Ways to Increase Traffic to your Restaurant

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<ul><li><p>Ways to Increase Traffic to your Restaurant </p><p>Neil Friedman </p><p> Promotions - Offer special themed dinners, guided wine and cheese tastings and other fun events to give people a reason to come to the restaurant on a usually slow night. On your slowest night- do a half price burger night. Meals to go: Make sure your guests know you have a great to go program. High quality plates, plastic ware and containers that reflect your decor, style and menu. (Dont offer 3 comp FOAM trays! ) Express service with pickup at the door and delivery. Contests - Just having a fishbowl and collecting business cards allows you to collect valuable information about your customers. You build an email and/or mail campaign. Business card in bucket for free lunch. Data base builder. Weekly/Monthly special menu on line and printed copies in restaurant. Take photos of daily specials and post on line. Have a shift meeting EVERYDAY to promote specials and let staff taste the item so they know how to describe the item. Let staff help plan daily special. They will push what they like more than something that they know is old and needs to be sold. Knowledge Make sure staff has a complete understanding on what your restaurants goals are and how they can help get there. Guest Bartenders You can either find local celebrities (radio DJ, weather girl, model etc.) or you can pick a guest bartender from your list of friends / associates or one of the regular customers. You may want to have a pre-night quick bartender training (or at least orientation) before they go live. Guest Bartenders will bring in their friends to come and see them. And if you use a local celebrity, you should be able to get some press coverage with it. Careful to watch your guest bartenders - they may not know what's ok to do and what's not. Cross Market Your Restaurant The next what you can do for having more customers is crossing marketing your restaurant with different surrounding hotels, movie stores, music stores or any commercial operation. </p></li><li><p> Celebrate Milestones - whether its new menu items, a new signature cocktail, the owner's birthday, a remodeling or a 1 year anniversary, there are always good reasons to throw a party. Hold staff contest on selling specific items. Have a contest on who can sell the most dessert or appetizers in a week. Set minimums, have two teams competing against each other. Give a 25/50 dollar gift card as prize. Get food vendors involved! They can supply gift cards to sell their products. Food/Wine-Beer Pairings - One night a month do a special food and wine pairing for dinner. Sell tickets and get people in the door. Once you've got a success, word-of-mouth will take over! Food pairings with each beer on the menu. Signature items: Sell something that your customers dont normally eat at home, such as Cappuccino or Milkshakes. Benefit: youve distinguished yourself from other restaurants and given customers something to talk about. Promotions - Offer special themed dinners, guided wine and cheese tastings and other fun events to give people a reason to come to the restaurant on a usually slow night. Beer tasting dinners- Get vendors involved! They can supply gift cards to sell their products Loyalty Programs - Offer people something for free after they've bought 10 items at your restaurant. Give people a reason to come back often Flyers - Make sure people know you're opening. Give them 15% off an entree the first week you're open. </p><p>Win a Free Party for 6 - Ask your guests to drop their cards in a box for a drawing for a party of 6 of their </p><p>friends. Offer to make appetizers (inexpensive for you) and give them a discount on the booze. This </p><p>helps you build your list, but also gets you new potential customers that your guest has invited </p><p> Birthday Program - Start collecting data on your guests. If you care to promote a "Birthday Program" </p><p>you can send emails to those customers a few weeks before their birthday and give them their meal "on </p><p>the house"! </p><p>Meet the Chef - Getting to know the chef, the man or woman behind the curtain, is always a fun thing </p><p>to do, especially for the foodies that visit your establishment. Announce this in your monthly email </p><p>newsletter. </p><p>Visit local businesses with samples and fliers </p><p>Bring a friend / referral system: you can state that they if they return with a friend or two, and show the </p><p>card, they will receive a discount or a free drink. You can make the offer whatever you want of course, </p><p>as long as it gives them an incentive to bring more people. </p><p>Signage - Make sure you have the largest, clearest and most clever sign that local ordinances will allow. </p></li><li><p> Public Relations Stunts - Grab media attention. Have your staff dress up as chickens and walk around your neighborhood, if you serve the best roast chicken in town. Be creative. Do whatever it takes to get noticed. Hand out menus and cards. Great Customer Service and Warmth - Treating people graciously and making them feel special will create buzz. People will tell their friends about a great experience they had. Everyday call someone from your fishbowl and offer 50% off their entrees if they bring 3 friends with them. (Be sure to measure food costs before going forward with any offer.) Be specific with the offer. If you offer them 50% off of entrees only, then make sure the servers are suggesting wine with the meal. The idea here is that one of your loyal customers will introduce their friends or colleagues to your restaurant. Be sure to get business cards from the other 3 customer so that they will have an opportunity to win too. Business Cards: Give your staff business cards, with their name and a humorous title on them, like Director of Fun. Benefit: your staff feels empowered and handing out business cards to people outside the community is a good way to break the ice and meet people. All business employees have business cards, so is a restaurant that different? Express Lunch Menu: Lunchtime customers are in a hurry. Respect this by giving them the service they want. Recommendation: Believe it or not, lunchtime customers in most restaurants have a :fast food mentality." Give it to them fast. They want in and out. Lunchtime sales will increase when an Express Menu is offered. Phone Etiquette : Have you ever called your restaurant asking for directions, 98% of the time youre put on hold, then someone gets on the line and fumbles and mumbles through the ways to get to the restaurant. To prevent this from happening, prepare file index cards with exact directions to your restaurant from all directions. Now, remember that anyone who calls for directions is a new customer. When they call, give them directions, and they say, "When you get here, ask for me as I have something special for you." When they arrive at the restaurant, and ask for you, give them a free appetizer along with VIP treatment. Youll win them over for life and get a lot of good word of mouth from them. JBN Just Be Nice! We forget that were in the people pleasin business and all it takes is a smile and a cordial welcome. A couple of "pleases" and a few "thank yous" on top of a few smiles goes a lot further than any amount of money spent on TV. JBN. Just Be Nice. Tattoo it on your arm, your leg or your butt. Its the foundation of doing business on a people to people level. </p></li></ul>