It can be hard getting people through the door at a new restaurant. Obviously we're big proponents of loyalty programs, but there are other restaurant marketing ideas that you can put in place to assure that you have a successful launch (or relaunch... or just for fun!) Here are some ideas:
- Hold a grand opening/reopening. There's nothing like causing a bit of a fuss to get some attention. Invite all your regulars, and any local press you can get hold of. Try and branch out - don't just host your family and close friends, but invite a cross section of the community - that way the word is more likely to spread. Offer special deals, discounted food, and as many freebies as you can afford - everyone likes a good balloon or two!
- Utilize social media to promote your restaurant. Encourage diners to like your page on Facebook and offer special deals to those who do. LoyalBlocks has some great Facebook tokens built in to our loyalty app, which really help integrate your marketing plan and social media.
- Create a strong Welcome token on LoyalBlocks. The Welcome token is a great way to entice new people to come through the door. If you make it something strong - like Izzo's Illegal Burrito did with a free meal - then you get to control the experience that first time customers have at your restaurant. Serve them your best food, and they'll definitely come back...
- Which is where the Regulars token comes in. You've got them through the door with the Welcome token, and you've impressed them with your food. By rewarding people for coming back to your restaurant, you're closing the loyalty circle. LoyalBlocks allows you to create different levels of "regulars" - the newbie, the regular, and the VIP - which means that the more people come to your restaurant, the more they get from you. A nice touch to reward their loyalty! And don't forget to also use a slightly more traditional, but still totally digital, punch card.
- Offer free tasters outside the restaurant on the street. This is especially useful if your restaurant is on a main street as you'll have plenty of foot traffic passing you by. It's another way to get people to sample your food and show them that they'd enjoy eating with you. Even if they don't come in that day, it's likely that if they enjoy what they try they'll come back another time.
- Find local events around your restaurant, and see if they need support. You could sponsor your local street fair, or even just the parents evening of the high school around the corner. It's all about getting people to try your food - from there of course, it's up to you!