How to Attract Customers to Your Restaurant

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Your restaurant is unique, with its own history and brand. That’s why it’s so important that you spend time on finding customers for your business. It’s not enough to just assume that people will come in because they like the food or service at other restaurants in town. You need a plan for how to attract clients and keep them coming back again and again!

Friend referrals are the best.

  • Referrals are the best way to attract new customers.
  • Friends and family are more likely to stay with you longer than other customers.
  • They’re also more likely to tell their friends about you, which can lead to even more referrals!
  • Most importantly: It’s the least expensive method of attracting new customers.

Networking is a great way to build your customer base.

Networking is a great way to build your customer base.

Networking is about building relationships, and when you’re trying to grow your business it’s important to maintain strong relationships with other people in the industry. You can network in person or online. There are many events that are open to the public where you can meet new customers—like trade shows or food festivals—and there are also professional networking groups that may meet locally or online.

Regardless of how you choose to network, be sure to keep in mind that it’s important not just for finding new customers but also for finding new employees!

Ask customers for feedback on their experience with you and for ways to improve.

Asking for customer feedback is one of the most effective ways to improve your service and your business overall. A great way to start is by asking customers for their feedback on the food, service and location of your restaurant.

Make sure you ask them about everything from how clean the restaurant was to how friendly the staff were, and if there’s anything that could have been better. This will help you find out where you need improvement so that you can market yourself better in future.

Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful.

Word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful form of marketing.

People are more likely to trust the advice of friends and family than a corporation, which makes it cheaper than traditional advertising.

Advertise in high-traffic public places.

  • Newspapers and magazines are the most effective form of advertising. The cost is much cheaper than other forms of advertising, but they tend to be more expensive than other forms that you can use.
  • Better yet, instead of buying a full-page advertisement in the newspaper or magazine, you may be able to buy a half-page advertisement. Half-page advertisements usually only cost between $1 and $2 per word—which is significantly less than what it would cost you if you wanted to buy an entire page!
  • If possible, try using two different types of media for your advertisements: newspapers and magazines on one hand; radio or TV on the other hand; etcetera…
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Co-op advertising makes your advertising dollars stretch further.

Co-op advertising is a great way to make your advertising dollars stretch further. What it means is that you buy ads in a publication, and other businesses also buy ads in that publication. The result? You get a discount on the cost of your ad because the publisher needs to sell X number of ads before they break even. Think about it like this: If you’re going to run an ad for $10,000, but then 10 other companies want to run ads as well, then your publisher can give you a discount on that $10k price tag if he knows he’ll still break even after all those advertisements are sold.

It’s not always easy finding publications with co-op opportunities (and some areas may not have any), but many small town newspapers offer this option—as do niche magazines or websites that cater specifically to your industry or area (for example restaurants using Yelp).

Social media is a great place to get your message out to clients, but it has its downsides, too.

While social media is a great way to get your message across, it has its downsides. Posting too much can have customers turning off on you and result in them unfollowing or unfriending you.

Don’t spam your customers with too many posts. You don’t want people following you just because they think they’re getting something for free, but also don’t post so often that they don’t see anything new!

Also be careful not to spam the same thing over and over again; if a customer sees one of your posts twice within a couple weeks, they might start ignoring everything else from you (or worse: think of you as annoying).

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Don’t neglect print media.

Print media is an often-overlooked way to advertise your restaurant. It offers a wide reach and can be less expensive than other forms of advertising, such as television commercials or billboards. Print media also allows for branding and getting your message out there.

For example, if you have a new menu item that you want people to try, you can use print media to advertise it—and not just ads in magazines or newspapers but menus with the new items printed on them!

Building relationships with clients leads to repeat business.

  • Make sure you are available to answer questions. If you are not, or if your restaurant is too busy, your customers will go elsewhere.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. It’s important to know what your customers think so that you can improve the experience they have when they come back.
  • Provide incentives for repeat customers, especially if it’s a new establishment and you’re trying to develop a following. This is one of the best ways to sell yourself as someone worth knowing and doing business with in the future—and it’ll help keep existing clients happy as well!
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no” to an order if it would compromise quality standards or safety practices in any way whatsoever; this will show potential clients how much respect there is at this establishment (which will also lead directly into point number two).

Give incentives for being a repeat customer, like a rewards card or punch card.

One of the most important things you can do to attract new customers is to give incentives for repeat customers. This will help grow your business and keep the ones you already have, who are likely to tell their friends about it. Rewards cards or punch cards are a great way of doing this. You don’t have to be expensive either—you can offer something as simple as 15% off your next order, or an extra item on their meal for free. If they bring a friend with them and he/she purchases anything on his/her first visit, they get 10% off their bill!

It’s not just about being able to say “we have rewards cards.” It’s also about being able to show them how much time and effort was put into making each customer feel special; how much care went into every detail in order for that person’s experience at your restaurant or café (which includes ambiance) was nothing short of amazing; how friendly everyone is who works there; etc., etc., etc… This is why these “perks” are so effective: people want good service! They want value! And they want quality food prepared fresh daily by someone who cares about what they’re serving…and if all those things line up with what we’ve been telling ourselves all along: then why would anyone choose any other place?

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Helping your customers feel comfortable and valued will not only help attract new customers, but keep the ones you have happy as well

The best way to attract customers is to help your current ones feel comfortable and valued. The more you can make them feel like they are part of your family, the more likely they will return. As a restaurant owner, it’s important that you convey how much you care about each person who walks through the door by showing gratitude and making eye contact with every guest.

Before sitting down at any table in your restaurant, ask if there is anything specific they would like on their plate or drink menu—this is an easy way to ensure that every customer feels special and appreciated as soon as he or she enters the establishment.

If possible, provide personalized service for all guests so each person feels unique and special during his or her experience at your establishment. This can be done simply by asking someone how he or she is doing before taking his order; when someone responds positively because he feels heard and cared for by another human being (and not just another “customer”), then he’ll be happy with his meal no matter how good it tastes!


The key to finding customers for your restaurant is to put yourself out there and be friendly. It’s not an easy process, but with some creativity and hard work, you can grow your customer base and keep them coming back for more.