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Is your Restaurant Ready to Handle “Dining Out” Promotions?

2 minutes Read

With regional restaurant promotions such as “Dine Out Boston” now in full swing and planning for “New York Summer Restaurant Week” on the horizon, now is the time for restaurant owners across the country to prepare for all of the necessities that come with the increased customer demand during these types of promotions.

An influx of traffic to your restaurant can be a good thing, but is your business ready to handle it seamlessly?  Without the appropriate resources in place, the increased demand during these promotional days or weeks can pose a major challenge or a missed opportunity for those in the restaurant business. Below are four tips for restaurant owners looking to gear up for a successful “dining out” promotion:

Taste Test

Put some thought into creative menu options that you can offer during the promotional period. And don’t forget about drink specials! As customers are spending less money on food through menu specials, they tend to spend more on alcohol during their meal. If you haven’t already offered meal and drink specials, now is a great time to get creative with your menu, particularly with the uptick in new customers.

Manpower is Important

A swift increase in new customers can be a good thing if you are prepared. Having the manpower, either through temporary staff or overtime hours, is a consideration that should not be taken lightly. What incentives can you provide to your employees to ensure that they put their best feet forward during your promotion? Hiring temporary staff can also be a smart move to ensure that there is always someone who can cover a shift if another employee calls out.

Savor the Moment

Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the success of your efforts. Take photos that can be used for future marketing, offer a raffle (customers can drop their business cards for a chance to win a free meal), and/or engage customers via your restaurant’s social media channels.  A strong event promotion can potentially catapult your business to another level.

Prepare for the Expected (And Unexpected!)

Make sure that your business has the appropriate amount of funding to be adequately prepared for the promotion. The increased customer demand will undoubtedly bring new (and sometimes unexpected) costs to your business. You will need to spend money on menu specials, additional inventory, temporary staff, overtime pay for existing employees, marketing promotions, and additional tables, chairs and linens. Plan ahead in preparation of these costs, and seek additional funding if it is needed.

With the availability of working capital, restaurant owners can cover upfront costs in order to adequately prepare for their anticipated customers during regional restaurant promotions.  Access to funding in preparation for the increased demand of your “dining out” promotion will not only help to ensure success during the influx of new diners, but it will also foster business success, turning a potential challenge into an opportunity.


Photo credit: Tupungato/