When you found your real estate for your restaurant, you probably got some kind of estimated number of foot traffic.
If you found a place in a plaza with a Starbucks or mainstream grocery store, you probably hit the jackpot.
Even better, if you got a place in a mall that drive hundreds of thousands of visitors per day, you’re golden.
But what if you weren’t as fortunate and you ended up getting a starter place that you could afford just to start your business, and end up being the sole foot traffic for your area?
Today I am going to show you how you can drive more foot traffic to your restaurant without needing to rely on being in a big plaza or street with other people driving traffic to you.
Common Pitfalls of Driving Foot Traffic
If you have tried to drive foot traffic before, you may have been told to advertise in local settings.
You may have heard that it is a good idea to advertise in the local newspaper, radio or television.
Although those are great ways to reach people, they don’t satisfy your objective of driving traffic.
They definitely satisfy the objective of more people knowing about you but not getting people in your door.
Let me explain.
When you advertise in local settings, your message in the ad usually includes the name of your restaurant and your best offering during that time.
However, there’s no driving force to steer people towards your door and put their butts in your seats.
There needs to be some kind of bridge inbetween the customer seeing your ad and the customer visiting your restaurant.
So how do you get them from viewing your ad to visiting your restaurant?
The key to doing this is to inject scarcity.
In marketing, scarcity is similar to its true meaning in the dictionary.
But it can be fully controlled without a physical supply or demand.
In short, you create the supply and demand of it.
And if you get it right, you can have an overflowing amount of demand.
While also having the ability to create even more demand by cutting off the supply.
You were the one who created the demand afterall.
So what can you possibly make supply of, especially if you don’t have a farm or factory and you are in the food and beverage business.
You can create scarcity by implementing an offer.
An offer is something that creates value for your customers. It can be in the form of an announcement that customers have been waiting for or a monetary discount.
You can create a timeline for this offer and only make it available for a certain amount of time.
How To Get People To See Your Offer
When you have your offer ready, it’s best if you have it displayed in a place where any potential customer can access it at anytime.
That way, there’s no opening hours or physical accessibility in the way of your potential customer claiming the offer and being well on the way to becoming a paying customer.
The best place to put it to make this happen is on a web page, where anyone with internet access can see the page at any time in any setting and on any device.
Here are some examples of what successful offers look like:
These offers generated up to $10,xxx per month for each restaurant.
How To Get Visitors To Your Offer Page
Once you have this bridge between the customer seeing an ad and the customer visiting your restaurant, you can start driving traffic to that page where your offer is.
As a restaurant, you have the upper hand on most businesses because you have free traffic from places like Google and Yelp, without putting in any work at all.
Your business should show up if someone is searching for your cuisine or the name of your business in your local area.
When your business shows up, one of the pieces of information that shows is your website.
You can change the link of your website to the offer page instead of your home page.
If you are a little more advanced and know how to make your offer a popup, you can keep the link of the website as your homepage and add the offer as a popup on your home page in stead.
If you know that your social media posts on Facebook or Instagram get attention, then you can add the link to your offer page on your social media posts as well.
This works really well with Facebook because if you add a link on a Facebook post, the person viewing the post can click on the link and instantly see the offer.
This can work well with Instagram because, although the viewer of your Instagram post cannot click on a link directly from the post, you can direct the viewer’s attention to your Instagram profile screen, which can display a clickable link to your offer:
You can also see that the text just before the link helps the viewer get excited about clicking the link. You can learn more about this in my Instagram bio post where I explain how to best write an Instagram bio.
If you run any kind of digital advertising such as Display Ads, Youtube Ads, Facebook ads, etc…
You can make an ad about your offer and link the ad to your offer site.
After you drive traffic to your offer site, you will start seeing that people will sign up for the offer via the sign up form that you created.
That form isn’t just there to get people to commit to the offer, it’s there for an even bigger benefit too…
Communicating with customer after they sign up for your offer
Now that you have a way to communicate with your customers, you want to make sure that you utilize the communication method to the best of your ability.
The key with communicating effectively is to sell as much as possibly, without selling.
Let me explain.
Selling something doesn’t require you to say any selling words at all. You can totally communicate something to someone and let them sell themselves.
For example, if in your offer you wrote that the deal was to buy one entree and get one free, you can start using your entree menu descriptions to vividly describe your entrees to the people who signed up for the offer.
If your food descriptions are good enough, they’ll sell themselves to your potential customers.
In addition, if you made your offer time-bound, like expiring in 14 days.
You now have a great reason to communicate to your customers.
You are giving them your best ability to service them by reminding them when the offer expires.
If I create an offer that expires in 14 days, I usually like to follow up with customers at 11 days, 7 days and 4 days and the last day that the offer expires.
If you communicate these things to the customer, I guarantee you will even more people to come in using your offer.
No other deal site lets you do this besides your own offer page.
Accepting the offer in your restaurant
You must give clear instructions to your customers on how they can use the offer.
Before deciding on how your customers can use the offer, you have to know how you are going to accept the offer and apply it to their check.
For example, if you don’t have any integration with your offer and you POS just yet, then you will probably be creating a discount in your POS manually.
From there, you will have to train your restaurant staff to recognize the offer from the customer and then punch in the offer on the POS to apply it to their check.
Once you decide on how you will accept the offer, then you can decide on how you can accept the offer from your customer.
Reporting the results of your offer
Like any other offer that you decide to promote and invest resources in, you always want to know the results from what you invest resource in.
To do that, you need to make sure you have the correct tracking in place for your offer.
You might be thinking that the only metric you want is the return on investment.
But you want much more than just the return on investment because you also want to know why you got that specific result.
For example, if you didn’t get a positive return on investment, you would want to know why you didn’t get a positive return on investment and where you can improve for the next offer.
When you track every stage of the customer experience, you can know exactly where you fell short and focus on improving that specific stage for the next offer.
To track every part of the customer experience, you can implement the tracking that I implement here.
How do you get foot traffic?
So there you have it. That is how I generate foot traffic on demand for my restaurants. What methods have you seen or used that generate more foot traffic to your restaurant?
Comment below if you care to share your ideas and we can work together to come up with even better strategies with higher return on investment!