The number of people trying new restaurants has dropped since last year. Thus, making it harder to attract first time customers. With less money in their wallets, people are sticking with who they know and trust. Your restaurant will have to fight and scratch to attract and win over the hearts of new customers. No one said it was impossible, you just have to cast out a few lines and wait for them to take the bait. However, once they do, the most important part is keeping them on the hook and not letting them get away.
Leave a Good Impression
Like many instances in life, first impressions mean a lot. According to Restaurant Hospitality in a survey of 7,000 customers, only 11 percent reported trying a new restaurant in the last 90 days. Chances to win over a new customer may not come too often, so when you have that chance you have to nail it. Also, 40% of these customers reported trying the restaurant because of recommendations by family or friends. Give your customers a reason to spread a good word around about your restaurant.
Coupons or Deals for First Timers
Lure them in and then finish the job. You can’t force customers to walk through your doors, but you can persuade them. Give them a reason to try your restaurant. Offer a coupon or special deal for first time customers. It could be a coupon customers print off themselves, or a walk in special. Offer a free appetizer or 20% off. Most importantly though, you have to seal the deal once you have them at your table.
Social Media Presence
News and information travels faster than ever with social media at the world’s finger tips. Your restaurant should have a presence on the most popular and widely used social media sites. Have a Twitter feed that you post to daily, or post pictures of your food and restaurant on Instagram. Not only will this let you announce deals and information about whats going on at your restaurant, it will allow others to comment on and spread the information you share. This could catch the eye of potential first time customers, and give them a chance to read some good words about your business.
Monitor Review Sites
Restaurant review sites are extremely popular today. Many customers get their information from sites like Urbanspoon, and Yelp. Watch and monitor sites like this to see what is being said about you. Remember, negative comments are not always a terrible thing. Take any criticism as a chance to improve your business. Sites like this are a great tool for customers to find good deals and restaurants. However, they can also be a great tool for a business to learn how to make improvements.
Offer a Unique Selling Point
In this industry you can’t assume that guarantees of good food and services will bring crowds of new customers. As part of your marketing technique, your restaurant should offer a unique selling point to intrigue new customers into trying your restaurant. For example, Chipotle uses a stance of “integrity” in their business with respect for the environment and proper care of the animals that are used in their food. Even if your business is offering some of the same dishes as other restaurants in the area, give customers a notion that your business is offering something new to the dining experience.
Psychology of Color
The colors you choose in your marketing may not seem important in the grand scheme of things, but believe it or not, colors may impact everything from what you are saying about your business to the impulses of potential customers. Know your target customer and what the colors you use say about your business. For example black expresses a stance of sophistication and elegancy while blue shows trust and reliability. Also know the effects your colors could have on your customers. Did you know the reds and oranges used by many fast food restaurants have been shown to persuade customers to eat quick and leave?
The restaurant industry is rough and tough place to thrive in. Customers are not as likely to go out on a limb to try something new. You’ve got to give customers a reason to give you a shot. But remember, standing out and attracting customers is only half the battle. Once they have decided to see what you have to offer, you have to delight them with your business.
How are you attracting first time customers?