The Essential Blog

5 Quick Ways to Bring Customers to Your Restaurant after the Holidays

Posted by Heather Leekins on Dec 29, 2016 9:05:42 AM

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It’s the end of the year. Pockets are light and bellies are full from the Holidays. That doesn’t mean your restaurant should sit empty until people are ready to get back out to enjoy your tasty creations.  Here are 10 quick ways to get people back into your restaurant after the Holidays.

Birthday emails
Birthday coupons aren’t just for the likes of Starbucks and Chipotle.  Independent restaurateurs should also tap into this market.  Every year, I get an email from Starbucks on my birthday. I’m given any drink on the house. It’s the perfect way to start my birthday morning.

I’m very surprised that most other restaurants don’t do this.  They’ll offer free birthday items after I’ve walked in their doors, but an email reminder would really get me in their door.  Don’t forget, birthday customers travel in groups. If you offer a free drink or entree, you’ll get the additional business of friends and family who come along for the celebration.

Send offer emails
You can also send special offers, like buy one drink, get one 50% off or half-off appetizers to entice new customers to come in.  Email marketing is perfect for attracting new customers, but it’s also helpful in keeping your current customers.  Look into services like Mailchimp or Constant Contact.  They’re inexpensive and user-friendly.

Live music
Bring in some local talent on the weekends to entertain your customers. Get your guests involved by asking them to vote for the band they want to hear on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page.

Grand re-opening event
If you’ve been open for a while, host a grand re-opening. It’s a simple way to remind people about your restaurant and encourage new people to try out your restaurant. Think about offering a deal on a sampler platter so they can taste test several dishes.

Join the local chamber of commerce
Yes, we know restaurateurs are too busy running their business to attend the many Chamber of Commerce events in your area, but just about every community has a chamber of commerce that promotes their local businesses.  And, they’ll do it for free.  Not only can you network, but you can also offer to cater or host chamber events.

We’re in the digital age and it’s now even easier than ever before to promote your business electronically. Collect email addresses wherever you can. When you’re at a local tasting event, business meeting, or trade show, make sure you have an email sign up sheet.  Have a business card drop bowl at your door.  Also, don’t forget to collect email addresses on your website. You can create a signup form easily on your website with little help from a web designer.  Reach out to your trusted restaurant technology provider, they should be able to assist or point you to someone who can.

Topics: Restaurant tips and tricks