Ah, Summer. A time for sun, fun, and hot dogs on buns. But if you own a restaurant, it can be a very busy time of the year. This typically depends on location, demand, and service. How quickly you can fulfill orders and replace empty glasses with boozy beverages will make you stand out amongst the rest of the competition. And if you’re in a popular tourist spot, this is a big deal. Tourists and newcomers provide an amazing opportunity to increase your sales and overall area presence. Here are a few tips to entice customers and get tourists through the door!
The first thing you should do is advertise your business locally. Reach out to any spots in your area that tourists are likely to visit. Visitor information centers are a great place to start, along with close rest areas. Putting a brochure with your business information and a discount offer will put the thought into a tourist’s head, and eventually lead to a visit if the interest is strong. It’s also a good idea to contact your local tourist bureau and inquire how you can get listed. These maps are usually left in hotel lobbies and rooms, or picked up individually at the visitor center.
Keep Your Online Listings Up To Date
Tourists are strange to new land, so they will typically use online listing apps like Yelp to gain insight on great places to eat and sight see. Sites like these are a free advertising method that can easily promote your business. Keep information clear and concise, including address, hours of operation, takeout options, discounts, and more. It’s not enough to simply be listed on these sites, however. You will need to engage with customers. Make sure to reply to any reviews, good or bad, thanking them for the initial visit and addressing any details/concerns. People will see you are active and care significantly about a customer’s experience, increasing the chances of visitation.
Participate In A Restaurant Week
Restaurant weeks can lead to a significant stream of new business. Restaurant weeks are set up so that local restaurants can partner up with tourism groups or foodservice representation and cross-promote each other. Events usually feature flat rates on your menu, enticing customers to order specifically catered food products that showcase your niche. Many customers will visit multiple restaurants throughout the week, which actually works to your advantage because your business will be listed on all marketing material, evenly distributed throughout all participating restaurants.
Contact Local Concierge Staff And Rental Properties
Local hotels provide concierge service, providing a wealth of information to tourists on the surrounding area’s hot spots, events, and eateries. And a lot of people utilize this free information. Make sure you connect with local hotels and rental properties so that once guests ask for recommendations, they will point valuable business to you. You can even offer discounts to homeowners or renters that keep a brochure to your establishment in their home. Once a guest checks into their property and asks for restaurant recommendations, your business will be at the top of that list.
Open Up A Food Truck
If you have a little extra money and are looking to get your business out there further, then starting a food truck is a great option. It offers a preview into your business aesthetic and unique taste, garnering interest and attention. Plan routes and heavily utilize social media advertising/engagement.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, tourists spend more than $200 billion a year on foodservice. And I’m sure that number is steadily growing with each passing year. That’s a lot of untapped income your business could be raking in! Now that Summer will soon be taking over, use all these tips and tools at your disposal to be the best restaurant this season!