As a restaurant, getting more hungry customers to walk through your restaurant’s front door is a top priority. While you can rely on word-of-mouth referrals and positive online reviews, one of the best ways to get more people eating your business’ delicious food is to drive more foot traffic to your restaurant.
Here are 5 proven ways to drive more foot traffic to your restaurant;
1. Create a Family of Customers
As a restaurant owner, getting to know your customers is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your business. The success of a restaurant relies on impressing people enough that they not only tell their friends and family about your business, but also that they return. By getting to know your customers and understanding their wants, you can develop a close relationship that motivates them to return often in the future.
You’ll want to know what customers think about your restaurant. It’s also important to understand why people choose your restaurant and their purchasing behavior. By knowing these details about each of your customers, you can predict their future purchases. This information can help when crafting future incentives and promotions.
2. Use Targeted Marketing Campaigns
As you develop a thorough understanding of your customers, including who they are and what they want, you can then use targeting marketing campaigns to increase foot traffic. For example, let’s assume that a family of four visits your restaurant every weekend, but you want to entice them to visit on weekdays as well. With this information you could run a campaign for Kids Eat Free Tuesdays that will encourage the family to come in on an otherwise slower day.
By targeting customers based on when they visit your restaurant or the food they typically purchase, you can find ways to convince them to come in on a different day, increasing foot traffic on days when the dining room isn’t typically filled.
3. Open a Food Truck
One of the best ways to increase foot traffic is to simply be where customers are. While you can hope that customers find their way to your brick and mortar restaurant, why not make life more convenient for customers by being where they are? Food trucks continue to grow even more popular amongst consumers because of their convenience. There’s nothing better than being able to quickly grab a restaurant-grade meal without having to spend an hour of your day doing so.
Making the decision to buy a food truck is definitely costly, but having a mobile restaurant will quickly pay for itself. To avoid breaking the bank, skip buying a brand-new truck and instead look for used food trucks for sale. Used food trucks will still get the job done but without the high price tag.
Once your food truck is out on the open road, the most important step is marketing. Since there are likely dozens of food trucks in your area, you’ll need to think strategically. To best market your food truck:
- Participate in food truck events
- Offer promotions, discounts, and giveaway
- Park at a busy location
- Market online and offline
By using these marketing tips, you can ensure that your food truck isn’t just another big vehicle on the road.
4. Join & Host Events
While restaurants are for eating, this doesn’t mean that you have to keep your business inside of that box. Get involved with the local community so that you can spread the word and encourage new customers to stop in for a meal. By taking part in events in your town, you’re not only able to advertise your company, you also have a chance to network with other restaurant owners.
Hosting events is another great way to get people into your restaurant. Leverage untraditional holidays, like National Bacon Day or Pi Day to host fun events. By taking part in the larger community, customers will hear buzz about your company and are much more likely to visit.
5. Offer Outdoor Seating
While this isn’t an all-season solution, outdoor seating is proven to increase foot traffic. Casual picnic benches, cafe tables, or even an outside bar area are ideal for marketing. As people walk by your restaurant, they will get a small feel for what the atmosphere is like and may decide that they want to join in for some food and fun.
As you increase your restaurant’s foot traffic, you’ll notice that you not only have an increase in daily customers, but you’ll also find that your routine customer base will continue to grow. As more people experience your restaurant’s delicious food, you can expect an uptick in word of mouth referrals and positive online reviews.
If you are a restaurant manager or owner, let us know your best tips for increasing customer traffic during slow seasons.