3 Ways to Drive Lunch Traffic

by Halisi

Drive Lunchtime Traffic

Forgive me for repeating myself; but in speaking with clients and potential clients I understand that most people’s idea of marketing is simply promotions.   I want to get you out of the frame of mind that thinks advertise, advertise, advertise.  Instead think – what does my customer need and how can I most effectively meet that need.   Now let’s apply that to lunch time traffic.

The first question to ask is what type of people can come to my restaurant during lunch time.  If you are in an area with a lot of office buildings, it’s a no-brainer.  If you are in an area that is primarily residential, then drawing a lunchtime crowd becomes a little more difficult.

The second question – what does my customer need to accommodate their lunchtime schedule and desires?  For the business crowd they need quick service, and they don’t want to pay dinner prices for lunch.   For a residential crowd you will probably get 2 major groups; seniors and retirees and stay-at-home parents.  Two very different groups with different needs and desires.

#1  If you have not already done so, create a lunch menu, with smaller portions and smaller prices.  If your restaurant is quick service this might not be necessary.  For casual dining, make sure that you guarantee customers will be served in a certain amount of time.  No more than 20 minutes.  You might have to designate certain meals for the guaranteed service time.

#2  If your restaurant is part residential or mostly residential, it is essential that you create a kids menu with kids activities.  McDonalds has set the standard and restaurants are now expected to have something for kids.  Contact an agency that specializes in family marketing, or contact A New Dawn Media & Marketing; get started on creating product for kids.  If you’re creative you can get branded kids activity pieces for as little as $0.30/each.   Even a single restaurant can have branded kids activity pieces.

Drive lunchtime traffic

#3  This is something that you should be doing continuously, at least 2 times per week.  Take samples, menus and occasionally discount cards, to the businesses within a 2 mile radius of your restaurant.  Emphasize that you now guarantee service within a certain amount of time.  If you can handle delivery, offer it.  If you’re in a residential or part residential area; a lot of your dinner customers will be from the neighborhood.  Give each your new lunch menu with their check.  Hire your kids or nieces and nephews to put door hangers and/or menus on residents doors.  Remember, at any given moment there is a 20% turnover in your neighborhood.  So door hanging should happen on a regular basis.

These are the basics; for more creative ideas see prior posts, including Partnerships that Pull People into your Restaurant. Remember make sure you know who your lunchtime crowd is.  Assess their needs:  quick service, lower prices, activities for the kids.  Promote your lunchtime menu – get out there and meet your customers.  Take samples and menus.  Offer incentives once in awhile and most of all: BE CONSISTENT.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: