Featured image by Alex Haney via Unsplash
There’s no doubt that the restaurant industry is extremely competitive. Sure, everyone has to eat, but there are often more choices that the diners of a particular area can possibly cover. So as a restaurant owner, you need to do whatever you can to stand out in a crowded marketplace and bring in more customers.
Restaurants rely on a combination of new customers and repeat customers. While repeat customers are cheaper to retain and, on average, spend more at a restaurant, you still need a constant source of new customers coming through the doors. The more new customers you have, the more you can eventually convert to repeat customers. However, bringing them to you is the hard part. Here are six tips on how to attract more customers to your restaurant.
Turn to Social Media for More Customers
It’s essentially impossible to have an effective marketing strategy if it doesn’t involve social media. Restaurants tend to be local businesses that draw more customers from the immediate area, which is especially true when it comes to repeat customers. So you need your social media game to be strong to build your brand’s personality.
There are a lot of places that make great food. However, diners are looking for experiences and vibes to go along with the food that they eat. Your social media accounts are the perfect way to give potential customers an idea of what your dining experience will be like and tell them more about the atmosphere you encourage. Not only that, but the mouth-watering photos of your food that you can post will certainly help draw crowds.
Since your restaurant is drawing from your local area, it’s easier to target your paid advertising. You can target locals who are in the demographic you are targeting, and you can even target people who are in your immediate vicinity or any other area for that matter. For example, you can target your ads to people who are at a nearby movie theater. Then, when they walk outside and check their phones, your restaurant can be front and center as they discuss where to grab a bite after the movie.
Hire Live Musicians and Draw in More Customers
Live music is a great way to bring in more new customers, especially in a post-pandemic world where people are starting for in-person entertainment. The right act can add to the ambiance and atmosphere of a meal without being too overwhelming. One of the perks of hiring musicians is that you will get the built-in customer base of family and friends that come along with it. Try and target up-and-coming acts that already seem to have a following in your area. That way, you will not just draw their existing fans, but others who have heard of them but not seen them yet will come to check them out.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you can’t run a restaurant strictly on ambiance. First, you need to have good food that will keep customers coming back for more. While those repeat customers are valuable, they won’t tell their friends if your food isn’t overly good. You need to have food that is worth telling others about. You want people to talk about your restaurant around the water cooler and also on your neighborhood or city dining social media groups. If your food is mediocre, then your restaurant will not be around for long.
Every restaurant should have a theme and a personality. There is no end to the possible options for these. You could have a Tex-Mex vibe, or a classy one, or a retro theme. Whatever it is, lean right into it to give your customers an all-out experience. Besides the decor, pay attention to the details. Get custom tableware and have your wait staff and hosts wear theme-appropriate outfits. Everything you do will engage your customers even more and bring them a more complete experience with their meal.
Let Search Engine Optimization Bring You More Customers
When someone wants to find a restaurant, they will search it on their phones or laptops. Then, they will typically select one on the first page of the rankings that appear. If you aren’t up high on those rankings, then you are missing out on a lot of customers. When a customer clicks on a web page as a result of a search they’ve performed, they are what’s called organic traffic.
Organic traffic is quite valuable as each visitor has already demonstrated a desire for your type of product. As a restaurant, you want to be easily found when someone is hungry. SEO can help put you front and center for more customer searches related to dining in your area.
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In the past, offering delivery for your restaurant would have meant investing in vehicles, staff, training, and equipment to make it work. For example, you’d need drivers, people to answer the phone, containers, and cooler bags. You’d also have to pay for fuel and vehicle maintenance.
However, it’s never been easier to offer delivery. Sign up for an online ordering and delivery service. That way, when a potential customer is hungry but can’t or doesn’t want to leave the house, they can find you on the service. When they order, you have to provide the food, and the service does the rest. They will pick up from you and deliver directly to the client. You will appear on their app, so that’s additional marketing for you, plus you can tap into a new market.
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As you can see, there are many ways you can bring more customers into your establishment. That’s the hard part, but with some creativity and hard work, you can build a restaurant that has new diners coming in all the time. Then the easy part comes when all you have to do is wow them with your amazing food and service.
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