Whether you want to increase your current local customers or you just opened a new food business, it’s crucial to know the effective strategies to attract more local customers. Unfortunately, trying to draw new customers for your business is difficult.
While some strategies don’t involve money, others, like ads, tend to be expensive. However, regardless of your budget, if you want to attract more local customers for your Houston barbecue restaurant or any type of food business, here are some of the ideas you can consider without breaking the bank:
1. Promote on Social Media
Most food businesses have started promoting themselves on social media. It’s an excellent approach as social media websites are popular with people of all ages. If you like to reach out to a particular customer base or audience, social media promotion is the best way to do it.
You can create ads and pay to have them featured on different social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, to generate word-of-mouth marketing. You may also set up a business page on such sites and upload your promotional posts to attract more customers.
Other food businesses also hold contests on social media platforms and encourage viewers to tag their family and friends. Then, they’ll choose the lucky winner and present them with meal vouchers to their restaurants.
2. Offer Affordable Packages to Local Businesses
Often, local businesses put on events that require catering. As a food business owner, you have the expertise needed to provide those events with good food. Make sure to do it well and offer catering services to expand your customer base.
Catering business events may vary when it comes to serving food in restaurants or online ordering. While you would want the food you serve at the events to be related to what you serve at your restaurant, you’ll need to tweak the menu to make it more suitable for a corporate setting.
Most restaurants that provide catering services typically have unique offerings. However, you can always be flexible if you have some resources. The kind of packages you can offer may include buffet-style food selections or individual meals.
3. Sign Up With Food Delivery and Online Ordering Apps
Due to the pandemic, most customers prefer taking out and getting food delivered to them. Food businesses may benefit from this trend by offering online ordering for takeout or through signing up with ordering or food delivery apps.
This strategy may help you attract more local customers since it makes your food business more accessible to a bigger number of customers. It may also help you maximize your return on investment (ROI) and create a new line of sales. Just make sure to partner with reliable food delivery apps. If you don’t want to pay commissions, you can consider offering delivery services yourself.
4. Provide Enticing Promotions and Loyalty Programs
Promotions provide customers an excuse to make a trip to your food business. They can be an excellent way to get people through the door on nights. But, the deals should be well-thought-out. For instance, providing a 10% discount on your menu during Wednesdays may not build the excitement needed for promotions to be effective.
Promotions can also be used in various ways. Ideally, your offers may help build excitement regarding your restaurant, while allowing you to bring in new customers and extra revenues. To achieve these, here are some of the things you can do:
Promote New Things on Your Menu
Releasing something new is always exciting for both customers and food business owners. By offering your new menu with a free appetizer or at a discount, more people will surely give it a try.
Offer Great Deals to Your Customers Who Share Their Experiences
Providing benefits to people who share posts and photos on social media will both draw in new customers and give your food business publicity on social media sites.
Consider Using Loyalty to Provide Deals to Your Local Customers
It’ll encourage people to come to your food business store more often. These days, there’s a digital punch card app you can use to give out stamps for purchases.
When running promotions, it’s essential to balance good deals for customers while making it worthwhile for the food business. There are various ways to do it. For instance, you can bundle high-margin items with some low-margin items. It means even if you’ll lose money on low-margin items, you’ll get it back on high margins.
5. Use Social Media Influencers
One of the ways to attract new local customers to your food business is to hire social media influencers. These are social media accounts or users with a following of dedicated followers. You must look up the different social media reviewers in your area on Facebook and Instagram, and ask them to review your restaurant. This approach encourages your followers to visit your restaurant and try it for themselves.
6. Provide Free Wi-Fi
Don’t underestimate the power of the Internet when it comes to restaurant marketing. While it’s true that you must be harnessing the power of the Internet to streamline your business and promote it, you must also be offering free Wi-Fi to your customers. It may get more people in the doors and might keep them in your business longer.
In some big cities, free Wi-Fi is an expectation for businesses that host customers. People expect to be able to check their social media pages or email while waiting for their orders. If you’re in a rural area, offering free Wi-Fi can make you a destination for customers. If people know they could come to you when they should be online, this can definitely help drive business.
Once you notice that some people come in and don’t purchase anything while using your Wi-Fi, you might want to offer your current password to those who’ll purchase a beverage or food item. Changing passwords regularly can help ensure that freeloaders never take up space that might be used by your paying customers.
Those are just some of the many strategies to attract more local customers to your food business. So, no matter what type of food business you’re running, never hesitate to give the above strategies a try and find out which fits your needs best. To get the most satisfactory results, make sure to implement them properly.