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Top 5 clever restaurant promotions to drive sales up

You’ve got a killer menu and your staff is on top of their game. Your costs are also down thanks to your reliable vendors and your top-notch negotiation skills. But sales are still not looking up. What can you do? It’s time to look at your marketing strategies.

When thinking about promotions, always consider your customers and what they want. Your offers will be a waste of time and effort if they are not suited to your market’s needs, behaviour, or interests.

Think about your brand as well and evaluate what works and doesn’t work with your identity. For instance, a fine dining restaurant should shy away from discounted offers and focus more on added value or premium experiences.

Lastly, your campaigns and initiatives are pointless if no one knows about them so create a strategic promotion plan. Develop targeted posts with visually appealing images on your social media, send constant reminders via email and get people talking through media features from top publications.  

Here are five sure-fire ways to drive more people to your restaurant and boost your revenue.

Offer something exciting during off-hours and slow days

If you’re struggling to get customers in the middle of the day or week, you need to give them a compelling incentive to visit including discounts and special events.

Most restaurants on the food app Eat Club offer as much as 50% off on their menu for diners before 5:30 PM. In Melbourne, several pubs hold trivia nights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays when it’s normally quiet while The Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. in Byron Bay have a late-night happy hour that starts from 9:30 PM.

Leverage on partnerships to get people in

Creating brand awareness is probably one of the main priorities of any restaurant. A good way to reach new audiences is through collaborations.

A great example is the new upcoming pop-up restaurant, Juicy Banana, about to launch in May. Started by chef couple Grace Chen and “Big” Sam Young, they will be featuring cocktails by PS40 and guest chefs from famed restaurants such as Fabbrica, Sokyo, Chin Chin and more. This event is not only an opportunity to make profits but also gives every participating brand a chance to attract a new market to their own establishments.

Don’t forget the furry friends

Once you get your customers in your restaurant, how do you get them to spend more? If your customers are dog-obsessed, one good way is to pay attention to their cute four-legged friends. Adelaide’s Local Wine Co. allows customers to sip as many as 24 wines by the glass and enjoy the night in their wine garden with their pooch. The Gantry in Sydney took this up a notch last year when it launched a four-course dogestation for furry babies to eat right next to their human's table.  

Give them more reasons to come back

Your menu and your service must be good enough for people to come back again. But of course, it doesn’t hurt to give them some sweet deals for their continued support.  

Western Australia’s restaurant and bar, The Equinox, has a loyalty program that allows customers to earn points that can be redeemed on future meals and drinks. Rockpool Dining Group’s Sake Bar and Restaurants are treating their biggest fans as VIPs and rewarding them with cash vouchers, access to special menus, invites to exclusive events and dedicated concierge service.

Don’t ignore delivery sales

As much as dine-in customers are important, delivery clients are also essential to your restaurant business. Though restrictions are easing up, the demand for convenience continues to grow. 

For Atlas Dining, extra touches such as providing at-home experiences make a lot of difference. It has a masterclass where customers receive a box with ingredients on their doorsteps and they follow easy instructional videos by the restaurant’s chefs.

Meanwhile, even after opening on-site bookings, Melbourne’s Bar Americano has continued selling their bottled cocktails while Sydney’s Fix Wine Bar + Restaurant has wine packs available for delivery.