An Inexpensive Way to Get New Restaurant Customers
One of the most costly types of marketing is marketing for new customers. When trying to attract more first time guests, restaurants often use traditional advertising like ads in newspapers, local magazines, shopper\'s guides and other forms of mass media. This type of advertising is generally expensive, difficult to track results and for independents with limited budgets, is often ineffective. One of our members attracted over 50 brand new customers one week by doing a simple promotion with a local car wash/oil change business. The manager of the car wash was a regular and big fan of their restaurant. The operator printed up some no-strings-attached free appetizer coupons and asked the manager if he would consider offering a coupon to his car wash customers as a way of thanking them for their business. The manager loved the idea and during the first week handed out just over 250 coupons. To track results, servers were instructed to ask customers if this was their first visit and to mark the coupons of first time guests. As a result of this simple, virtually no-cost promotion, the restaurant served 52 tables of first time customers in the first week. Nearly everyone purchased entrées or other items that more than paid for the food cost on the free appetizers. The operator said they went out of their way to make their best first impression on these new customers and noticed several who have already come back again. Look at the businesses in your trading area. Many could be candidates for similar promotions that might provide you with an inexpensive source of new guests and future loyal, repeat customers.