You can't rest easy when you're running a restaurant. More than 660,000 dining establishments were open in the United States during the second quarter of 2021. You have thousands of competitors, including cafeterias at worksites.
That's why developing a restaurant strategy to attract customers is so important. You need to think of several ways to bring customers in and maintain their loyalty.
What kind of food should you offer? How can you create a comfortable space in your restaurant? How should you promote yourself?
Answer these questions and you can bring customers through your door in no time. Here is your quick guide.
Offer Unique Dishes
You don't have to be complicated with your dishes. But you should offer dishes that your customers cannot get elsewhere. If you are serving pizzas, you should serve pizzas with fresh ingredients and different combinations of toppings.
Spend plenty of time developing your menu. Try different recipes out and make tweaks until you get the flavors you want.
Don't serve a random assortment of dishes. You should center your dishes around a particular cuisine or a set of ingredients. You can offer your interpretations of dishes like egg rolls, but they should use ingredients that you use in other dishes.
Don't forget about offering great drinks. If you are serving adults, you should offer a selection of premium alcoholic drinks. Consider hiring a bartender who can make cocktails.
Change Your Menu
As you run your restaurant, you may notice that some dishes are more popular than others. You should remove the less popular dishes from your menu.
You should replace them with dishes similar to the ones that are selling well. If you have a popular pizza, you can serve tomato bruschetta or flatbreads.
You should also change your menu to reflect the changing seasons. You won't have access to ingredients like pumpkin during the spring and summer.
Feel free to offer a few seasonal dishes. You can serve pumpkin soup during the fall and winter.
Whenever you make a menu change, you should post about it online. This helps you find customers and it tells loyal customers about the changes they can expect on their next visit.
Never change your entire menu unless you feel all of the dishes do not work. Keeping a few stable dishes will make it easier to plan a menu and it will retain customers.
Offer Take-Out and Delivery
You should focus your operations on dine-in customers. Yet you can attract many new customers if you offer take-out options.
You don't have to adjust how you cook your dishes. You just need to package them in takeout containers and get tools that keep the food warm. Heat lamps and hot packs can keep food from getting cold before the customer picks it up.
You can also provide delivery. You can hire your own drivers, or you can partner with a company like Grubhub. You will have to pay these workers, but you may be able to make your money back quickly.
Make a Comfortable Environment
Ambiance depends on a few factors. The lighting, furniture, and art you have inside your restaurant need to fit together. Pairing bright neon lights with leather chairs can seem awkward and glaring.
Think about the emotions you want your customers to be feeling. You might want them to feel curious about the food they are about to have.
Then create an environment that will bring those feelings out. Dark colors create a sense of mystery, which can encourage someone's curiosity. You can have black leather furniture and put dark brown wood on the wall.
Tell customers about the steps you take to promote food safety. You can show them the digital logsyou use to stay in compliance with food safety so they can feel comfortable knowing you take it seriously. This can put them at ease and encourage them to return for meals.
Market to Your Local Area
Learning how to attract customers means learning how to attract the people in your neighborhood. It is useless to advertise to someone on the other side of the country.
Your advertisements should feature local visuals like street signs and popular outdoor locations. You should mention how you get ingredients from local farmers and shops.
Come up with a name, logo, and slogan for your restaurant reminiscent of your area. You can name your restaurant after the street it is located on or after an important landmark.
Create Special Deals
You can offer a few different kinds of special deals. You can offer a prix fixe menu that includes a pre-selected list of dishes at a low price. Many restaurants offer prix fixe menus for a special holiday like Thanksgiving or Valentine's Day.
You can also partner with another business in the area. This lets you leverage the popularity of other businesses for your benefit. Pizzerias can partner with escape rooms while fine dining restaurants can partner with theaters.
Promote Yourself Online
A restaurant plan for marketing should center around the internet. It is free to use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to promote your business. Many people look at online reviews before ordering food from a restaurant.
You should post on your social media pages at least once a week. Share photographs of dishes you've made and give tips on how to cook.
You should consider building a website for your business. You can share your menu for the day and photographs of your most popular dishes.
Develop a Great Restaurant Strategy to Attract Customers
Developing a restaurant strategy to attract customers takes some work. You should offer dishes that your customers can't get anywhere else. You should change your menu to reflect available ingredients.
You should offer take-out. But you should create a great space that encourages customers to stay for a long period.
Focus on customers in your immediate area. Encourage them to try out special menus and offers with other businesses. Build an online presence with social media accounts and a website.
Find the tools you need to bring customers in. FreshCheq provides innovative restaurant software. Get a demo today.