6 Ways To Transform Your Restaurant Into a Local Hotspot

April 28, 2014

Here are tips in making your business a local hotspot

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If you’re the owner of a small neighborhood bar or restaurant and eager to increase sales and foot traffic, you must begin to spin your web by making strategic contacts, and become directly involved with the community. Hosting a community or charity event is a good way to get started, or even sponsoring a local little league. And as another community gesture, you should buy from a local brewery or distillery, and local butcher or farmer’s market. An additional way to extend community exposure is to attend community and neighborhood festivals. A booth staffed by one or two people with a banner on the front of your booth and a sample from your bar or restaurant’s menu should give you enough exposure to entice neighbors to come to your bar or eatery. The idea is to gain exposure and positive community recognition so that more customers will be drawn to your bar or restaurant.

6 Ways To Transform Your Restaurant Into a Local Hotspot

Special Themed events will draw in more customers 1) Special Themed Events Besides community involvement, you can involve customers in various contests and drawings, or create a collection of themed evenings, like a karaoke night, ladies night, Super Bowl party, World Series get-together, costume party, two for one drinks night, or even a family night where kids eat for free. You could also host a wine tasting event and invite representatives of several vineyards to promote their wines. Celebrating birthdays is another great opportunity for a small bar or restaurant to make a lasting impression on customers. Offering a free dinner or dessert on a guest’s birthday will inspire customers to drink and dine at your restaurant or bar along with family and friends. Once you obtain email addresses to send a free dinner or dessert coupon, later you can also send other promotions or newsletters. Let the people be informed with your latest offers with a sidewalk sign 2) Sidewalk Signs Buzztime suggests sidewalk signs as an inexpensive way to increase foot traffic. Signs are portable so that if you encounter inclement weather, or want to move it to another location, a sign is easily transported. Signs can also be easily changed. You can change signs on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. You could highlight a daily special in the morning and advertise a happy hour special in the afternoon. In addition, distributing flyers in office buildings, construction sites and hotels and resorts can promote the bar’s specials. Servers knows your guests better than anyone else in your business 3) Personally Connect With Customers Make sure customers feel a personal connection with your bar or restaurant. Encourage your staff to warmly greet each customer, and to remember customer names, and drink orders. And acknowledge customers when they are leaving by thanking them and asking them to come back. I read an account about how servers at a steak house sent postcards to regular customers whom they had not seen in a while as a way to create a dedicated following. “No one knows your customers better than your waiters and bartenders, so initiate a bonus system to enlist their enthusiasm and help in keeping track of regulars and gleaning contact information from new customers. You can generate lots of business for the cost of postage and stationary or internet service.” Use social media platforms to inform customers of newest offers 4) Social Media Campaign is a Must You should integrate your website with Facebook, and set up a social media profile on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and others to inform patrons of upcoming specials and promotions. Drive traffic to your bar or restaurant with special offers, such as the first 50 people to like this page will receive 50% off an appetizer. As Jeff Darter, a journalist and freelance business writer, points out, when Einstein Bros. Bagel’s and Noah’s Bagels, both part of the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc., began giving away a free bagel to all Facebook users who became fans of their pages, in just three days, the company had 15,000 new fans. Part of the promotion prompts new fans to send invitations to join to their network of friends, which gives the company a seemingly endless supply of new prospects. You or someone you assign should spend time every day updating your social media pages with specials and upcoming events. And when customers ask questions it’s important to respond to their questions and concerns daily. In order to increase your business you really have to reach out to followers by replying to positive comments — “like them on Facebook or “retweet” them on Twitter. Check out www.insidefacebook.com for specific tips, directions, and articles that describe how to effectively market your business on Facebook. Develop good working relationship with hotel and motel concierges 5) Court Hotels and Motels Another great suggestion by Jeff Darter is to court the concierges, desk clerks, and reservation staff of the nearby hotels, motels, and inns. “Invite them to dinner! Ply them with gift certificates, free desserts, and the queen’s treatment. Splurge on an afternoon reception for all the concierges in your area. Get to know them personally, and keep them informed of special events and menu features. Supply them with copies of your menu and business cards to have on hand for their guests.” Use your guest register to get information from your patrons 6) Prospect List Darter also comments that a restaurant’s prospect list is the guest register, and explains how grocery stores have learned that prospect lists and mailing lists are one of their most valuable marketing tools. “Whether you collect names, street addresses, and web addresses via a computerized reservation system; or on a comment card presented with the check; or in an old-fashioned but reliable guest book system, it’s a valuable start for numerous kinds of promotions. Certainly, weekly electronic mail to patrons highlighting specials and menu changes would generate business at the cost of nothing more than internet service.”

How to Manage & Grow Your Social Media Accounts

With this post, you should have a strong basis to build a sky hashtag strategy for your brand. If you couple this with a strong Instagram tool, you can really save time and see an ROI from your Instagram efforts.  Socialdraft is your all-in-one tool for Instagram management. Socialdraft allows you to:

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If you’re curious about how Socialdraft works, take us for a risk-free trial. Have questions?

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