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21+ Proven Ways How to Attract New Customers to Your Restaurant

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If you’re a restaurant owner looking to bring in more customers, you’re in the right place! Attracting new customers is vital for your business, and this blog post will explore over 21 proven ways to attract new diners to your restaurant. 

We’ll cover online ordering, connecting with local businesses, and creating strategies to get new customers through your doors. These practical tips can help you boost your restaurant’s success. So, let’s dive in and discover how to fill your tables with hungry customers eager to enjoy your delicious dishes!

how to get more customers in my restaurant - customers in a restaurant

Opening a restaurant is tough, and making it thrive is even tougher. Writing a restaurant business plan, finding a suitable location, and obtaining all the necessary permits and licenses takes time. 

How to attract new customers to your restaurant?

Once you start a restaurant and make a buzz about it, everyday restaurant life begins and you need to make efforts towards constantly attracting new customers as well as ensuring that existing customers return. Here are some restaurant strategies to attract customers.

1. Create an inviting and eye-catching exterior

Making your restaurant look welcoming and attractive on the outside is very important. When people walk by, they should feel like coming in. 

Start by having a clear and well-lit sign with your restaurant’s name and maybe a cool logo. Use nice colors and decorations on the outside to match your restaurant’s style. 

Well-maintained landscaping and outdoor seating areas can also enhance the visual appeal and create an inviting atmosphere, enticing passersby to step inside and experience what your restaurant has to offer.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - restaurant exeterior design

2. Create a restaurant website

Having a professional website for your restaurant is a must. It helps restaurant owners connect with a larger audience, establish an online presence, and share essential information with potential customers.

how to get more customers in my restaurant -  restaurant website templates

You can use an intuitive restaurant website builder to create a restaurant website. Select a restaurant website template, add your logo, menu, and content, and choose colors that reflect your brand. Here you can read more on how to create a restaurant website.

Restaurant Website Builder
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Choose from 50+ restaurant website templates to craft a site that turns visitors into customers

3. Offer online ordering

While building your restaurant website, don’t forget about allowing your customers to order online. Many restaurant customers prefer to order menu items to their homes so make sure you give them that option too. 

Online ordering provides a convenient and efficient way for diners to browse a restaurant menu, place orders, and make payments. Moreover, it can help boost sales by reaching a broader customer base and providing options for delivery or easy pick-up, catering to different preferences and lifestyles.

Online Ordering System
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4. Develop a mobile app 

Developing a mobile app for your restaurant can be a game-changer when offering convenient ordering options. It simplifies the ordering process, increases customer engagement, and can be a powerful tool for growing your restaurant business. 

Check out this article to learn how to create a food delivery app like Uber Eats with no-code

If you want to check the pros and cons of food delivery apps, check out this article on the 10 best food delivery apps.

how to get more custo mers in my restaurant - sushi kushi mobile app

Mobile Apps
Create a mobile app for your restaurant
Boost customer loyalty with native iOS and Android ordering apps that put your restaurant right in your customer’s pocket

5. Run promotions

Promotions are a great way to make customers feel important and happy. This can encourage them to buy more from you. 

The examples of promotions you could run in your restaurant are:

Here you can find other examples of restaurant promotion ideas.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - happy hours

6. Use email marketing 

Consider using restaurant email marketing to attract customers. 

Send emails with offers for free food to get people excited. Show off your restaurant’s food through pictures and menu descriptions

Make customers feel special with personalized messages, and tell them about your latest food special offers and events.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - email marketing

7. Make use of social media platforms

Social media sites are a great way to build a strong online presence besides creating a restaurant website. 

Create social media accounts (like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for restaurants) and post on them regularly to engage with potential customers. Facebook for restaurants – learn how to best manage it.

Add attractive photos and videos of your delicious food to your social media and talk with your customers. 

To learn more, check our guide on restaurant social media marketing.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - restaurant social media

8. Implement a loyalty program 

Loyalty programs are another good way to attract customers.

A loyalty program is a customer retention strategy that rewards frequent diners with discounts, freebies, or exclusive perks. 

Your target audience collects points or stamps, and, in return, a restaurant can offer discounts, special promotions, or free menu items to encourage repeat visits and build brand loyalty. 

how to get more customers in my restaurant - restaurant loyalty program

9. Offer free WiFi

Offering free WiFi in a restaurant is not just a convenience but a strategic move that can significantly attract and retain customers. It increases dwell time, encourages social media engagement, and can lead to positive online reviews. 

Additionally, it provides promotions and data collection opportunities while staying competitive in today’s digital age.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - free wi-fi

10. Offer live music

If you are wondering how to make your restaurant popular, you could think of live music, whether musicians, bands, or solo performers, that can make the atmosphere more enjoyable. 

It encourages customers to stay longer, enjoy their food, and come back again. It also makes your restaurant a fun place to hang out with friends and have a good time, not just for eating.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - live music in a restaurant

11. Host themed nights

When a restaurant hosts themed nights or special events, it makes dining more interesting and fun. These events can be about food-themed cuisine nights like “Taco Tuesdays” and special occasions like celebrating birthdays or holidays.

By doing this, the restaurant gives people a reason to come in, have a good time, and want to come back for more events or regular meals.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - national taco day

12. Collaborate with local influencers

Collaborating with local influencers can be a smart strategy for drawing more customers to your restaurant. Influencers with significant social media following can promote your restaurant to a wide audience.

Influencers sharing their positive experiences at your restaurant makes your brand seem more credible and trustworthy. Their recommendations can spark interest and excitement among their followers, motivating them to try your restaurant. 

