Rev Up Your Restaurant: 5 Traffic-Driving Ideas

Here are some fresh ways to increase takeout and in-house sales.
A restaurant worker hands a takeout bag through the window of a car

It remains a challenge to build business, but some operators are making it work during these difficult times. Gordon Food Service specialists across North America are sharing ideas restaurants may want to consider to drive takeout or in-house dining. 

1. Theme Nights

Who says you can’t have Mardi Gras in January or St. Patrick’s Day in September? What about a board game night or a costume night? Give people a reason to celebrate by building a menu specific for the theme and promote on social media to build excitement.    

2. Team Up with Neighbors

Partner with other businesses for a progressive dinner. Build a limited menu and have customers visit the circuit on the same night or over a week-long period.  Another idea: Start a “Takeout Week” in your area to encourage people to support local restaurants.

3. Subscription Deals

People pay monthly for Netflix or yearly for Amazon Prime. Try a monthly or annual fee for meals or featured items. Panera Bread offers a monthly subscription for a cup of coffee a day, and Buffalo Wild Wings has a subscription for a pound of wings on game day. 

4. Marketing

For marketing support tap into your local college or high school that might be willing to do a marketing project for a semester helping you promote your top items on social media. 

5. Adjust your hours

With so many people working remotely, there’s an opportunity to drive business outside of the normal hours. Offer a late lunch discount when dining between 2-3 p.m., or start happy hour earlier. Don’t forget about other restaurant professionals—they often meet up late or early in the morning, and you can attract them with industry discount hours. 

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