More than 90% of American workers buy their lunch out at least once a week.
This is a great target audience for your restaurant and a great way to build your business. In this article, we look at how daily lunch specials can drive new patrons at your restaurant.
You’ll be more profitable if you can increase your lunch sales. It’s another revenue source that with some marketing and planning can help cover your expenses right into the dinner hour.
Choose Your Target Market
The first thing you need to do is decide who is most likely to visit your restaurant during lunchtime. Then you can target your daily lunch specials to them to drive new business.
Do you want to cater to the business crowd? Are you a mecca for college students? In order to market your daily lunch specials, you need to determine your target audience, so you know who you’re marketing to.
In addition, knowing your target market helps you allocate your funds more wisely. You’ll know whether your marketing should be more in-person, digital, traditional, or a combination of all of these tactics.
Know the Time Frame
Another way daily lunch specials can drive new patrons is by knowing how long your target audience has for lunch.
For example, if you’re catering to office workers, you want to get them in and out of your restaurant in under 30-45 minutes. Since they usually only have an hour for lunch, this gives them time to get to and from your restaurant and settled.
Conversely, if you’re catering to a more social crowd who likes to linger, you can cater your lunch specials to draw in these new patrons who have more time to spend.
Offer a Fixed Price Lunch Special
You can bring in new patrons (think office workers) with a fixed price lunch special.
If you discover your target audience would like a nice sit-down lunch, but they are limited on time, consider creating lunch specials around their needs. (tweet this)
For example, create a three-course, fixed price daily lunch special with a couple of choices for your new patrons. Make sure that your kitchen is able to serve this in a timely manner.
This way, you can create a real meal experience within an allotted time frame. The fixed priced three-course daily special cuts the menu perusal time and allows you to create meals quickly.
It ultimately is a faster ordering process for customers so they can spend more time enjoying their meal.
Not only will you make your customers happy, but you’ll spend less time preparing your food. It will be easier for you to handle the lunch rush, making your customers happy and encouraging them to return.
Deliver Lunch Samples
If you are trying to encourage new patrons to visit your restaurant, consider delivering food samples in the neighborhood. In addition, take copies of your daily lunch specials with your menu.
When you combine samples with your daily special menu items, you’ll drive new patrons in your doors.
Use Mobile Ads
You can also use mobile ads to showcase your daily lunch specials and drive patrons.
To do this, target potential new diners in the late morning hours with social media mobile ads. You can use geofencing to target customers who are in the area near your restaurant.
In addition, don’t forget LinkedIn ads – this can be a good place to target office workers as new patrons.
When using Facebook and Instagram to target customers, do be sure to include your daily lunch specials to attract new patrons.
Offer Free Lunchtime Delivery
Another way to target new patrons during the lunch hour is with free delivery options.
Lunchtime diners are often busy with limited time. And, with the continued pandemic, restaurant delivery is a big draw for people.
By offering free delivery, you can enhance the marketing potential of your daily lunch specials.
In addition, consider targeting new patrons with group specials. For example, offer free delivery for offices that place at least 10 meal orders.
This way you reach more new patrons and offer bigger discounts for bigger orders.
Don’t forget to deliver menus with your daily lunch specials, promoting free lunch delivery options to businesses near your restaurant.
Offer Quick Pay Options
Once you get new patrons in your restaurant for lunch, you want to make sure you retain them for more lunch orders.
One way to do this is through quick pay options. Many restaurants often hang up diners during payment time. Diners have to wait for the check, wait for their leftovers to be boxed, and they have to wait to finish paying.
Don’t make your patrons wait too long during the payment process. They may have had a great meal, but if the payment process is long, they will be left with a bad thought.
You can combat this by allowing your diners to pay up front (including the tip), so they can eat, and then they can simply leave.
If you have a great process, do promote it so new patrons know you really care about their time.
According to Visa, Americans spend about $20 per week buying lunch in restaurants. This is a little over $1,000 a year. If you can harness these lunch-goers as your target audience and increase the amount they spend in your restaurant each week, you’ll improve your growth.
Attracting new patrons to your restaurant takes a good marketing strategy, but once you’ve put this in place, you’ll see your restaurant’s daily numbers grow and improve.
Train your staff to promote your lunchtime daily specials during the breakfast and dinner hours. Your frontline staff is your first tactic in your lunchtime marketing.
Make sure they promote your specials as well as your free delivery. In addition, train them to provide the best customer service possible. Teach them how to serve your diners in a timely manner so your customers can get back to their daily activities.
With creative specials that meet the needs of your target audience, you’ll boost your restaurant’s overall revenue through daily lunch specials.