So as a restaurant owner, you must be aware that how tough it is to keep a food business up and running. You might also be interested to note that over 75% of all food businesses fail or close within the first 4 years. You can look up: 8 mistakes restaurant owners make which end up failing businesses for some tips on what NOT to do. However, with this piece, we’re taking a more vibrant outlook and suggesting some things you CAN do. We’re looking at marketing strategies which will propel you to increase customer footfall in restaurants and help your eatery flourish.
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However, before we get started with the ‘tips and tricks’ let me remind you that for running a restaurant business in India, you need statutory licenses and have to comply with the legalities laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI). One of the main documentation required is something called a FSSAI Food License. Check out the complete Checklist for starting a food business in India. Get your legalities right before you deploy any “marketing hacks” to ensure there is a restaurant to apply those to! If you already have the license, check its validity since you might have to apply for a FSSAI Renewal if the validity is running out.
Alright, enough with the legal stuff already! Let’s dive right into the nitty-gritty of great strategies you can deploy to increase customer footfall in restaurants.
Marketing your Restaurant for high footfall
So what exactly is Footfall? Google describes footfall as the number of people entering a shop at a given time frame. So, it becomes pivotal that footfall of a restaurant is more rather than less. Ideally, your table turnover rate and footfall should match up. Learn about Table Turnover Rate and How to increase it
Of Course, the more the number of customers you attract, the more business your eatery will have. So basically, we’re going to look at how you can impact people enough in today’s world that they think about your restaurant when they think about “a good place to eat “. Because that’s what people really want in a restaurant, a chilled out place where they can just kick back relax and have their meal in peace.
However, a restaurant owner is, of course, more motivated by final revenue the food business generates. If, there isn’t enough revenue its almost as if you’re giving away FREE FOOD which is good if you’re a non-profit but obviously not if you’re a food “business”.
Increasing Footfall: The Steps
Loyal customers are the ones who have contributed most to your overall revenue over the years. It would be a shame if you were to lose those customers because you weren’t ready to honor their repeated visits and love for your eating joint. Apart from that, new customers who come in would have very little motivation to come back again to a restaurant they have tried before unless there is something to welcome them back with open arms. There are a variety of ways you can ensure some customer loyalty. For example, one of the ways you can ensure customers return is you can offer a discount on the next meal or offer a free drink on the next visit. Or offer some special occasions discount like for example the famous coffee shop chain Starbucks has implemented. Have a look.
Another great strategy for restaurants to ensure a revisit from some loyal customers is by issuing Gift Cards. First, they could also be offered at discounted prices to provide motivation for purchasing. Read on to find out How Restaurant Gift Cards bring you profits. Deploying these strategies present you with multiple opportunities to please the same customer, and people who accompany them, creating a small yet path-breaking following for the restaurant. Also creates a lot of scope for mouth-of-word advertising of the restaurant.
Customer Feedback is important
The same line that all services people will give you is “Your feedback is important to us”. Well, maybe until today you didn’t realize what the real motivation behind the statement but now you will. Customers have all the power, a bad feedback, comment or review can ultimately push you further towards the impending doom for most restaurants in the world. Online reviews rule all your world. Today, everyone and I mean EVERYONE will read reviews of your restaurant online and judge you even before they put a step through your doors. So, it becomes imperative that you sign yourself up for all websites for online review. It’s no use sitting ideally and just reading reviews, you have to respond to these reviews. A vote of thanks for positive reviews and an apology for the inconvenience caused leading to a bad review. It shows you care and are constantly working on removing your shortcomings. Customer-oriented is the way to go if you want to invite more guests in. Take a look at how these restaurants respond to all kinds of reviews from people all over the world.
Acknowledge all types of reviews and engage with the customers with the people of the community who take out time to review your restaurant. Don’t be a ghost and show that you care what customers think of you and that you are constantly trying to improve customer experience. Also, be active on Social Media, engage with the community, host events and stream live to reach a wider range of people and attract them to your restaurant as a place which is happening.
People Tag restaurant in their stories and recommend to friends. Don’t miss out on potential customers. Have an official social media channel at which people interact with your restaurant
While responding to reviews, providing customer loyalty bonuses and being active on social media is all great and is bound to attract a lot of crowds, a lot of those customers will turn the other way if they see that you have outrageously high prices. This is an instant turnoff for customers. Instead, attract a more diverse crowd by offering prices slightly lower than restaurant standards. This will not only endear the restaurant to the customers but it will also be light on their pockets which customers absolutely adore. You can also consider keeping special days where prices are extremely low.
For eg., A bar and restaurant chain Agent Jacks has made a unique system in which the prices for a particular drink are bid on by customers starting at extremely low prices. Customers have to bid on the price and the bids accepted are the prices at which the drinks are served.
Let’s for one moment assume that your prices are a tad bit on the higher side. However, if the overall dining experience of the customer matches up to the amount they’re paying then customers have no issues in spilling out the money. Are u providing enough value for money? Is your staff well-behaved courteous and is constantly looking out for the customers? How is the ambiance? Are the preparation conditions healthy? These are things which although have monetary value but add a personal value to the customer’s experience. If your customers are constantly feeling pampered and taken care of, for once they might ignore the prices and actually keep re-visiting the restaurant just for the amazing experience you provide them.
Read: Waiter Training Tips
Well, these things might be “common sense” for a lot of the restaurant owners, however, having the sense and practically executing steps are two completely different ball games. If everyone were to implement these steps just from the knowledge then we wouldn’t be seeing such a high rate of failure in the food business. Try implementing as many of these steps as you can to ensure you increase customer footfall in restaurants.
Also, if you would like any help regarding FSSAI food license don’t hesitate to ring us up at +91-8750008585.