Starting a restaurant franchise is never easy. Just one look at all the fast-food restaurant chains that went under in the last couple of years shows what a daunting task it is to own and run a restaurant.
You can hire the most polite waiters in town, the best chefs, and scavenge for the best ingredients but your restaurant’s success will be measured by the number of guests you have.
If your restaurant is located in a touristy district, then the local population is not going to be your target clientele.
However, if you already have regulars and are struggling to bring in more revenue from tourists, here are 5 proven ways in which you can attract tourists to choose your restaurant over next-door competitors.
1. Luring In Millennials With Seasonal Offers
As they start earning money on their own, millennials adore appending it on travel. However, they make for stingy tourists so it’s extra hard getting cash from them. In fact, you’ll have to up your game if you want millennials to line up in front of the restaurant.
Apart from affordable food and drink prices, you can introduce seasonal offerings. These would not only consist of dishes that are in for the season, like a seasonal salad or a pumpkin pie in autumn but of dishes found nowhere else.
Exclusivity is what millennials want and the seasonal offer is the ideal way to attract their attention.
2. Establishing A Social Media Presence
A restaurant is a brick and mortar business but it too hasn’t been able to escape the online food ordering craze. More and more restaurant franchises and local diners are making deals with food delivery services to make their business more competitive. ‘
This can be a step in the right direction but when it comes to modern technologies start by establishing a strong social media presence.
Choose social networks you like to create a profile on but more important than making the right selection is the regular posting of content. When searching online for food options, tourists will immediately exclude all restaurant’s profiles which are not up to date.
A post in October and then another one in November is a clear signal for tourists to give your franchise a wide berth when they come to visit.
Apart from posting regularly, be sure sue to have versatile content. It shouldn’t be all about special offers and menus but try to include snippets from the employees’ daily lives to put a human face to your business.
A solid social media strategy has the potential to attract tourists in swarms but you shouldn’t neglect old-school marketing either.
3. Old School Marketing: Placing An Easel Stand
When selling a house, the first thing you want to improve is the curb appeal. In the restaurant business, the same principle applies, only more literally because you latterly want passersby to step off the sidewalk and into your restaurant. Big neon signs are nice to have but you require a more personal approach to street advertising.
It might seem like a thing from the centuries past but an easel stand is still a quite effective method for attracting guests. These freestanding signposts are usually made from lightweight aluminum so employees can easily carry them outside.
The board they hold should be handwritten to give that homely touch to your franchise. In this sense, easel stands provide your restaurant with the exact kind of uniqueness millennials appreciate so much.
A well-written easel stand has the power to grab tourists’ attention and then subtly persuade them into dining at your restaurant. And the best thing about the whole process is that you’ll only spend money on chalk!
4. Caring About The Environment And The People
Although they make for a tiny fraction of the waste in the world’s oceans, plastic straws are now banned in many countries. The example of the global ban on straws is indicative of the eco-friendly and responsible consumerism model.
Your restaurant business should jump on this bandwagon because more and more customers will appreciate the fact that you care about the environment
Furthermore, you can initiate charities and non-profitable events that promise to bring in more tourists; helping those in need at the same. For instance, donating a dollar from every pizza sold can boost sales of this particular product.
In fact, if you’re launching a new dish, then it is wise to join it with a charity to sweeten the deal, as conscientious tourists will be glad to help a person in need.
5. Free Sample Anyone?
Going back to the topic of curb appeal, an easel stand will increase the revenue of your restaurant beyond any doubt but there are other streetwise strategies to implement. One of them is handing out free samples.
This method of advertising might sound strange for a restaurant business to perform but you need to realize that tourists aren’t here to stay long. You don’t have time for a loyalty program so free food and drinks ought to do the trick.
You can tap into the people’s love of free stuff by handing out miniature-sized dishes. Such provisional street catering will give tourists a literal taste of your business, promoting them going inside and ordering lunch. Once you get tourists inside, there are further incentives and giveaways you can offer them.
For instance, an in-house raffle can promise to cover their entire check if they are lucky enough. Of course, they would have to order food and drinks to a desirable amount to be able to participate.
In general, people love to take part in games that require knowledge, resourcefulness, and pure luck.
After all, tourists have left their place of residence to live “on the edge” for a while so why not offer them something out of the ordinary in your restaurant.
Marketing experience has taught us that these 5 ways are the best strategies you can employ to attract tourists to your restaurant. Their expectations are somewhat different than the ones of your regular guests but you can still tap into this customers’ pool.
Create accounts on social media, form a seasonal offer, and place an easel stand out in the street to increase the number of tourists entering your establishment.