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There’s no denying it: marketing is a necessary part of running any business. Even when you have great products and services, you still have to find ways to tell people about them. And while some companies do this by using traditional advertising methods like radio or television commercials, others prefer to be more creative with their marketing strategies in order to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately for restaurants—and anyone else with a brick-and-mortar location—there are plenty of clever ways that you can use in order to attract new customers without breaking the bank.
On this topic you can also read Restaurant marketing. How to drive sales and customers.
Here are five tried-and-true methods that we’ve used successfully at our own restaurant:
5 new ways to find new customers for restaurants in 2023
- Use social media to reach out to potential customers
- Offer coupons and discounts for first-time customers
- Promote events at restaurants via local media outlets, especially those with large followings on social media such as Facebook and Twitter
- Partner with other businesses who have customer bases that match yours.
- Encourage your existing customers to become brand ambassadors by giving them incentives like free food or discounts.
1) Create a new customer loyalty program.
You can create a new customer loyalty program. They’re an effective way to increase your customer base, reduce customer attrition and encourage repeat business.
A loyalty program is a system of rewards given to customers who have patronized or purchased goods from your business over a certain period of time. Loyalty programs are most effective when they’re personalized and targeted toward specific groups of customers, such as frequent buyers or long-term customers.
To create an effective loyalty program:
- Designate what you’d like the program to achieve for you. Is it designed to help retain existing patrons? Encourage new purchases? Or both?
- Determine how much value you want each reward tier offer (such as VIP status), its length (one month, six months) and how many points need to be earned before reaching that tier level (10 points).
- Decide what kind of rewards will be offered – discounts on future orders; special offers such as free shipping; gift cards; etc.)
2) Offer discounts for first-time customers.
- Offer a discount to first-time customers. This is a great way to attract new customers, especially if they are not familiar with your restaurant’s offerings. In addition to being more likely to try something new, first-time diners will be more forgiving if the food or service at your establishment is not up to par as they know it will be different from their past experience.
- Offer discounts based on meal type or day of the week. You may offer different discounts for lunch than for dinner and vice versa. Some restaurants also offer different discounts on certain days of the week in an attempt to target their ideal customer base (for example: families eating out on weekends).
- Offer discounts during off hours. If your restaurant does not have a lot of foot traffic during off-hours but still needs additional business, consider offering special deals during these times so you can build up some buzz around your business and encourage people who would otherwise pass through town without stopping by after work hours end on Friday nights!
3) Create a special experience for first-time customers.
- Make it easy for them to find you.
- Offer them a special deal on their first visit, like 20% off an entrée or half-priced appetizers.
- Give them something memorable, like a free gift or coupon that they can use the next time they come back (and hopefully bring friends).
4) Use QR codes to connect people to your website.
QR codes are a great way to link people to your website. You can create a QR code for your menu, or for a special offer. You can use them as part of your social media strategy, too—you could even create one that links directly to your Facebook page.
QR codes also work really well in conjunction with loyalty programs. For example, if you have customers who come in every week, they might be more than happy to give up their email addresses in exchange for discounts on future meals (or even just a free coffee).
5) Create a gift card marketing campaign.
Gift cards are a great way to get new customers. To give your gift card marketing campaign the best chance of success, include the following elements:
- Offer a free gift card with every purchase. This will encourage people to try your restaurant. They can then come back and buy food in the future, increasing your revenue stream and making it easier for you to pay off any debt incurred as a result of giving out free gift cards.
- Offer a free gift card with every purchase over a certain amount (e.g., $25). This will attract repeat customers who want more than one visit or who want to take friends along on their next visit—making sure that they come back again soon!
You can use all sorts of strategies to draw in new customers.
Your business can use all sorts of strategies to draw in new customers.
- Getting the word out via social media; if you’re not on Facebook or Twitter yet, it’s time to get started! You can also use Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ for your restaurant marketing efforts.
- Getting involved in local events – these are a great way to meet people who may be interested in trying your food at some point down the road (and who might be willing to tell their friends).
- Using email marketing campaigns – these are an especially effective tool because they allow you to reach people who have already expressed interest in buying from your restaurant but haven’t done so yet.
We hope you found these five ideas helpful. We know that the restaurant industry is very competitive, so it’s important to come up with creative ways to attract new customers. If you weren’t sure where to begin, we hope that this post helped provide some guidance for your business!
It’s time to grow your business. Movylo is helping thousands of restaurants and local businesses in the world to find and retain customers, driving up sales and loyalty. Please read also How to promote a restaurant with Movylo.