Whether it’s the economic climate, competition, location, or time of year, the issue of restaurant traffic is something that restaurant owners have to be constantly mindful of in order to be successful. As with many restaurants, business is good during popular times, but greater effort is needed to fill tables during off times. That’s when it’s time to put some creative marketing efforts into place, like promotions and specials.

Improving restaurant traffic involves a marketing analysis to determine what would bring diners to your restaurant. For example, if you want to increase business during weekday lunch hours, determine the needs of business customers in your area. Evaluate current lunch options in your surrounding area, check out what your competition offers and think of ways you can bring your restaurant’s uniqueness to fill a void that others aren’t providing.

The marketing plan for your restaurant should include a comprehensive strategy to address restaurant traffic. It should include a complete analysis of your location, competition and dining habits of customers, as well as action goals to address challenges. Based on this plan, you can implement the necessary measures to bring diners into the restaurant during slow times. It’s important that your marketing plan is reviewed periodically and revised if necessary to meet your goals.

There are several promotional measures that can be implemented to bring in more restaurant traffic. Promotional flyers distributed within a 15-mile radius of your establishment can boost business if they offer an incentive, such as a percentage off the bill or a reduced price offer. During off times, consider offering an early bird special and get the word out through your website, emails, publications geared towards your targeted market and promotional flyers.

Many people now utilize technology when deciding on a place to eat. So it’s important for your business to be connected with a website, email and a presence on social media networks. Twitter is a great way to enhance restaurant traffic because you can send a real time message about promotions and specials currently being featured.

Restaurant traffic can be enhanced through smart advertising strategies. Consider direct mail and coupons as long as they are trackable and targeted to your market or demographic.

There are a number of free ways to boost restaurant traffic. Use your website to capture customers’ emails so you can send them information about drink or food specials, promotions, events and special offerings. You could also start a customer loyalty program or a referral program with another business that complements yours and attracts a similar clientele.

Many dining establishments enhance restaurant traffic by adding convenient features, like take out, an express service with pickup at the door and delivery. While these services don’t directly fill the seats in your restaurant, if the quality of the food and service is good, these customers are more likely to dine in the restaurant when they can. In addition, word of mouth from those who use your take out services will eventually bring more business into the restaurant.

Jose L Riesco worked in the IT for 18 years and co-owned an Italian restaurant in Bellevue, WA.

By applying his many years of experience working for corporations and his marketing skills to the restaurant business, he has created a unique and groundbreaking marketing system.

Jose has brought top proven marketing practices from other industries to the Restaurant industry, making a unique contribution to this business that he knows and cherishes so much.

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