The NPD Group reports that the U.S. Restaurant Traffic Decline is the Steepest in 28 Years. You can read the complete article here: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/npd-reports-us-restaurant-traffic-decline-steepest-in-28-years,896710.shtml
This is bad news indeed but probably no surprise to anybody who is in this industry since you all can see your restaurants emptier than before.
This also means than competition to attract customers is now fiercer than ever. Less people going out for dinner makes the battle to bring people to your restaurant a more daunting task. To respond to this challenge, many restaurateurs are lowering their prices or issuing discount coupons to entice money-tight customers to go to their restaurants.
Although this marketing technique may work temporarily, I don’t think that it’s really a good strategy for the long run. First, you will attract the cheapest customers looking for the most inexpensive place they can go to eat, despite the quality of their dinning experience. Also, these people won’t become loyal clients. Instead, they will go only to restaurants looking for the bargain of the day, moving to your competitors if their discount is bigger than yours.
So what can you do to attract people to your restaurant?
First, you need to be creative and position your restaurant so that it is unique and different from your competitors. Think for just a moment. Do you have something unique that your restaurant has/offers than nobody else does? This is called a Unique Selling Proposition, and you can use it as a differentiator in the marketplace. People understand that they need to pay a little more to get a unique experience, and even in these times of crisis they are willing to do so.
If you don’t have, or can’t come up with anything unique, then you need to put yourself in the minds of your customers. Why should they go to your restaurant instead of going to your competitors? What can you offer them that makes them want to go to your restaurant? These are key questions that can help you come up with your Unique Selling Proposition.
Once you attract new customers, you need to make their visit worthy. Give them the best dinning experiences that you are able to. Make sure that they receive great food and an impeccable service. Make sure that your place is very clean and inviting and that you treat them so well that they would love to come back to your place looking for those good memories that they’ve shared in your place.
Remember, people go to restaurants looking forward to have a good time. Provide them with a great experience and they will come back. Fail to do it and they will take their business elsewhere. There are plenty of restaurants that will be more than happy to comply.
Good luck and happy meals,
Jose L Riesco
©Riesco Consulting Inc.