Ah, customers. Love them or hate them – the fact is you need them to create a sustainable and profitable business. In the restaurant trade, your customers all have one thing in common: they are all hungry! So, when it comes to finding new ways to attract customers, you need to keep this in mind.
There are thousands of takeaways available at the touch of the app, so what is your restaurant doing differently to persuade them to head out and join you instead? It can be difficult to keep track of the latest digital trends, meaning your business is losing out in the process.
So if your flyers feel a little old school, or your website just isn’t filling tables – here are some creative ways you can attract new customers to your restaurant.
If your restaurant is stuck in a rut and you’re looking to attract fresh faces, nothing brings people together quite like a themed night. Regardless of what type of restaurant you own, there’s always room to try something a little different!
You could even host networking events and invite local businesses. Or, how about a decade themed night, or something special for Halloween, Easter etc? A great tip is to hold your themed night on your slowest day of the week, as this can really boost trade without having to sacrifice tables during the busier nights.
Themed nights work because more often than not, people want to bring friends along too. After all, if people are going to dress up or make an effort, they are going to want to share this with other people! Meaning lots of new customer possibilities for you.
You can create RSVP’s on Facebook, or ask people to book a ticket via your website. You could also offer incentives such as discounts or special deals, to really entice the crowds in for your themed night.
If you’re yet to get on board with email marketing, what are you waiting for?
You can really use email marketing to your advantage, especially when it comes to attracting and enticing new customers. For example, you could send an email where if your customers refer a friend to sign up, they will both receive a £5 voucher off their next meal.
Or, you could get creative and find a spot that’s quiet during the week. Send an email inviting customers to visit during this time, to receive a special offer or deal. You can really use this tactic to make sure you cover slow periods, which all businesses including restaurants inevitably have. It’s about looking at the stats and responding accordingly, which email marketing is brilliant for.
Create An App
As the saying goes: “If you can’t beat them, join them”. When it comes to creating an app to promote your restaurant, this could be a great way to boost existing and new trade. Especially since we are now averaging over 3 hours spent on our smartphones every single day.
For example, your app could allow people to pre-book tables, or even order takeaway if your restaurant offers this service. Although there are many existing apps you can use for this, they will charge commission and you won’t have full control either.
Your personal restaurant app, however, can alert people to free tables or special offers you may be running. Although it can be costly to set up if integrated as part of your overall marketing strategy it can really pay off.
Social Media Competitions
On first glance, you might be thinking: “Hang on, how can giving something away earn me new customers?” The goal here is to look at competitions as part of your wider marketing strategy.
Say you create a competition on Facebook with the prize being a free meal for 2. If people like, share and tag who’d they’d bring on the post, the initial cost of the meal you are giving away, has generated hundreds of new followers and visits to your page. In many cases, this can spread to thousands like wildfire, after all, people like getting things for free!
Even though you’re only picking one winner, the amount of people who have now seen your business is in the thousands when looking at overall reach.
Alternatively, you could launch a new item such as “Scotland’s hottest chilli” and challenge people to come and try it, by asking people to tag who they think has it in them to eat it. Even a simple idea can really boost the number of eyes on your business.
Nope, we’re not suggesting you turn your restaurant into a zoo here. Guerilla marketing is a form of marketing that uses surprising or unconventional ways of promoting a product or service.
A great example comes from Nestlé, who once turned a park bench into their famous Kit Kat fingers. When it comes to your restaurant, there are so many creative ways you could market it using similar tactics. For example, you could create street art similar to McDonald’s that turned a pedestrian crossing into their famous fries.
For the most part, it doesn’t have to involve an elaborate budget or any crazy installations – it’s all about thinking outside the box to get your restaurant in the minds of your customers. It’s about targeting key locations (such as student hubs or commuter zones) with a really creative idea that makes people stop and think.
Running a busy restaurant and trying to get to grips with the latest marketing trends can be tough!
The key points to take away are that it’s important to reach your customers in as many different ways as possible. Sure, people may see a leaflet once – but is it enough on its own to attract lots of new customers?
While marketing isn’t exclusively digital and you should always look for a mix of physical and online methods to boost trade – it is where a lot of your core audience spend their time. Targeting them in exactly the right way with creative campaigns can make you stand out from the stream of takeaways or chains you’re in competition with.
If you’d like to enhance your digital marketing, Stampede offers tailored solutions so you can keep track of your customers, and ensure there’s a constant stream of them coming through the door.