Lunch business at restaurants is often overlooked as most establishments seem to focus on breakfast and dinner. Don’t let lunch be the after thought. A full service restaurant that offers dinner will have to pay employees during the day to prep for a successful evening. Why not help cover these costs and some by offering lunch as well?
Your restaurants location will play a part in how you can increase your business in this underestimated shift. So, before we reveal effective ways to attract the lunch crowd you will need to identify your target market.
- Office workers– These customers usually have an hour or less for lunch which means your service needs to be as fast as it is tasteful.
- Housewives or Stay-at-home parents– This clientele isn’t in a rush, they want good food, a good ambiance and not to be rushed out the door.
- Students– With less money to spend, and less patience these guys want quick and easy food that wont break the bank.
1.Pre fixed menus
For the office workers and housewives putting together a pre-fixed menu is a great idea. On the one side its quick and can be timed properly ensuring your office clientele make it back to work in time. This also plays as a plus for your housewives/stay at home parents because you can manage there length of stay at the table. Time is money, so since they tend to linger this is a good option at pushing there seating time down.
The menu will need to be tasteful, but uncomplicated to ensure your staff can turn it around in a decent time, but not compromising on taste. Remember this is lunch, so keep it light and priced fairly.
For a daily flow of return customers opt for a lunch special. This is beneficial for any market your looking to target. This will help anyone whose on a budget. So make sure your prices are competitive and whats on offer is so good that they can’t go elsewhere.
This type of deal will often help with keeping repeat customers, and what business doesn’t want a loyal clientele.
Make sure to use your point-of-sale system to create an easy buttons for lunch specials and pre fixed menus. It will help your staff save time.
Customers usually dine with each other, so if there meeting friends alike -because hey that’s what they do, or having an office lunch to boost morale you will need to take advantage of this.
You can attract large parties by offering a special group discount and this won’t effect your bottom line. People love to save money so let them think they are. You can offer a discount off the meal, a set price or offer a free desert. Whatever it is they will remember and will make sure to choose you again in the future.
4.Free delivery to local spots
This will really only work for businesses in an area that is dense with businesses. People can’t always leave there desk, but they still have to eat. If your in a reasonably short distance give an incentive to order lunch from you instead of a competitor.
5.Schedule the right staff
Make sure to train your staff to be ready for the lunch rush hour. Their friendly and efficient service will win over lunch crowds and hopefully frequent your spot. You want them to also be able to up-sell subtly to increase there bills since lunch meals are often less then dinner. You can check the success of your staff by pulling reports from your point-of-sale system that show table turn around times, and bill totals.
6.Remember to market
Most restaurants fail not from lack of trying, but they forget about marketing changes they make to there current business. Customers won’t know you’ve added lunch service if all you’ve ever offered is dinner. They also won’t know of your specials unless you tell them. Promoting these changes is key to the success of your business from the moment the change happens.
Use social media, word of mouth, tell guests that come for dinner, make flyers. Remember the more you talk about it the more it becomes made aware.
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See you next week!
Your devoted hostess,
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