from your social media. Imagine you are at a restaurant with a screen that shows tweets from other customers recommending a dish, or an opinion on TripAdvisor that praises the service of the waiter who is serving you, or an Instagram post of various customers drinking a toast on the table next to yours.
It is a surprising act that is very tailored to present times, and which you can organise for a special dinner service during the week, where one person is in charge of filtering the messages that appear on the screen. It is technically feasible, relatively simple, and provides a great return on investment.
Influencers, influencers, and more influencers Find influencers that best match your restaurant's style and run periodic campaigns so that they eat at your restaurant and publish their experience on their social media. Customers love to keep track of these personalities, so the more influencers come to your tables, the more followers you will receive.
And if you found this article useful, we invite you to check out all the options we have at TheFork to help you attract more customers to your restaurant By clicking here.