Restaurant Marketing Report - 7 Secrets To A Full Restaurant

Simple ideas and strategies to put "bums on seats" and fill your restaurant or cafe with paying customers.

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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Restaurant Marketing: 4 low cost ways to boost sales to existing customers

A simple dessert tray will boost dessert sales

1. Gratitude Marketing – the easiest way to differentiate you from your competitors is to send your customers a thank you card after they have dined at your restaurant. It is simple. It is easy and most of your competitors are unlikely to do it.

Think about it. You have a great night out and then a few days later you receive a hand written thank you note from your favorite restaurant. I bet they will get a buzz from that. Wouldn't you?

People love to do business with people they know, like and trust. The next time they are looking to dine out they are more likely to think about you. You could also include in the card a small bounce back certificate or maybe even a customer referral card. It is about thinking through the right strategy that fits for your restaurant. Of course, another gratitude strategy is to simply pick up the phone and thank your customer.

2. 4 Walls Marketing – Helen and I were dining out with some friends at a full service restaurant (not fast casual) with the white table cloths, and I noticed 2 discrete marketing pieces placed right in the middle of the table, lying flat. One was to advertise their Valentine’s Day package and the other advertising their daily leader specials for the week. They were printed about DL size from the restaurant’s printer on white 80 gsm paper in black ink, with some smart layout.

What was interesting… they stayed there all evening, unobtrusively on the table. They fitted… white paper on a white table cloth. Everyone at the table at some point looked at them. So often I get told we can’t do this in a "nicer restaurant" yet here was an excellent example of it working in this restaurant.

3. Dessert Tray (see picture above) – having trouble selling desserts? Try using a dessert tray. I noticed this immediately draw a response from someone in our party who never buys desserts. Give it a try.

4. Prepayments/Gift Vouchers – I received a letter from the Rugby Club this week offering me the opportunity to purchase some tickets for the British and Irish Lion’s Tour. Part of the deal was if I bought some tickets I could get a $75 bar tab for only $50 obviously paid up front of course.

You could do the same in your restaurant e.g. “Dine midweek this week and you can purchase a $100 gift voucher for only $50” or “Book and pay for our 2 courses midsummer special and you can purchase a $75 beverage tab for only $50”. The opportunities are endless.

My business partner in the States in his restaurant has an annual gift voucher sale. From memory it is  for 3 or 4 days where he discounts his gift vouchers of up to 50% and usually brings in an extra $40/$50,000. Not bad for his little 40 seater restaurant. Think about it… not only has he got a heap of cash up front, he has locked in all those customers. A percentage of the vouchers never get redeemed which offset the discount, you are rewarding your existing customers and most spend more than the voucher amount anyway.

Alistair Gray
Doctor Profit