It's no secret that the majority of sales in the hospitality sector come from Thursday – Sunday rather than Monday to Wednesday. Of course, some restaurants choose to close early Monday to Wednesday (let's call this M2W going forward) or run a reduced service, but as costs continue to rise against global food shortages and inflation, how long can this weekend worrier model work?
First things first, if you are going into the M2W trying to give the same customer experience you have on the weekend, you may need to rethink your plan. We as restaurateurs need to think of ourselves as not only providers but entertainers.
Start with the fundamental questions: why would my customers choose me instead of staying home? How am I advertising my location?
So, how can I tie my restaurant brand to great guest experiences? Events are a wonderful place to start. Not every venue is suitable for live music, so you must think about what will work for you. You need to know who your clients are and who you would like to target with your ideas.
Here is a quick list of ideas to get you started with building a strategy
Events: Make sure that customers know that they can make large reservations for events with enough notice; always be sure to make them order beforehand, though!
Weekday special menus: Lower prices for Lunch or Dinner or a set price menu helps bring new clients into your establishment. T
Food Festivals: time-limited events, celebrating your menu – customers still rank food quality as the key factor in their dining experience. So, launch that new spring collection and tell the world about it.
Loyalty programs: Are your customers collecting loyalty points every time they visit? Are you incentivizing them to use them?
First-time discounts: Introduce new customers to your brand with a first-time discount to help them convert from window shopping to ordering from you.
FUN!: Give your customers something to share on social media, blind cheese tasting? How to make our chocolate pudding?
Once you have decided on what route you want to go down, it is especially important to plan exactly what you want to achieve from the event. For example, who are you going to market to? How will you spread the word?
Social media plays a vital role in building a community of regulars, but think about whom you are trying to appeal to and what platform they might be on. This is especially important when buying advertising on these platforms. We have in-house experts in the area, so if you want a bit of guidance, you know who to call! You should start advertising your event around a month before to ensure the message gets out.
Finally, ensure you have a goal for the number of visitors you want your event to attract. It will be hard to get everything right the first time, so pay attention to what you would like to do better next time – it's always a learning experience!