In the highly competitive dining sector, attracting new customers to your restaurant can be challenging. It doesn’t always come down to the quality or price of your food, as even the best venues can find their establishment empty on a rainy weekday.

Sometimes you have to do that little bit more to entice a passer-by. Luckily, there are several promotion techniques you can practise to get new customers through the door. From sprucing up your signage and handing out flyers to offering free wifi and discounts, there are plenty of ways you can attract people without having to break the bank.

  • Freshen up your outdoor area

As summer approaches, you can expect people to start looking for beer gardens or al fresco dining options to enjoy the nice weather. Café barriers are the perfect way to section off outdoor seating area while attracting customers with some vibrant graphics.

  • Increase your social media presence

To generate customer engagement, most restaurants post images of their food on their social media channels, along with announcements and additional information. With the likes of Instagram, appearance is everything, so ensure that your feed is aesthetically pleasing.

  • Distribute coupons

Discounts and offers are a great incentive to persuade people to buy food from your restaurant. Specific days could be dedicated to certain promotions, for instance, 2-4-1 Tuesdays or a ‘happy hour’ between five and seven pm.

How to attract customers to your café

Cafés have to work just as hard as restaurants to attract new customers. It’s important for café owners to differentiate their business from their competitors. Below, you can find some helpful ways to achieve this.

  • Creative A-Boards

If you know any artists to deliver the message, A-boards are a great way to provide customers with a quirky insight into your establishment. The more creative and eye-catching they are, the more likely they are to pique potential customer’s curiosity, hence why they’re popular for local businesses.

  • Free samples

Offering free giveaways for drinks, finger food and small desserts near your café is a great way to drive traffic inside. You could also boost the incentive by handing out vouchers offering a percentage off for first-time customers.

  • Create engaging signage

Your café should be inviting from the offset. We tend to judge places immediately by their appearance, so creative signage is a great place to start. Imagine walking past a multicoloured café barrier on an otherwise bland street – it would be sure to grab your attention.

Can I put signs up to advertise my café?

All signs need advertising consent from the local planning authority unless it’s already been granted by planning legislation. For instance, many common signs do not need consent from the planning authority, however, if your sign is bigger than 0.3 square metres or untraditional, (for example, if it’s illuminated), you may need to apply for advertising consent.

For café barriers, some councils will require you fill out pavement application forms for a Pavement Café Licence. Find out more information about the planning permission for cafe barriers by clicking on the link.

How to attract customers to your coffee shop

While cafés tend to serve a range of food, coffee shops specialise and sometimes exclusively serve coffee. Similar to cafés, coffee shops have to think of new and interesting ways to stay on trend and attract customers. Loyalty is key when trying to retain customers, so it would be beneficial to implement a loyalty scheme to improve your sales and reward your customers. You should also keep up to date by creating seasonal drinks, like pumpkin spice lattes in October and fruity iced teas in July.

In such a competitive market, ensure that your storefront is visually attractive. If it’s looking slightly outdated, you could give the exterior a refresh. One of the best products to grab the attention of bystanders is a striking café barrier. They can be used to section off outdoor areas and placed in a way that guides customers into your coffee shop.

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