Collaborating with influencers is a contemporary restaurant marketing method to bring in new customers, generate excitement about your delicious food, and, as a result, boost revenue in your restaurant. 

how to get more customers in my restaurant - collaboration with influencers

13. Encourage customers to leave positive online reviews

According to Small Business Trends, online reviews play a significant role in customers’ decisions, with 94% relying on them when choosing a restaurant. That’s why it is crucial to encourage restaurant customers to share their opinions online.

Having more reviews increases the likelihood that people will trust their choice to dine at your restaurant, especially when those reviews are mostly positive.

14. Offer catering services

Offering catering services is a great way for a restaurant to attract customers. It allows you to bring your delicious food to various events, parties, and corporate gatherings, expanding your reach and visibility. 

When people enjoy your catering, they’re more likely to visit your restaurant for a dine-in experience, creating a valuable connection that can lead to repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - catering services

15. Collaborate with nearby businesses

Look for the possibility of cooperating with local businesses. For example, you could cater to your neighborhood’s events and business meetings. 

Another way of attracting customers is to run the cross-promotions. For example, a restaurant can give discounts to the customers of a nearby gym. In return, the gym can offer discounts to the restaurant’s loyal customers, creating a beneficial exchange of customers between the two places.

You could also create discount programs exclusively for employees or customers of local businesses. This can encourage them to dine at your restaurant regularly. 

Another example is obtaining ingredients from local farms and food producers nearby. Promote these local products on your menu and emphasize your collaborations with these businesses. Customers value restaurants that contribute to and support the local community.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - food photopography

16. Use high-quality photos of your food

People eat with their eyes, and amazing photos are essential for a restaurant’s success, as they attract customers. 

You can hire a professional photographer to take stunning photos of your meals or take pictures on your own. To improve your photography skills, check our list of food photography tips

Once the photos are ready, you can use them on your website, social media channels, flyers, etc. 

17. Offer gift cards

Offering gift cards and vouchers in a restaurant is a good idea. People like giving them as presents, and it brings in more customers. 

When people use the gift cards, they may come back again, which helps many restaurants generate more revenue and grow. 

how to get more customers in my restaurant - gift cards

18. Provide birthday gifts 

Another way to attract people to your restaurant is by providing them with a gift for a special occasion like their birthday. 

Consider using email marketing and sending a dedicated email with the information about the free meal, special dish, or a special discount on their birthday. It will increase the probability that they will come to your restaurant to celebrate their holiday.

19. Provide excellent customer service 

If you wonder how to attract more customers to your restaurant, think of encouraging word-of-mouth referrals. How to do this? Focus on providing excellent customer service. 

This means having friendly staff who welcome guests warmly, get orders right, and ensure everyone has a good time. When any problems come up, it’s important to handle them professionally and politely. Doing this helps build a good reputation and keeps customers coming back. 

how to get more customers in my restaurant - customer service

20. Stay updated with current food trends 

Changing your restaurant menu to include popular food trends is a great way to get new customers. 

When you offer dishes that people are excited about, they’re more likely to come and try them. It also shows that your restaurant is creative and up-to-date, which can be appealing to potential customers.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - current food trends

21. Share your story with videos

People enjoy watching videos, and sharing videos of your restaurant is a great way to attract customers. These videos can showcase your delicious dishes, the welcoming ambiance, and the dining experience, encouraging your potential customers to come and eat. 

22. Implement SEO

Implementing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for a restaurant is crucial for improving its online visibility and attracting more customers. 

By optimizing your restaurant’s website for local search with relevant keywords and location-based information, you can rank higher in search engine results, making it easier for potential diners to find you when searching for places to eat in your area.

To learn more about implementing SEO for your restaurant, check our guide on restaurant SEO.

how to get more customers in my restaurant - restaurant seo

Key Takeaways

  • Embrace online ordering options through your website and/or app to make it convenient for customers to place orders.
  • Invest in a user-friendly website and app and ensure they are easy to navigate, visually appealing, and mobile-responsive to attract and retain customers.
  • Running well-planned promotions can capture the interest of potential customers and encourage them to try your restaurant.
  • Implementing a loyalty program not only retains existing customers but also entices new ones to return and become regular patrons.
  • Leverage social media marketing to showcase your restaurant, engage with a broader audience, and increase brand awareness. Get inspired by exploring different restaurant social media post ideas.
  • While wondering how to get more restaurant customers, consider combining different effective strategies to create a comprehensive customer attraction and retention plan, using multiple channels to maximize your restaurant’s success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Focus on building a strong online presence with a user-friendly website and active social media accounts to get more customers in your restaurant. Offer online ordering to reach a wider audience. 

Implement a loyalty program to encourage repeat visits and run special promotions. Remember to provide excellent customer service to create a positive reputation, and host events or live music nights to make your restaurant stand out. 

Additionally, engage with your customers through email marketing to keep them informed about your offerings and events.

Consider these strategies to attract customers to your restaurant:

  • Create a website and social media accounts to show your restaurant and connect with customers.
  • Let customers order online.
  • Reward loyal customers with loyalty program rewards.
  • Offer deals to attract new and returning customers.
  • Team up with nearby businesses and be part of the community.
  • Keep your menu fresh and exciting for different tastes.
  • Train your staff to be friendly and helpful.
  • Ask happy customers for online reviews.
  • Host fun events to make dining special.

Combining these strategies and adapting to your target audience’s preferences can effectively attract customers to your restaurant.

To get more orders for your restaurant, consider these strategies:

  • Sell directly from your website, not just through third-party services.
  • Create your restaurant’s own mobile app for food orders.
  • Make your online menu designed for upselling.
  • Accept various payment methods for convenience.
  • Offer multiple food service options.
  • Retain customers with a loyalty program.
  • Increase sales through special promotions and discounts.

To learn more, check out our tips on how to increase online ordering sales at a restaurant.

Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

Digital content creator, passionate about helping restaurants to start selling online.

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