April 18 2014 – Robert Fiumara
Before establishing a restaurant, restaurateurs make multiple decisions. In fact, they customarily draw up a business plan. Included within the pages of this business plan, restaurateurs outline what is known as their target market or a group or groups of individuals they wish to cater to. As is the case with any business, customers play a vital role in its success. However, there are times when restaurateurs are not getting the expected support from their target diners. If you find yourself in this situation, how can you get more diners at your restaurant? Here are four things you can do.
Maintain a Fresh Menu
Sticking to what you know is playing it safe. However, for the sake of success, you will need to get out of your comfort zone. Sporadically try new meals and let your diners know about it. ‘Variety is the spice of life’, so instead of giving your diners the same meals time after time, prepare something they’ll love for a change. Try and discern what they’d like to have prepared and meet their needs with cafe specials and promotions.
Ask your customers for recommendations
If you’re confident that your target diners enjoy their meals, ask them to recommend you to others or bring along their friends. Additionally, it’s good to maintain a record of your guests and customers. You can target these diners with emails, advertising via Facebook, and other promotions. If you have regular diners and you’re aware of their eating habits, let them know about your new vegetarian or meat dish.
Secure reservations online
Diners usually don’t have the time to walk in just to make a reservation. They also don’t want to wait an hour for a meal to be prepared, especially if they’re hungry. Making reservations online is convenient for diners to make plans to visit your restaurant ahead of time. There are many different online reservation systems that you can use that are cost effective. If you’re not already using an online reservation system, it’s not too late to implement one. This will make your business a little more predictable and attract more visitors.
Make your restaurant locatable
Diners will not be able to visit your restaurant if it's located in the middle of nowhere. This means that before setting up a restaurant, selecting an appropriate location is critical. In addition, ensure that your restaurant's business address is stated accurately in directories and web browsers. With your information listed online, diners will be able to locate your restaurant when they perform a search online.