3 Tricks to Get More People into Your Restaurant!

by Halisi

I’ve heard it from clients before, “everyone knows we’re here”.  Ohhh-kkkaaayyy.  Then why aren’t they coming in your restaurant?  Either your food isn’t good, or your service is terrible, or…they don’t realize you are there.   Obviously, the easier fix is the latter – so hopefully that’s the case.

The truth of the matter is that they might, or might not know that you’re there.  One thing is a fact – store fronts become part of the urban, (or suburban as the case may be), “wallpaper”.  It’s easy to overlook your business in the hussle and bussle of the day.


For the next 30 days I want you to do all of the following tactics.  At the end of the 30 days, I want you to measure your results.  If you don’t have a decent increase in sales then you might want to look at the first 2 reasons for the slowdown.

Trick #1

Some call it banner shaking, human directionals, or sign twirling.  Whatever you call it, order a sign and do it.  You want to make your business standout from the urban wallpaper.  You will be surprised how many people will come in and say “I didn’t realize you are here”.  As a matter of fact, my studies have shown that about 30-40% of survey participants did not know that the specified business was near their home or workplace.

Trick #2

Quick service restaurants do this often.  Traditional restaurants should consider it to.  Offer a “thank you” bounce back coupon with a very enticing offer that is good during your slow periods.  This will give your customers an opportunity to consider your restaurant for other day parts or days of the week and will also let them know that you appreciate their business.

Trick #3

Everyday call someone from your fishbowl and offer 50% off their entrees if they bring 3 friends with them.  (Be sure to measure food costs before going forward with any offer.)   Be specific with the offer.  If you offer them 50% off of entrees only, then make sure the servers are suggesting wine with the meal.  The idea here is that one of your loyal customers will introduce their friends or colleagues to your restaurant.  Be sure to get business cards from the other 3 customer so that they will have an opportunity to win too.  If you have a birthday club or VIP club then get their full information so that you can send them email offers and a birthday offer.

These tricks may seem too simple to be effective, so I’m asking you to take the challenge.  After the first month, slow down Trick #3 to one-two calls per week.  Trick #2 should be used 4 times per year (for a 2-4 week period).  Trick #1 should be used all year long; at least 2-3 times per week.  Consider hiring young teens for this job – if they’re 15-16 a lot of the traditional hourly jobs are not available to them.  If they’re only working 2 hours per day 2 times per week; you could probably pay them as a contract hire if there is some flexibility in the days they pick.

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