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.