7 Ideas to Get More Restaurant Customers

attracting more customers

Posted: Oct. 05, 2018

Check out these seven ways to attract more customers to your restaurant or bar.

There are two factors that decide how long a restaurant lasts: Its new and loyal visitors. You might have the best food in town, but if there are too few guests, then you will never grow your revenue.

The trick is bringing in new customers all the time. If you know how to do this, you’ll build a thriving, steady business. See seven ideas below for attracting more customers to your restaurant.

Host Special Events

Hosting a special event at your restaurant or bar is one of the fastest ways to build buzz and bring in new customers.

Host a Fundraiser

Hosting a fundraiser takes organization and dedication, but it can yield tremendous results. Honor a charity, local sports team, or school with a community-oriented fundraiser, and your restaurant will fill up with new customers. To stand out, take the time to get to know the tastes of the group you’ll be hosting, and tailor a menu for their night.

If you don’t have the time to organize a charity yourself, connect with your customers and local businesses, and market your restaurant as a site for their next fundraiser! The guests who come to any fundraiser hosted at your establishment will feel a sense of loyalty, and they’ll be likely to return on their own again.

Host a Food and Wine Pairing

This is one of the most fun ways to try out new dishes that you’re thinking of adding to your menu. Mix your crowd-pleasing menu favorites with new recipes and pair dishes with wines you sell by the bottle. Build a story around the event by selling tickets to get people into the door; social sharing will then take over. Customers will be encouraged to come back and not just order your food, but order a bottle of wine too. If you’re new to wine and food pairings, check out this unintimidating introductory guide here.

Host a Themed Night

Give people something to look forward to by transporting them to another world. If you’re an Italian restaurant, dedicate one night a week to the cooking styles of one region or city, like Tuscany or Venice. You can even use themed nights to promote new ingredients or new liquors. Start a “Havana Nights” night to introduce customers to a new rum, offering drink specials of Cuban-inspired cocktails. Guests will love the change of routine, and they’ll flock to your doors.

Other Ways of Getting New Customers

Hosting events is just one way of getting new guests. Liven things up even more with these suggestions.

Bring in Live Music

The power of ambiance is incomparable, and music plays a major role in that power. Just as a spa plays relaxing sounds to soothe its clients, your restaurant can use music to make sure customers are having a great time. Jazz, rock ’n roll, and Latin are some genres enjoyed across generations. If you want to host nights with specific crowds, dig into the music scene of your target demographic, and schedule a live music night with an artist of this music style. Crowds will be rushing the door for a good time!

Turn Your Slow Nights into Your Packed Nights

Slow nights tend to be the death of restaurants. Your staff is grumpy that they’re scheduled, you barely turn a profit, and guests don’t have a good time sitting alone. Turn your slow nights into the opposite by setting up specials. Make your version of $2 Taco Tuesday. The trick is to offer delicious food that doesn’t cost too much to produce and mark down the prices dramatically. With good music and good prices, you can bet the crowds will only grow as guests tell their friends about this special deal.

Set Up a Birthday Program

Setting up a restaurant birthday program is the easiest thing to do. Start collecting emails and birthday information from your guests with the check. A couple of weeks before a birthday, send the guest an email with a birthday card from your restaurant—and a special birthday discount. Everyone loves being remembered on their birthday. Even if they don’t make it in time to celebrate, guests will remember you as the restaurant that cared. They’ll return before long.

Create Photo Opportunities

Instagram is a huge asset to any business, restaurants and bars especially. Diners under 35 are using Instagram to learn about new places to go. Take advantage of this interest. Start looking at the design of your restaurant, and find ways to make attractive settings or motifs that customers will want to photograph, like this one. The more your guests take pictures in your location and tag your social media handle, the more attention you’ll start getting.


Posted: Oct. 05, 2018 | Written By: Emma Alois

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