Every week seems to bring a new challenge to our industry but we continue to adapt, overcome obstacles, and implement creative new ways to continue to serve our customers. Many restaurants have been able to transition to patio-only dining and some have even created makeshift patios! We’re all looking for ways to attract more customers without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas to consider:
Offer a free item
Coupons and specials are great and encourage people to buy but an even more enticing offer is a free item with a purchase. For example, you might offer free chips and salsa with an order, a free drink, or a free side. Put a minimum order amount in place to ensure it makes sense for you to provide the free item such as “Spend $ and get . . .” or “Buy two entrees and receive a free . . .” Everyone loves something free!
Another free perk to offer to customers is wifi. If you’re open for patio dining and are more of a casual location such as a coffee shop or bakery, you can attract customers that are looking for a space to work or meet with someone. Chances are you already have internet or wifi in your business, so setting up a guest network might not cost you any extra. Gizmodo has a great article on how to do this safely.
Utilize social media
It’s safe to say that nearly everyone is on social media and if your business isn’t, or isn’t using it enough, you should start utilizing these powerful platforms. They’re free to use and if you’re in need of content ideas, it can be simple – share pictures of your food, spotlight your employees, share any specials, and just keep people up-to-date on what’s happening. You can literally post multiple times a day showing people what’s happening at your restaurant, the great food you’re serving, and everything they’re missing out on by not buying your food!! There’s even great Facebook groups you can join with thousands of potential customers such as Fresno/Clovis Local Eats, Central Coast Foodies, NorCal Food Corner, and a quick Facebook search will yield a ton more!
Offer gift cards
Many of the groups mentioned above are encouraging people to purchase gift cards to help businesses survive this challenging time. Customers are purchasing these cards and holding onto them for a future date. Offering gift cards/certificates is a great way to bring in much needed revenue, now.
Don’t forget about your email or text message database
Many restaurants have emails or phone numbers for customers so remember to use these to keep in touch with your customers. Write a weekly message, set up a text campaign offering specials or anything you would like to highlight, or just send a message letting customers know you are open. If you don’t have a system in place to gather phone numbers or emails there are many great free & low-cost options.
We’re here for you no matter what you might need from food, to sanitation products, paper products, or even just great restaurant tips. Reach out to us at email@example.com anytime!