In a competitive restaurant sector, how does one attract new customers? After attracting, how do you make sure they keep coming? This article will give you some tips and pointers to make sure that your cafe is always relevant. After all, you can’t keep running a business if people just pool in to celebrate the weekend. You need to keep it busy 24/7!
Focus on key dates
Live events are more of a group or couple thing. People like going together and making a plan out of it. This is exactly why they get the most hype when people actually have the time to attend it. Key dates like Valentines, Thanksgiving, or Halloween will always be ten times busier than your average Tuesday, so make the most out of it!
It’s up to you to decide which event will fit the occasion. For instance, open mics do really well on Valentines Day and horror theme nights do well on Halloween. It helps to have event specialties on the menu for each event. These specialties will also be posted on your socials to make a statement. Organize little activities which don’t cost a lot to organize but are fun to do, such as setting up a cookie decorating station on Christmas or a little stall for handmade cards!
Remember, people love a great experience more than they love great food. If you can give them both then you have a loyal customer for yourself.
Maintain an online presence
Your social media is a trailer for people who want a sneak peak before they actually pay a visit. If your social media is shabby, you will lose customers. You need to invest not only time and money, but also plan out content for your page. An Instagram page with no aesthetic will drive away customers.
Design an attractive post for each event and start circulating it online. If you aren’t a great designer then just use online social media graphics and save yourself from the hassle. Post event countdowns, offer group discounts and for each event you pull off, be sure to post highlights! Showcasing previous successes will help future events become more popular. In a matter of time your place will be the place.
Also make sure your menu and prices are available online. You’d be surprised at the number of people who like to decide their order before visiting and check whether it fits their budget too. After all, people like knowing.
Keep switching it up
We mentioned before how certain live events are more of a group thing, but that isn’t a hard and fast rule. It’s nice to switch up the mood every now and then to make sure everyone feels included.
If you hosted an awfully couple-centric event then try to schedule a single’s night next. You don’t want the lone wolves to feel like your cafe isn’t welcoming them.
If one event happens to be very Gen-Z then try to make the next one a little millennial. If one is loud and noisy make the next one a little calm and lowkey. The point is to show diversity and make everyone feel like this place is for them. Better yet, keep a suggestions box open to hear what events your customers would want to attend. You might get some surprisingly great ideas!
If you need some ideas to start off with then here’s a list:
- Trivia night
- Open mic
- Board game night
- Stand up comedy
- Theme night
- Live music
- Game screenings
- Singles night
- Regulars night
- Black friday
- Couples cooking workshop
Set the vibe and claim it
The creativity behind the event is definitely important but the cafe also needs to have its own identity. Pick a vibe! Do you want to be a homely place with a warm presence or a high end elite location? Whatever end of the spectrum you pick, you will have to make sure each event matches that vibe.
Your social media also needs to be a reflection of this vibe. It needs to convey just how your cafe ambience feels.
Pick a color scheme for your cafe which resonates with your brand identity and stick to it for dear life. Your wall decor, your staff’s behavior, your lighting and music, everything will come together once you decide this ‘vibe’.
Wrapping it up
Depending on the events you host, you can encourage new people to come visit and sometimes give special treatment to your regulars.
If marketed the right way, your efforts can create a ripple effect and boost your cafe’s brand awareness.
And lastly, make an event calendar so your customers can keep track of the fun events you have in store. Plan ahead!