When people go out to eat out during the week, they have to come to you!
All your competitors continue to do the same things they have always done to win customers, that is, nothing, so you just need to implement a few simple but targeted initiatives, to deserve the entire stake.
It will be enough for you to develop good marketing, online and offline, to be light years ahead of them and you can no longer afford to stay in the media and limit yourself (not) to do what (others) don’t.
With a well-developed online communication and a large audience of a few thousand people, to whom you can turn, and with your target customers, you wouldn’t have the problem we’re talking about.
1 Associate with other external events
People go out and spend a lot less during the week and therefore they need to be motivated and encouraged to do it, because the simple and self-contained “going out to eat”, however well or very well, is no longer a sufficient reason to get out and give you their money.
Make agreements with all the gyms, associations, companies, hotels, cinemas or theaters closest to you and the various entities targeted with your type of clientele. Establish conventions, make profitable agreements for both and make sure that their customers become yours too and, possibly, vice versa.
For example, instead of simply leaving your business cards and promotional flyers at the aforementioned attractions, you could invest a few hundred euros and offer you to create or redo and develop their Website or Facebook page at your expense, in exchange for the inclusion of a banner with the advertisement of your restaurant or your ads and ad hoc communications, which will impact and intercept their customers.
In addition to this, you would have the advantage that the more your partners grow and proliferate, the greater the flow of people induced by them and of which you can also benefit.
Think about the difference between having a gym or a cinema a few meters away from you that, instead of having an average of 30-50 people on weekdays, had 100?
And if, thanks to your previous trade agreements, at least 10-20% of those 100 people came to eat with you every night, how much more money would you make in a year?
If you neglect this possibility and think that the stimulus come to your restaurant to leave home is enough, you risk spending many evenings “admiring” your empty tables and chairs, as much as your restaurant and kitchen can be exceptional .
The same applies to points 2 and 3 below.
2 Be yourself the Event or its See
It means first of all creating special events in your venue, such as theme dinners, tastings, musical evenings or some other form of entertainment, so that your customers have both the opportunity to eat and to spend a special evening.
If you can, it is good to study a fixed schedule, so that people know and get used to your events and remember that every week or month, on certain days, they will be able to find that kind of proposal.
If you have one or more rooms separate from the rest of the room equipped to host meetings, presentations, association meetings, prize-giving, table games, speed-dating and the like, as long as online and compatible with your type of venue and without penalizing the normal restorative activity in the remaining space.
From direct experience, we know that the rooms of the hotels dedicated to the purpose are very expensive and often oversized compared to the needs and possibilities of most companies or associations.
For less than € 200 per hour nothing decent is found and the minimum available capacity of the conference rooms is 50-70 seats, but often less would be needed.
Furthermore, when you want to combine a buffet service or a seated dinner with the meeting, there are almost always problems, because there is no restaurant in the hotel or its availability is incompatible with the meeting times and needs.
In your case, investing just over a thousand euros in a good video projection and audio system, in addition to the WI-FI network, if you don’t already have one, you could offer to host this type of meeting.
You can ask for a fair amount or even zero for the rent of your space and arrange a buffet or a dinner for all guests, with a fixed menu at set price or a la carte. The general sense is that you can see your place, not just as a place to eat and just, but as a place of entertainment, where one can (even) eat.
A container in which, on certain days and situations, other interesting activities can also take place. As is said, you must maximize the rate of employment and exploitation of your structure, otherwise, considering the fixed costs that you have, you will not be able to stand up and give yourself the due profit.
3 Exclusive conditions during the week
In everything we have said so far, we have assumed that your kitchen and service are impeccable. Nevertheless, as mentioned above, today they are no longer sufficient, on their own, to “pull out” the people of the house, take them off the TV and induce them to spend their hard-earned and saved money in your restaurant.
It is equally true, however, that for lovers of good food and the specialties of your restaurant, it could be stimulating to know that that dish can be found only from Monday to lunch until Thursday evening.
The reason could be that during the weekend there are too many people to be able to prepare, serve and appreciate it as it deserves or present it as a prize for customers, who will come to you during the working week.
You could also think about economic incentives before evaluating them carefully.
To promote the weakest day of the week, you could offer a 20% discount to fill the rooms.
How much could you be cheaper from Monday to Thursday night?
Or, more simply and if your place is suitable, you could adopt the formula of some franchises, so that children, on certain pre-established days, do not pay or offer everyone the dessert or the aperitif for free or similar promotions, provided they communicate effectively, as we will see shortly ..
To launch and run suggested or similar initiatives, you need to have a public to communicate to them.
The larger your audience will be and with your proposal on target, the greater your return will be.
Start now to develop mentioned strategies and at the same time to develop an automatic contact acquisition system to communicate with and you will no longer have to complain about the low turnout in your restaurant.