Once upon a time, running a restaurant was all about producing high-quality food at an affordable price. These days, however, competition is fierce and restaurant-goers are looking for more bang for their buck at their local restaurants. Couples may only get out once in a great while for a date night, so if you want them to choose your restaurant over all the other restaurants in your area, you need something to pull them in.
Hosting events at your local restaurant can pull in crowds—and once you get customers through the door, your great atmosphere and food selection are what will keep them coming back. If that sounds like a great business strategy to you, here at 5 easy events you can host at your local restaurant. The best thing about these events is that they are low-cost: The most equipment you may need for any event is a microphone. Locate the best microphones for your events at microphonegeeks.com.
Consider what time of year it is and what locals in your community are trying to figure out how to do. Maybe it’s FAFSA season for high school seniors or tax season. Whatever it is, consider inviting a panel of educators in to discuss the high points. They’ll be excited to have a venue to host their educational panel at, especially since locals are more likely to attend their event if there is good food available. Meanwhile, you’ll have an event driving locals to your location—a win-win.
There’s a reason trivia nights have become a pub staple: They work. Consider offering a weekly Jeopardy night at your restaurant. Because it’s not a full trivia night, there will be parts of your restaurant that people can choose to sit at and not participate if they don’t want to, but they can all listen to the contestants. A great thing about hosting a Jeopardy night on a weekly event is that it keeps people wanting to come back week after week.
Consider letting a local band play at your restaurant. People love supporting local artists, and if the band you let play at your restaurant is serious about their music, they’ll advertise the venue on their social media accounts and via word of mouth, bringing in some traffic you might not otherwise get at your restaurant. Even better, you’ll be seen as a restaurant that supports the local community, which is great for public reception.
Is there someone in your community who wants to be a comedian? Consider giving them a shot at your restaurant. It’s a low-key location for them to practice their stand-up routine, and if you advertise it correctly, those couples who only get one date night every once in a while can enjoy dinner and a show at your restaurant. Just be sure that you and the comedian are on the same page about what content is acceptable and what content should be avoided, especially if yours is a family-friendly restaurant.
Tip a Cop
Local tip-a-cop nights are a great way to support emergency services in your community—and they can pull in huge amounts of traffic. Simply work with your local police department to select a day when police officers can come in and pair with your wait staff to serve the community, with tips that night going to help the police. To make this a success—and keep your wait staff on board—you may want to pay your staff extra that night, but the huge increase in foot traffic that you can get from this kind of event is worth it every time!