Folks in the food industry can spend countless hours trying to improve profit margins. The simple fact of the matter is real growth is not going to occur until they get more people walking through their door.
Restaurant owners love to pour over a menu, wondering if the items on there will pass the muster of a gluten intolerance test or whether having organic ingredients matters or not. While details like this are important, they don’t matter much if owners don’t have customers to eat the food.
When people in the food industry have to compete with big chains and various food delivery options, standing out can be tricky. That is why finding ways to get more patrons to an establishment is so vital.
Start by piggybacking on local events
When events occur in a restaurant’s local market, they tend to bring in a large number of local residents. These are the type of folks that usually would not be out and about.
Even when restaurants are not directly involved in the event, that does not mean they cannot benefit from the influx of traffic. They should consider what type of food choices these people would want and try to cater to them.
They could start by running an advertising campaign with some type of tie-in to this local event. Restaurants could try running some special event that occurs concurrently with the local event.
Be a community leader and make that well known
When people want to spend money locally, they tend to want to do that with socially responsible local businesses. The added bonus for a food establishment is that when people see their name associated with community events, they tend to remember their name.
Food industry leaders should consider doing things such as making charitable donations to well-known groups in the area. They should try setting up a food stand at a popular local event.
There are a multitude of benefits to doing this type of community involvement. The direct participants in the event will see the establishment’s name and positively associate with the brand.
Participants who don’t see the establishment directly at the event may see them through the public relations campaigns of the event. Even for those who don’t attend the event, having the establishment’s name associated with a well-known brand can help the establishment’s business.
There are several ways that restaurants could let people know about their involvement. These ways include things like traditional advertising and items such as press releases and social media channels.
Make your regular customers your brand ambassadors
While there is no way a restaurant can please every single customer that walks through the door, if they are doing their job well, most will like the service they offer. These positive experiences are a great opportunity to leverage their great offerings into more business.
Keeping track of every possible review the establishment receives from customers is critical. They should thank those who give them positive reviews and give them some incentive to tell their friends. They should offer a different type of incentive to people with a mediocre view of the restaurant to turn them into fans of the business.
Some great ways to do this include starting a loyalty rewards program to keep customers returning. Offer exclusive specials and discounts to the best customers through social media channels, e-blasts, or text blasts.
Trying to succeed in the food industry offers several challenges because of the huge amount of competition that exists in the marketplace. If restaurants can take a targeted and well-researched approach to their marketing and advertising systems, they can increase customer traffic and thereby improve their company’s bottom line.