One of the biggest challenges in the industry is finding a way to attract diners without having to discount your product and brand. If price is the main motivation for some diners, we’ve got eight ideas to spark demand with new and returning patrons.
1) Same place, different vibe
A cafe in Bondi known mostly for brekkie/lunch, has done something cool by differentiating their offering between day and night. Come in the evening, and you’ll be treated to a more intimate atmosphere without compromising on their brand of great food (and reasonable prices).
Just like that, the restaurant now appeals to a different type of customer than their regular target demographic.
2) Mixing Locally – a collaboration
Why not have a bartender ‘residency’ if your venue has a cocktail offering – bringing in an esteemed mixologist on a certain night will appeal to their following too. It’s like having a guest DJ, but in this case you’re selling your product whilst amplifing your ability to cast a net to a wider audience and appeal to your local demographic.
3) Laboutin Shoes anyone?
How’s this for a spin on the classic giveaway?
Two larger Chicago restaurants took a different take on the traditional raffle, by offering luxury shoes as a prize on Mondays night – turning it into the “most jumping joint in town on Monday nights”. A raffle giveaway could be the master-plan you need to bring a targeted audience through your doors on a quiet night.
4) A current affair
Ever thought of weaving current events into your dining experience?
One restaurant used the Tour de France as the ideal platform- offering specials from each town the cyclists were in. Not only did this attract a passionate following, it also filled tables at a time when most might have watched from home. Get creative with your offering, sell your high revenue products like pasta or risotto. And because the entree portions are small and easy to prepare, the pacing was quick from the kitchen.
Think outside the box on how you can capture the imagination by celebrating events or trends. Simply look at current events around you (*hint hint Commonwealth Games in 2018*) and find your hook.
5) That’s Somm wine list!
Make the most of slower nights by creating an offer for somm wine lists, or with wine/beer dinners (pre-set menus with wine/beer pairings). By doing so, you’ll be providing luxury items at a more accessible price, crafting an experience versus a discounted ploy to get diners out to your venue.
Use this to attract new wine/beer-lovers, or simply to re-engage with your diners with a fondness for your venue.
6) We come for the wine, but we stay for…. dinner.
Staying on the topic of wine, here’s a way to attract these connoisseurs in earlier. Perhaps use a 5pm wine tasting with snacks as a reason for your diners to come in, with the incentive of a credit towards the bottle if they stay for dinner.
7) BYOB with a twist.
Looking to establish that community feel? Bavettes, in Chicago, offers a BYOB option IF you pour a glass of your wine for a neighbouring guest. They offer this on all days with a number of restrictions – an interesting idea to promote a restaurant and a sense of community on specific nights.
8) All Day Dining
Is there such a thing as being too available? Diners have spoken, and ‘all day dining’ is here. A recent survey of 1,014 respondents indicated that 70% of diners are dining out more midweek, and 16% are now embracing a later meal (9PM). Take inspiration from restaurants like Bistro Rex, Restaurant Hubert and Cho Cho San, who are listening to diner spontaneity, and making the move to make the most of this demand.
Got ideas of your own to share? Share them with us!