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How to increase cafés and restaurants walk-in traffic

To drive walk-in traffic for your café or restaurant, we advise you to implement digital means of communication with customers and automation softwares. They are surging in popularity all over the world, since they allow keeping track on the staff activities and eliminating mistakes.

How to increase cafés and restaurants walk-in traffic | фото 1 | SmartTouch

What impacts walk-in traffic?

Keeping the establishment profitable is not an easy task. This business requires ongoing analysis of competitors’ activity in order to avoid losing its unique selling proposition.

You will get through the conceptual issues, such as interior design, by yourself. As to the details, we will help you.

Determine 3-5 key problems of your establishment. Creating and promoting your restaurant’s reputation is an important aspect. So, start growing it by making reasonable adjustments. Monitor employees activity and if the complaints book isn’t available, try to test your waitstaff by hiring mystery shoppers.

If the problem is the food, make changes to the menu. Refresh. Food seasonality contributes a lot to this.

“Premises renovation” is also required. No desire (or understanding) why to spend money on the electronic menu (we will talk about it below), then update the paper one.

This will help to build a powerful restaurant or café reputation and attract new customers flows.

Analysis of competitors and determining a target audience

Take a moment and analyze your market rivals, their strengths and weaknesses. SWOT analysis can be applied. Used in a business context, it helps you to carve a sustainable niche in your market. While conducting this analysis, identify and pay attention not only to successful establishment but also to the ones having troubles in business.

Moreover, focus on internal (human, physical, financial resources), and external (market, economic, demographic trends, relations with partners and suppliers) factors. Once you compile your SWOT data, you will be able to use it in your business to explore new opportunities and to avoid common mistakes.

Another important key point is target audience. This step is important as it impacts directly the efficiency of the advertising campaign. The better you identify your visitors – their average age, field of activities, taste preferences – the faster your business will grow. This will further allow saving money which you would spend to reach a wide audience.

One establishment for all

Make changes to be always different. Let that be your clue.

For example, offer a culinary experience or kids birthday parties, or theme parties the whole family can enjoy at the weekend.

Friday could be a Traveler day. Let people go out to your place to enjoy unusual cocktails or meals from all around the world and so on.

These are simple examples. You know quite well when you have the periods of the lowest walk-in traffic. Use wisely this time frame to encourage potential visitors and ensure them that your restaurant is worth the trip. It could be special deals or you could create theme communities.

In fact, closed communities are the trend of the nearest future. Since the open network has become toxic, people would leave, including offline. Don’t miss this chance.

Marketing plan

The minimum viable marketing plan is to buy publication in Medias which are well indexed. Today people trust either feedbacks or theme selections. If you know any CEO guys, ask them how often people type the question “Where to go on the weekend?”. Well, the answer is on the first page of Google results. So, you might not need flashy media campaign. You can choose only those which are well indexed.

Find publications in “Tops”, rankings and selections. It really works. It especially works for young generation.

Promos, special deals – the variety of them is tremendous. But you should try to find examples of the most successful one in the Network.

What else can you do to grab customers?

Make a step towards the future. Before it becomes an “outbreak”, you will surely stand out. It comes about digital communication means with customers and potential audience: electronic menus, new applications and ways to monitor staff activities.

First, you improve service speed. This streamlines restaurant operations and drives customer conversion rates.

For example, mobile terminals for the waitstaff and bartenders will:

  1. Make orders management easy – from creation to payments. Delivering excellent and quick customer service is essential for your success.
  2. Make prices available without limitations.
  3. Entail immediate data exchange with the kitchen, warehouse or bar.
  4. Send automatically reports to the owner.
  5. Integrate the system with the cash register.

Plus, many establishments have recently tried to attract customers by offering them to use electronic menus. It’s a great way to show visitors that you are keeping up with the times and have switched to more convenient way of placing an order in your café or restaurant. Unlike paper ones, these menus have good photos and detailed descriptions of foods, valid prices; the user can also track the order status and leave a feedback about the establishment. Experience shows that this menu boosts the average check by up to 40 percents.

So, your casual dining customers will appreciate this quick and easy ordering system. On the other hand, Internet and new technologies contribute a lot to the development of the restaurant. Don’t hesitate to apply them and to become one of the top restaurants in your area. We also advise you to keep an eye on the latest market trends to be the first to implement novelties and attract as many customers as possible.

General recommendations

Stay always in touch – don’t forget to send notifications or mails, to build a loyalty program for your customers, to invent monthly electronic digests in order to inform customers about all new deals, events or about news related to the establishment’s life.

Besides, don’t forget that social media is an inevitable part of running a modern business. Continue posting engaging content. Social networks will help you to build deeper relationships with you current customers and attract new ones. Post announcements in a creative way, share top menu recommendations and ideas. Let your most loyal fans get a reward or reward the first few customers who will repost or share content about your café or restaurant.

There is one more powerful tactics – Birthday clubs. Birthday is the day when all people want to feel special. Send your customers discounts for their birthday or offer a free lunch. They may come for lunch with people they know to celebrate this special day. So, get your customers engaged while providing them with an incentive to shop with you, or at the very least, have some ‘good feelings’ about you and your business.

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