From Alabama to Wyoming, restaurants across the U.S. celebrate restaurant week. While it traditionally focuses on the most upscale establishments, restaurant week creates opportunities for every type of restaurant and cuisine. Restaurant.com offers our recipe for restaurant week success.
Typically organized by an area restaurant association or chamber of commerce, restaurant week was established to build business during the slower months of winter and/or summer. Restaurants typically create prix fixe menus to showcase their restaurants talents—and offer customers special values.
Find (or Make!) Your Local Restaurant Week
This list is a good start to finding restaurant week dates in your area. And if there isn’t a restaurant week nearby…start one! Work with other restaurants, talk to your restaurant association or chamber of commerce, or create your own restaurant week promotion by building on the excitement of one in a nearby city.
Create a Menu That Achieves Your Objective
To acquire new customers, feature your most popular dishes and consider pairings with beers or wines and desserts. If you want to build traffic with existing customers, try experimenting with a different cuisine or new ingredients. Either way, get creative. And be sure to create additional value—whether that be a perceived value with special ingredients or pairings, or a financial value with lower price points.
Get the Word Out
Use your Restaurant.com email list to send emails to existing diners—and encourage them to spread the word. Update your Restaurant.com description to include your restaurant week details. After the promotion, you can change it back to reflect your overall offering. Send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Remember, our team is here to help you make this and every promotion a success.
Also, use your own social media, in-house signs and local advertising. If your chamber of commerce or restaurant association are involved, participate in their marketing efforts. If you’re going solo, ask other business owners to support you by posting signs or mentioning your restaurant week specials in their social media.
Train Your Team
Make sure your staff is fully trained, well in advance. Everyone, should know the dates, any discounts and what you’ll be serving. As the face of your business, your team can help generate excitement beforehand—and help make your promotion a success.
Go Beyond the Expected
Be sure to deliver the food and values you advertised….but also include a few surprises, such as a dessert tasting, cocktail pairing or special appetizer. Over deliver to give guests even more than they bargained for…and even more reasons to talk, tweet or share their positive experience at your restaurant.
Encourage Photography and Social Sharing
Finally, as your guests sit down to your restaurant week meal, encourage them to photograph and share their meal and experience. If you have a Twitter, Instagram or Facebook account, suggest they use your hashtag or post on your page. Use the power of social media generate viral or word-of-mouth marketing, the most valuable ingredient for any restaurant’s success.