June 01 2014 – Robert Fiumara
While there’s no doubt that this year fathers everywhere will be treated to the usual gifts: grilling gadgets, coffee-makers, alcohol, and the standard workplace accessories like ties or pens, there is no question that fathers everywhere will be treated to some time out with the family. This year alone, Americans are expected to spend upwards of 13.3 billion dollars on Father’s Day. While the usual suspects of gifts are expected, special outings are going to account for the largest share of Father’s Day spending. This means that your restaurant will almost certainly see some increase in traffic, which provides you with a unique opportunity to capture customers, increase your volume, and establish a stronger returning clientele pool that you can capitalize on.
Holidays Are An Amazing Opportunity to Build Your Clientele
Before the guests are even in your restaurant, you will want to emphasize the holiday by drawing attention to it. While promotions and deals alone are not enough to capture long-term customers, they do help in generating traffic which will help you get your foot in the door. Offering a special gift or discount to fathers, or sending out special greetings to known customers will generate awareness and excitement. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and if you can get your guests excited for their experience before they’ve even arrived, you’ve already won the metaphorical battle.
Now, these sorts of promotions and deals will generate sales for the day, but these alone are not enough to secure and encourage repeat business. You must create a memorable dining experience for fathers and their families. You can do this by examining your competitors, and distinguishing yourself from them by emphasizing the unique elements of your restaurant and service. Ask yourself, are there special interactions or greetings that you can offer? Are there special foods or items you can utilize to bring more care and attention to your guests?
Encourage your wait staff to get a strong feel for each and every party’s needs and attitudes and to interact with the customer meaningfully. The guest, particularly on days that are special to them, needs to feel cared for and appreciated. The dining experience needs to be more than just a simple transaction; it needs to be a celebration. If you can make the customer feel strongly cared for, it will encourage a positive association with your restaurant, which in turn encourages loyalty and increases the odds of repeat business.
These tips may seem simple, but they are easy concepts to overlook during a busy holiday. As your staff gets tired and strained from the holiday crowds, you really need to focus on forging a strong emotional connection to your restaurant for your guests. There is no tool more powerful in establishing a consistent customer base.