Whatever type of establishment a restaurateur runs, the end goal is the
same: getting people sitting in the
restaurant booths and at the bar tables. This requires appealing to as many individuals as possible, and for
eateries in cities along the interstate or near popular landmarks, this means
attracting tourists. Standing out to
people who are visiting or passing through can greatly increase revenue, and
fortunately, doing so isn’t too difficult.
Have a "Thing"
One of the best ways to attract tourists is having a gimmick. Some restaurants have a "Steak
Challenge" where a patron will get their steak free if they can finish it
all in one sitting. The Big Texan Steak
Ranch has this challenge with a 72-oz steak. Just make sure the bar tables are reinforced!
Of course, it’s not necessary to have gigantic steaks on hand to pull
off a gimmick. A restaurant owner could
simply have an awesome theme, such as ’50s doo-wop, or amazing interior
decorations. The key to making these
gimmicks successful, though, is great marketing. Make sure social media, television, the
newspaper and everyone in between knows about the attraction.
Rule Over Social Media
Social media is important for restaurant marketing in general. It’s becoming more and more difficult to fill
the tables of restaurants without having a social media presence, but even the
most well-known local eatery won’t be able to get tourists on board without
being active socially.
Individuals who are traveling always look online to see which local
restaurants they have to choose from. Those without a strong social media presence only show up in a list with
others. If a restaurateur has put time
and effort into creating a strong Facebook following, though, this page will
also show up in the results.
This means tourists will have the option of actually seeing what a
restaurant is all about instead of just its name and number. Promote the page in and outside of the
restaurant, and always have up-to-date posts so tourists know the restaurant is
Form Local Partnerships
Restaurateurs should also approach other businesses to set up
mutually-beneficial partnerships. Speak
with rental car agencies, hotel concierges, charter bus companies and other
businesses. Agree to distribute coupons
or have other discounts for mutual customers. This and other types of arrangements can result in great referrals and
increased business for all those involved.
Utilize Paper Menus
While printing out paper menus may be an extra expense, it’s well worth
it to get tourists at the bar tables. It’s not even necessary that an eatery deliver in the local area; simply
having their name in front of travelers can land them new patrons.
Fortunately, distributing these menus isn’t difficult. Most hotels will place menus in their lobby,
and even car rental agencies and visitor centers are more than happy to keep
these menus on hand. Take
the time to place a few menus on local bulletin boards. All of this will greatly increase exposure.
Every patron helps to increase revenue, and this is true regardless of
whether they’re from Georgia or Alaska. Appealing to these travelers, wherever they’re from, can really help put
a restaurant on the map. And since these
techniques are so simple, there’s zero reason to not use them.