The restaurant and café industry can be very competitive, especially if you are located in and around the city and in popular tourist areas – making it very important to have strategies in place to help you stand out from the crowd and continuously grow your customer numbers. Any effort to attract more customers to a restaurant may sound like a complicated and costly task, but it needn’t be. With just a few simple changes and tactics you can significantly increase the popularity of your restaurant and boost your cover with new and returning customers.

Create a positive customer experience and friendly atmosphere:

No matter how busy your restaurant may be your customers should always feel welcome and well looked after. Customer satisfaction should be top of your priorities. To achieve this, all your staff members should be well-trained, up to date with promotions and events, and happy about working at the restaurant. Give them the opportunity to try the menu and get to know the ins and outs of the food and wine available and provide all the necessary support and training to ensure that the whole team is working towards this common goal.

Create a comfortable atmosphere inside and outside:

Most people visit a restaurant for more than just a meal or drinks. They are also looking for a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere that adds value to their experience. Comfortable customers are also much more likely to spend more time (and more money) than those who are in a hurry to leave. Ensure that the temperature, layout and seats are always comfortable. If you have an outdoor area, turn it into a space which can be enjoyed during any season. Start by adding shade for protection from the sun and also consider installing products that provide shelter from rain, wind and cold. Umbrellas and plants can provide shade, but for a more permanent and convenient solution you should consider outdoor shading products like outdoor blinds, a retractable roof system or folding arm awnings.

Get active online:

Gone are the days that restaurants can simply rely on word of mouth or a few reviews to attract enough customers to their restaurant. If your business isn’t visible online or if you haven’t been spending much time engaging with your online audience then you should start immediately. Get your website up to date, ensure that people can easily find you through Google and, as a start, decide on one or two social media platforms through which you can engage with your customers, share information and promotions and create an online buzz.

Consider a take away menu:

Take aways are a great way to get your menu into people’s homes and to give them a taste of what you have to offer. This doesn’t have to be your full dine in menu and should be the meals that are easy to prepare and usually popular for take away. Over time this will increase your sales through takeaways and increase loyalty and revisits from dining in customers.

Freshen up your menus:

There will always be customers who are after something fresh, new and modern, and your menu should cater for them. You don’t have to start from scratch, but should consider adding seasonal dishes, fashionable drinks or dessert options, or a chef’s special, which can be more experimental or only available for limited times.