The lunch rush can be one of the most lucrative times for your restaurant, second only to the dinner rush. However, it also means a variety of customers. While dinner may be an even split of families and dates, almost all of them have time to spare.
When it comes to lunch, there might be some friends on a leisurely shopping day… but there will also be local employees rushing in to grab lunch on the go or hold a meeting. Some restaurants offer business lunch specials in an attempt to gain more local, professional foot traffic. If you’re trying to decide how to increase your number of customers during lunch, this blog is all about business lunch specials.
Are you near local businesses?
When you’re deciding to add a business lunch special, one important factor is whether or not your restaurant is centrally located to enough businesses. If you’re near an office building that houses a variety of offices and businesses, a business lunch special is an obvious choice. However, if you’re set away from surrounding businesses, it might be best to stick to your usual lunch crowd.
Make the special appealing to the customers you want
Simply offering a discounted menu item might not appeal to every local employee. You might offer different menu items everyday on special, with perhaps an added discount for ordering to go. Specials on to go items will be especially appealing to employees.
Promote your restaurant
You may be able to advertise directly in local office buildings if you meet with owners. This is an excellent opportunity to build a relationship with local businesses; they’ll turn to you for lunches and catering, and you can rely on them for lunch traffic!
You can also promote specials on your Facebook page. Posting your daily special, with an appetizing photo, will alert followers and local employees to what you have available… and make them crave that menu item! For tips on posting to Facebook and other social media sites, check out our blog post on the subject
Make it easy
The number one thing you can do to attract local employees to your restaurant for lunch is to make it easy for them! That might mean training servers to ask if guests are on their lunch break or in a hurry, so the server can know to get orders in right away and bring the check with the food. This might also mean setting up a separate line for ordering to go or allowing orders over the phone so customers can run in, pick up, and pay without having to wait very long.
Once you’ve made your decision, making it easy for those on their lunch break will benefit your business; word of mouth travels fast, especially in offices. Provide one guest with a great experience and the next thing you know, the entire office will want to try your restaurant!
Have you had great success with a business lunch special? Share with us on Twitter @Waitrainer