How Restaurateurs Get New Customers in the Door

Published By: Leon Tuberman  -  Friday, June 22, 2018

It’s great to have loyal customers clamoring to be seated in your bistro chairs every week to enjoy their favorite dish. For a restaurant to be truly successful, though, it’s necessary to consistently bring in new guests. As any culinary entrepreneur can attest, though, this goal is much easier said than done. Convincing people to come in when they’ve not yet seen fit to try your eatery can be an uphill battle. Fortunately, it’s a battle you can win by utilizing the following strategies.

Try Out Facebook Ads
Facebook is the perfect place for restaurateurs to raise awareness about their establishment. It’s no secret, however, that the social media giant likes to bring in ad revenue. This explains why a page with 1,000 followers can share something that only ends up being seen by 300. Facebook wants you to spend money to have people see your posts, and if you’re gunning for new faces at the restaurant booths, you might want to give it a try.

Just keep in mind that it’s not as easy as clicking a button that says, “advertise to new customers.” You’ll need to set up the ad using geographic indicators and targeting your desired demographic. You can even set up ads to show only to people who haven’t already “liked” your page. That step seems pretty essential to getting the bistro chairs full of new patrons.

Expand the Menu
Adding new items to your menu can certainly attract individuals who may have never given your eatery a shot before. With that being said, you don’t want to dilute your brand too much. If you’re a hotdog and hamburger joint, for instance, adding on a Mediterranean menu might be a bit much. Targeting alternative dietary needs, though, could pay off.

More people are recognizing the importance of sustainability and healthy diets. This has led many to become vegetarians, vegans or simply take on diets that are gluten-free. Adding a few of these options to your menu can help to attract new customers. Make sure you advertise their inclusion, though, or there might be no payoff at all.

Plan and Host Frequent Events
One of the best ways to bring in new faces is to host periodic events at your restaurant. Regardless of the atmosphere your brand is aiming for, there will be event types that will pack the bistro chairs. You can host a live musician, for instance, whose sound adds to the ambiance of the eatery. Maybe you’d prefer to offer a cooking class or wine tasting.

Then again, a simple charity night where you donate a portion of your profits to a local group can grab attention. Whatever event you settle on, make sure to advertise it in the local papers, Craigslist, and upcoming event pages online. This is sure to get your restaurant more attention than usual.

Not everyone who visits your eatery is going to fall in love. The important thing to remember, though, is that your loyal customer base will only grow as you increase the number of new patrons who come in. Once you get their attention, have them seated in your bistro chairs and provide excellent food and service, it’s mostly out of your hands. If you do well in all these areas, though, you’re likely to earn a few new regulars. 

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