To succeed in the food industry means filling those tables. For
restaurants, the time after the holidays is notoriously difficult. To get
people back out to dinner you have to have something to draw them out of their
homes. This is a good time to look at themes that you can incorporate into your
menu so you have a marketing plan in place.
January Kick Offs
January includes both National Buffet Day and Buffet Week. For fast
casual restaurants or small family places this can be great fun. Create themes
around particular items, and watch the customers flock in for a feast.
You can also go with a daily theme. For example, January 25th
is Irish Coffee Day. Can you think of an easy promo that will bring people in
for a meal? I know I can.
Introduce a New Menu
No one is suggesting that this is the time to drop your old favorites,
but January is a great time to introduce new options. If you have been playing
with the idea of expanding your menu, this is the time.
Start a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are well established as a way to bring repeat
business through your doors. If you don’t have one in place, start one. What is
particularly interesting about these programs is that the incentive doesn’t even have to be
significant. Simply the idea of getting something for nothing is appealing and
will increase repeat traffic which will, in turn, fill chairs for a restaurant.
Build a Website
Frankly, you can’t survive in this competitive industry without a
website. There are services that will help you create one, or you can hire a
professional. Link your website to a social media site and keep your customers
in the know. Specials, promos and changes can all be posted online.
Furthermore, by collecting customers’ email addresses, you can “return the favor” by giving them advance notice of deals
they might like.
Take the Food to Them
Convenience is the hallmark of the day. People want the advantage of
picking up food or having it delivered. Get a take-out service up and running
and get the word out. You don’t have to fill every restaurant booth every day
if you have people picking up on a regular basis. You can even look forward to
having both sides of the business hopping, increasing revenue without
Consider a Contest
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. A giveaway or contest for a free meal
is a great way to increase your marketing database. Remember, it’s all about the
perception that they are getting something for nothing. You only have one
winner, but you could collect data on hundreds.
To keep on top in this business you have to constantly revamp your
marketing strategies. Use some of these ideas to stay in the public eye and see
your business grow this year.