Like any other business, a restaurant business needs customers to survive. But do you know how to attract new customers and double your restaurant’s bookings?
In a real business sense, an empty table is a loss of profit. As a restaurant owner, this can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you have just opened your doors to customers.
If you are struggling to secure bookings, embark on different promotional tactics to encourage customers to your restaurant.
It is crucial to develop an effective marketing strategy, which will ensure your establishment is full every night of the week.
For those who wish to increase their restaurant bookings in time for Christmas, consider the following marketing tips.
#1]. Take Professional Photographs
While good service and an attractive setting are desirable, customers will primarily walk through the door to sample your delicious dishes. If you want to encourage people to make a reservation at your restaurant, you must take stunning, professional photographs of your food to convince them to book a table.
Either hire a professional photographer or buy a high-quality camera to take beautiful snaps, which you can promote on your website, social media profiles and across all advertising campaigns.
Remember, food blogging is a huge trend, with many people making a career out of it, so be sure to spend time on your restaurant’s social media feeds.
#2]. Host Live Music
Do you struggle to convert new customers into loyal patrons? While the food might be great, your restaurant could be missing a relaxing atmosphere.
Transform your ambience by scheduling live music, which could encourage customers to walk through your door and try your delicious dishes.
Live music events will also give you another reason to promote your restaurant, so it will appear to be one of the best places to visit in a neighbourhood.
#3]. Spread the Word on Social Media
Don’t underestimate the power of social media when running a restaurant. It is one of the most powerful marketing tools available at the moment, as it can help you to connect your restaurant with people across your city easily.
Your goal must be to create engaging posts that grab people’s attention, so provide your followers with discounts, exclusive deals or competitions, which can help you to increase your bookings and loyalty.
The best social media networks to focus on are the ones that allow you to promote your visuals. Invest in Instagram, Pinterest, and if you have the time and resources to make educational cooking videos, YouTube.
#4]. Hand Out Promotional Coasters
Increase brand awareness by investing in custom coasters, which you can hand out to local establishments and businesses. For instance, you could provide a local bar with handy table accessories.
This will help to lower their overheads on the products while driving footfall to your restaurant. Another benefit of having bar and restaurant promos on customised coasters is because of their durability. They can be used for repeated marketing exposure.
#5]. Sell Gift Cards
Boost your sales by selling gift cards for your restaurant. You can also trust the money won’t stop flowing once a customer has purchased a gift card, either, as the recipient might spend a little extra cash on appetisers, dessert or an extra round of drinks, exceeding the gift card limit. It will also be your job to make sure they have an unforgettable experience from start to finish, so you can turn them into a loyal customer.
#6]. Offer a Wine Tasting Session
Encourage people to visit your restaurant by hosting a wine tasting session once a month. Allow your visitors to try different wines and educate them on how to properly drink it, which you can also pair with delicious dishes or canapes to help showcase your menu. If an event is well-executed, you can guarantee they will want to book a table in the future.
#7]. Present Past Customers with a Birthday Gift
Capture your customers’ birthdays by asking them to opt into your email newsletter so that you can send them a special gift on their special day. Just before the big day arrives, send them a special coupon for a free appetiser, dessert or fruity cocktail.
You could even provide them with an incentive to book a table at your restaurant for both them and their loved ones. For instance, you could present a subscriber with an exclusive offer or a 10% discount on the total order.
#8]. Simplify Your Website
Most people will visit your website to learn more about your restaurant, menu and contact details. You don’t need a flashy site to encourage a visitor to book a table.
Therefore, avoid distractions by keeping the design simple. Provide easy access to your menu, hours of operation, and ensure your address, telephone number and email are visible.
#9]. Offer Free Wi-Fi
A lack of Wi-Fi could prevent people from booking a table at your restaurant. Modern customers want to post photographs of their meals on Instagram. They also want to check their work emails in between courses, and receive immediate answers to their questions. So, ensure you provide free Wi-Fi to ensure they choose your website over a nearby competitor.