EZ Way #10:
Sell something that your customers don’t normally eat at home, such as Cappuccino or Milkshakes. Benefit: you’ve distinguished yourself from other restaurants and given customers something to talk about. Be famous for something with a signature product.
EZ Way #9:
Give your staff business cards, with their name and a humorous title on them, like Director of Fun. Benefit: your staff feels empowered and handing out business cards to people outside the community is a good way to break the ice and meet people. All business employees have business cards, so is a restaurant that different?
EZ Way #8:
You’ve heard that first impressions count? Maybe so, but when you get home, do you eventually remember the first impression or the last impression? If you said, last impression, then you’ve won a free Krispy Kreme Donut. Recommendation: Make your last impressions count with a great dessert and fabulous coffee. Plus expedite the credit card process and return with the card by addressing your customer by name that’s on the card. Make your exit as important as the entrance by thanking your customers. Note that customers always comment to each other as soon as they leave. "What a great meal." What a great dessert."
EZ Way #7:
Lunchtime customers are in a hurry. Respect this by giving them the service they want. An Express Lunch Menu immediately tells your customers that you’re catering to their needs. Recommendation: Believe it or not, lunchtime customers in most restaurants have a :fast food mentality." Give it to them fast. They want in and out. Lunchtime sales will increase when an Express Menu is offered.
EZ Way #6:
Invite, invite, and invite. Be pro-active in inviting people to your restaurant. Everyone else is doing it one way or another via TV, radio and direct mail. But, people would rather have a genuine invitation. "Hi, my name is John Doe, I’m the owner and general manager of the "Your Restaurant." I’m also the Director of Fun, and I’d like to invite your (little league team, adult baseball team, women’s tennis team, kids soccer team, hockey team) to our restaurant. We’ve got a separate dining area if you want it, and the appetizers are on the house."
EZ Way #5:
Teachers. Seems like we’re always going after the students at schools and we forget about the most important profession in the world, those that are partially responsible for education tomorrow’s citizens. Give teachers a special offer to dine at your restaurant. It will be greatly appreciated and you’ll get a huge return on your small investment through word of mouth, let alone the teachers bringing their family members to your restaurant.
EZ Way #4:
Want to increase your to-go lunch sales? Here’s a great tip. Ever been in an office when someone says, "Where should we order lunch from?’ And the person goes to a filling cabinet and pulls out a stack of torn small miniature size menus that require a magnifying glass to interpret the lunch specials. Stand out from the others and do an oversized one or two-color lunch menu. The perception the office staff will get from it will amount in increases in lunch orders. Your menu is one of your most important marketing tools, so let it work wonders for you, especially when it’s placed outside of your restaurant.
EZ Way #3:
You know those business cards that people put in the fishbowls? Those cards represent future visits form customers who are already familiar with you. These folks can be your best marketing ambassadors. Take the business cards and compile a mailing list. Utilize the list to send out thank you notes or invitations for special events such as new product introductions, special samplings and tastings.
EZ Way #2:
Have you ever called your restaurant asking for directions, 98% of the time you’re put on hold, then someone gets on the line and fumbles and mumbles through the ways to get to the restaurant. To prevent this from happening, prepare file index cards with exact directions to your restaurant from all directions. Now, remember that anyone who calls for directions is a new customer. When they call, give them directions, and them say, "when you get here, ask for me as I have something special for you." When they arrive at the restaurant, and ask for you, give them a free appetizer along with VIP treatment. You’ll win them over for life and get a lot of good word of mouth from them.
This One’s Really Big….
EZ Way #1:
Just Be Nice! I call it JBN. We forget that we’re in the people pleasin’ business and all it takes is a smile and a cordial welcome. A couple of "pleases" and a few "thank you’s" on top of a few smiles goes a lot further than any amount of money that McDonald’s spends on TV. JBN. Just Be Nice. Tattoo it on your arm, your leg or your butt. It’s the foundation of doing business on a people to people level.