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Buzztime - Business Bar Trivia by Buzztime

Contests can be a great way to bring in more customers to your restaurant…but they can also cost you a ton of time, money, and energy. Simply running a contest for the sake of having one isn’t always a good idea. It’s important to make sure your contests will actually bring in more revenue. So how do you make sure that your resources are well spent and your contests increase sales? Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re devising your next contest.

1. Know what you’re trying to accomplish.

How is your contest going to increase revenue? If you can’t answer that question, then you shouldn’t be running it. Maybe you’re a new restaurant and you want to run a contest to get the word out—make sure any contest you run accomplishes that goal and has a concrete way to get you more sales.

2. Make sure the contest is fun.

If your contest isn’t enjoyable for your customers, they definitely won’t take part…and then there’s no way you’ll make any money from it. Your contests can’t feel like chores. Asking customers to do things they are likely to do anyway (like taking pictures of their food and sharing them on Instagram, checking in to your restaurant on Foursquare, or liking your business on Facebook) is a good way to ensure your customers will actually want to take part in your contest.

3. Be sure the contest fits your brand.

It’s easy to run a contest that doesn’t really say anything about your business. A simple raffle, for example, doesn’t really tell customers anything about you. Will it really increase sales if customers who enter don’t walk away with any knowledge about your restaurant or what you have to offer?

4. Use social media.

With easy access to your customers on social media, it’s a great place to run a contest.

For example, frozen yogurt restaurant Let’s Yo Yogurt offers a contest on Facebook. The restaurant posts a name on Facebook and anyone with that name gets 50% off a cup of yogurt. This brings in new customers and encourages them to bring along friends. Running check in contests on Foursquare is another way to make sure that customers are required to come in to your restaurant in order to be entered.

5. Focus on employees.

Remember, your contests don’t have to be geared towards your customers. In fact, employee contests are a great way to increase your sales. By increasing competitiveness among servers, you can encourage them to do better work and sell more.

If you’re looking to increase your revenue, keep these tips in mind. Running contests can be a great way to help your restaurant make more money!
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