Restaurants need to constantly be on the lookout for creative ways to increase their guest counts and attract new clientele. With consumers craving social experiences and more employees heading back into the office, restaurants may be able to appeal to an after-work crowd to get more people through the doors.
A recent survey found that diners believed that menu prices had gone up 22 per cent in the past six months, when it’s really closer to eight per cent. This shows that perceived value is going to be a big driver in upping guest counts and drawing diners in.
Get creative with ways to add value, generate interest, and get that after-work crowd through your doors.
Pick a theme
If you’re slow on a Tuesday, rather than closing early, try enticing guests to visit you mid-week. While you can certainly offer half-priced apps, you could try something new, like taco Tuesdays, to encourage regular weekly visits.
Get creative with holidays too, even if they’re not official; expand your menu on National Donut Day or partner with a local brewery to offer flights for Oktoberfest. Pick a theme you like and run with it!
Give happy hour a new look
Happy hour is an age-old concept, so why not give it a makeover? You could offer upscale drinks, mini flights, or do pairings with food to boost cheque totals. Traditionally, happy hour involves cheaper drinks for a few hours after work but making it your own will help you stand out.
43 per cent of people think happy hour is a great time to relax, so diners are already interested. And once you get them in, your staff can upsell. Offer a featured cocktail, sell a larger version for just a dollar, or charge extra for that guacamole to add even more profit to your night.
RELATED: 7 ways to upsell your customers
Mix it up
If you’re open to a more flexible approach, this could be a win-win. Featuring something different each week could be an opportunity for you to make use of ingredients you might otherwise waste.
Offering something like a chef’s choice menu could offer unique variety based on what’s in your kitchen to keep the menu fresh and exciting for customers, while lowering your waste.
Remember to prioritize perceived value and customer experience for your restaurant to stand out, get attention, and have that after-work crowd coming back for more.