During times of social distancing, restaurants don’t have any more foot traffic.
Without their main source of traffic, restaurants have to resort to other sources of traffic such as curbside traffic.
But are restaurants able to totally replace their foot traffic with curbside traffic?
Today I am going to show you how to drive curbside traffic to your restaurant.
Curbside Traffic vs Foot Traffic – Why can curbside traffic supplement to the loss of foot traffic?
Curbside traffic and foot traffic are very different.
There are many differences but the main difference is the speed at which traffic is going.
Let me explain.
With foot traffic, you have people that are walking by.
While at walking speed, they can easily and impulsively stop by your restaurant for a quick drink or bite.
With curbside traffic, you have people that are driving by.
While at driving speed, they cannot easily and impulsively stop by your restaurant. They have to make that one second split decision to slow down and pull in.
So with curbside traffic, you love the impulsive sales tactic that was ever so in your favor.
Not only are they different in volume, but they are very different in the way restaurants can serve and guests can experience.
For example, foot traffic gives the customer a higher sense of impulse. While walking around in a plaza or on a street, they can easily walk into a restaurant to get a quick meal.
With foot traffic, they can also enjoy the full experience of the restaurant because they get the service from the wait staff and get the chance to be personal with the owner or manager.
The only real similarities between curbside traffic and foot traffic are that they both can satisfy the transaction between restaurant and customer.
Both types of traffic allow the restaurant to hand the food to the customer and for the customer to pay for the food.
But with curbside traffic, payment could be difficult and dangerous.
So besides showing you how you can get more curbside traffic, I am also going to show you how to handle payments and totally eliminate any difficulty or danger.
Where Can Curbside Traffic Come From?
Curbside traffic naturally happens from people driving by.
But is there a way to create curbside traffic.
Meaning is there a way to get people to drive by more often?
Even better, is there a way to get people to drive by with the intent of buying from your restaurant?
I’m here today to say that I have already been doing it, so there is a way.
And its the same way that I have been driving foot traffic to restaurants.
Now there are the traditional ways of driving curbside traffic like advertising on the radio or on billboards – two of the most commonly senseful advertising to people in cars.
And I wouldn’t say that those don’t work.
But they don’t provide a direct path from someone who is in their car to get them to your restaurant.
The method that I have been using does just that.
So what is this method?
The method that I have been using is called funneling.
Imagine a funnel. The one that you use to put large amounts of something into a small lipped container.
You use a funnel because it doesn’t waste any materials.
All of everything that you want to pour goes straight into the container you want it to.
I use the same concept for driving curbside traffic.
Here’s how it works.
You create an irresistible offer that, at first glance, none of your customers or future customers can ignore.
It’s an offer that is so good, people in your community will be talking about it naturally.
And just to remove any implications…
An offer isn’t necessarily a discount, so you don’t have to worry about losing margins.
An offer is something that appeals to your customers.
It can be in the form of a discount, sure.
But better yet, to save margins, it can be in the form of a new product or service.
And if your offer appeals to the human senses, it will attract a lot of attention.
This irresistible offer is the bridge between people driving in their cars and them visiting your restaurant.
But its not just the offer that gets people from their car into your door.
What is the secret then?
The secret behind using any kind of offer as a bridge from customer to your restaurant is the communication behind it.
Usually, an offer has some kind of terms to go along with it.
For example, it can only be used on specific items or that it expires on a specific date.
If you don’t have these terms already, you want to add them.
The reason why you want to add them isn’t to restrict the customer. It’s for marketing purposes.
These restrictions give you a reason to communicate with your customer while also doing it in a non-spammy, helpful way.
For example, after you customer gets your offer, how do you think they would react to the following emails?
Hi. Just wanted to tell you that you have the offer available.
Hi. Just wanted to let you know again that the offer is available.
FOLLOW UP 2
Hi. Just wanted to follow up again to let you know you still have this offer.
And on and on and on…
Hi. Thank you for signing up for this offer. Here’s the link to your offer. You can use it at any time. Just stop by and show to my staff and we will take care of you! Thank you!
Hi. Just wanted to remind you that this offer can be used on any delicious entree we have, including steaks and salmon. Our steak is never frozen. It is in our demi glaze sauce and won’t disappoint! Our salmon is wild caught, then seasoned with Rosemary and olive oil. Falls apart in your mouth! Stop by if you’re craving either of these!
Follow up 2
Hi. Just wanted to remind you that your offer is almost expired! I see that you signed up for it but just wanted to give you a friendly reminder that it’s only valid until tomorrow. If you’d like to use it, you can stop by or make a reservation here.
If you need a little bit more time, please let me know and I can see what I can do.
With terms, you can be very relevant to your customer and communicate with them in a way that sells without selling.
How do customers get the offer?
Your customers can get the offer anywhere you put it.
However, if you want to implement the communication strategies I mentioned above, you need to prompt them to sign up for the offer via their email address, phone number of chat service.
The best way to prompt them is to set up a page on your website. Here are some examples:
The above example is a birthday offer for a restaurant. This offer generated over $49,xxx in 12 months.
Here’s the next example:
This offer generated over $5,xxx in curbside sales.
Once you have one of these forms on your website, you can start collecting your customer’s information and communicating with them.
So, now that we know how to drive more curbside traffic, what else do we need to think about?
How Else Curbside Is Different From Foot Traffic
With curbside traffic, there could be some difficulty with payments. If you have a mobile terminal, then there wouldn’t be much of an issue.
But considering that mobile terminals aren’t very popular in the USA, and more popular in places like Europe, you might not have one.
So how can we handle payments in an easier way?
Especially if you don’t want to hand off cards and pass germs, etc.
You can get your customers to order online.
With that, you need to be able to connect your offer to your online ordering platform too.
It may seem like a lot of work to implement both of these, but once you have them in place, you won’t regret how easy it is to accept payments and hand off food to curbside customers.
If you want to set up an online ordering platform at little to no cost, and if you don’t have online ordering capability with your POS or your website already, you can follow my guide on how to make an online ordering site for your restaurant for only $5/mo.
How Are You Getting Curbside Traffic?
Are you generating curbside traffic in any other ways?
Comment below if you care to share because I would love to hear about your methods too!