Restaurant Marketing Strategy to Bring Customers in on Slow Nights
Download our social media templates, restaurant email marketing templates, and restaurant promotions checklist to bring customers back to your restaurant on those painfully slow nights.
If your restaurant or café has consistently slow times each week, then it may be tempting to offer a special promotion to lure in customers — say two for one appetizers or $5 off desserts. Don't do it! It's a trap. We'll chat more about these dreaded coupon strategies below. Let's get started with our restaurant email marketing strategy.
Another restaurant marketing strategy is to create events on those slower nights that bring guests who otherwise might never have set foot into your restaurant or cafe. One of the most popular events to create is charity or school themed events. These new customers will try out your menu and atmosphere, assuming they have a good experience, next time they are looking to dine out, they will come back for more.
At Gazella we took a look at nearly 50k visits to restaurants, bars and cafes, and it came as no surprise that Tuesday nights were the slowest night at most restaurants followed closely by Wednesday nights. Not surprising Mondays if the venue was a non sports related venue...i.e. Monday Night Football was then crowned the slowest night. Each restaurant client demograpic is different so choosing a Tuesday night theme to bring more customers in on those slow Tuesday nights can be a challenge.
Here’s a look at our top ideas for slower nights. While these are some ideas it's really in the execution of the event planning that actually brings in those customers on slower nights. That being said, pick an idea that fits your restaurants and read up on our proven method to get restaruant customers to engage on attend these slow night events.
- Live Music - can get expensive, but you can often get a good deal on weeknights.
- Trivia - Great in college bars/restaurants.
- Paint Night - Painting classes held on weeknights in bars and restaurants have become quite popular especially for those in the 21-45 female demographic.
- T.V. Nights - Who doesn't love watching Game of Thrones with their friends?
- Charity Events - offer a percentage of sales for a charity to promote the event. Be sure they do an adequate job of promoting or you could lose that percentage for nothing.
- Theme Nights - Extremely hard to pull off, but with time and effort can be a HUGE hit.
- Leagues - have a dart board? Have your bar start or join a league.
- Guest Bartenders - hint, double down with a charity event, and double your attendace on a guest bartender night.
- Ladies Night or Hospitality Night - another one hard to pull off, but with the right promotions can bring in an entirely new crowd.
- College Night - another theme night, but in a college town. Consider it a must have.
- Patio Night - If you have a patio, encourage guests to bring their dogs. Some call this "Yappy Hour". Be sure to check with local authorities to make sure you don't break any health inspection laws.
- Wine or Beer Tastings - Partner up with your favorite brand and host on your restaurants slow nights.
- Kids eat free - A popular promotion, but be careful. There are always some large "children" out there to take advantage.
- Poker nights - there are a handful of poker leagues out there. Find one with a spectacular promoter and you won't be disappointed.
- Sports Teams - sponsor an adult softball or volleyball team. But when doing so, encourage them to make sure they stop in before and after their games.
There are a few ideas for you, and you likely have your own ideas as well. But let's be honest just by throwing your new theme night on Facebook putting a few ad dollars to "boost" the post likely won't have guests running into your restaurant on these slower nights.
IT'S ALL IN THE EXECUTION
Execution of your promotion that is. It is hard work to get customers engagement, but by following these suggestions you can spread the word quickly and easily with your restaurant promotion.
- Promote to your current customers. You should already have many of your customers contact information. Especially if you are using a wifi marketing system such as Gazella....Contact those that you know will be interested in your new promo.
- Use social media channels.
- Create promotional materials and hang them where people can see them. A bulletin board in the restrooms are always a great place to promote.
- Email Marketing: Download our restaurant marketing email template to bring in customers on slow nights.
- SMS Messaging
- Personally invite your best customer: let your "employee of the month" invite a few friends to get the party started. Remember it takes a crowd to bring a crowd. Also, if you are the owner you should personally invite some customers you want to come back in. Everyone loves a personal invite from the owner and will definitely feel special and appreciate the invite. This can be apart of your restaurants email marketing strategy, or a simple phone call or even Facebook message.
Ready to get started? Download our Free Restaurant Tuesday Night Marketing Starter Kit it's free and includes:
Email Templates, Facebook Marketing, Twitter Marketing, and more to bring in more customers EVERY TUESDAY!