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Those seats aren’t filling up the way that they used to? Time to get creative. Thankfully, it’s not as hard to get creative as you might think. Here are some ideas to increase volume in your restaurant.

Check in

Checking into places of interest is a big way for consumers to connect digitally to their favorite places of interest. 18% of smartphone owners in the United States use “check-in” apps, and 33 million people are using Foursquare alone. It’s a great tool for letting your customers have a chance to interact with you. On Facebook, if a customer checks in, it’ll pop up on their friends’ News Feed. With Yelp, you can offer a coupon in exchange for a check-in. And being that people trust other people more than advertisements, having the public approval of a lot of check ins can seriously help in building a solid consumer base.

Sponsor a local team

Do some research on your town/city of operations, and see if there’s a little league or high school team you could sponsor. Some possible terms could include having the team named after you, or have your logo on their jerseys. Whatever you do, supporting a team will support you community, as well as get some eyes on your brand.

Sponsor a local show

On the opposite end of the spectrum as sponsoring a sports team, one could sponsor a local play, musical, or live music event. By sponsoring a show, you’re reaching a very different market than sponsoring a team. You could have them put your name above the title on the playbill. If that’s too much, buy advertising space in their playbill. They may have other options too, like advertising your business on their website or social media pages.

Extend your brand

Schaeffer’s, a restaurant in Port Jefferson, Long Island, has been in the restaurant game for a few years, but drastically increased their customer reach when they decided to hire a DJ, clear the tables, and host a nightclub night. This is called a brand extension, and it involves reaching a new crowd through marketing and events. It doesn’t have to just be a club night either- utilize your bar by creating a happy hour menu, or bring musicians in to show your customers a different side of you.

Host a holiday/theme party or event

Brasserie Cassis, a French restaurant in Plainview, New York, is tucked away deep in the Plainview Shopping Center. One way that they get their name to customers is by throwing two big parties per year— a Christmas party, and a Bastille Day party (French Independence Day). For Christmas, they hire a DJ, put out a special food and cocktail menu, and stay open later. For Bastille Day, they go all out— a French band, French decorations, an accordion player to walk around while the band is resting, and one time they even had a flash mob perform “One Day More” from the French Broadway musical “Les Mis”. These events draw huge crowds, and with all the newcomers who see the parties from the streets, they are able to secure dozens of new faces in their establishment. Aside from that, the current loyal customers have a great time, and will refer their friends. Utilizing special events, as well as the marketing behind it (posting flyers on social media, around the establishment), will help your business thrive in ways you didn’t think possible.

United Capital Source offers restaurant business loans, and has had great results.  United Capital Source will treat your company like a partner, and we can help you get the loans you need in a way that makes sense.  You can find more information at our restaurant page located here.

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