Restaurant Week has become a fact of life for many restaurant owners in cities across the world. These popular events, which can last between a week and a month, encourage customers to visit participating restaurants for prix fixe fare at discounted prices. This gives foodies an excuse to eat out while restaurant owners get an opportunity to boost sales.
Though Restaurant Week was popularized in New York City, many tourism boards, chambers of commerce, and restaurant associations put on their own events to create excitement about local eateries and drive foot traffic during slow months.
Independent restaurants that participate in Restaurant Week see a 23 percent increase in total revenue compared to the week after the event, so it’s worth getting your business involved. Restaurant Week gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your establishment’s involvement with the community, collect positive reviews, and gain loyal customers.
You need to plan ahead to ensure your Restaurant Week participation pays off, which means differentiating yourself from the competition and providing a great dining experience that keeps guests coming back. From marketing to menu planning, here are five Restaurant Week advertising tips you can use to help your restaurant stand out.
Your Restaurant Week menu needs to balance price limitations with a great dining experience. Let your kitchen staff flex their creativity and make special menu options for the event. Promote these dishes on your restaurant’s social media account and in person to your regular guests to encourage participation. You can also up-sell unique drink pairings to boost the dining experience and increase profit margins.
Hiring a band or musician to perform live music during Restaurant Week can help differentiate your establishment from the many other participants. Incorporate artists into your Restaurant Week advertising strategy, and choose music that reflects your restaurant’s style to set the mood for a great meal.
Part of the challenge of Restaurant Week is retaining new customers after the event is over. Emphasizing loyalty programs and promotions when interacting with new customers can increase their likelihood of returning. In the weeks leading up to Restaurant Week, make sure front of house staff are trained and prepared to present these options to new customers.
The organization in charge of your area’s event will generally conduct its own Restaurant Week advertising using posters, social media hashtags, and radio ads. Participating on social media before and during Restaurant Week can help your restaurant get noticed. Use the event’s hashtags, post pictures of your specials on Instagram, interact with other participants, and encourage guests to discuss their experiences online.
Card sales tend to increase during Restaurant Week, so you need to ensure your Point of Sale (POS) system can manage the increased traffic. Switching to an all-in-one POS system can help your restaurant run smoothly.
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