special events

Chances are your restaurant won’t be fully booked all day, every day, especially during traditional quiet times. But there’s plenty you can do to make some noise and attract new customers.

Live music brings in business

Making one day of the week Live Music night is a good way to bring in extra business to your restaurant. Whether it’s a local band or professional pianist, be sure the style of music fits your restaurant’s ambience and suits your customers. Diners over 40 might not appreciate a loud rock band, but that same band might attract loads of local students, giving you a chance to attract a new type of customer into your restaurant on certain nights.

Open Mic Nights equal free entertainment for you

The popularity of talent shows has proved there are plenty of people out there with the ability to entertain. So why not invite local singers, musicians, magicians and other performers to showcase their talents in your restaurant? Most will jump at the chance to perform in front of an audience for free. They’ll often bring along friends and family for support, giving you a great opportunity to impress new customers.

Sports Nights

Why should bars be the only places to benefit from people watching live sport on TV? If it’s right for your restaurant, showing sporting events is a great way to attract new customers. You can:

• Provide a special themed menu for the night
• Rename your dishes or drinks so they link up with the event
• Get your staff to wear team colors

Superbowl night is an especially big opportunity, with the game lasting upwards of 3 hours – imagine how much extra food and drink you could sell.

Hosting themed nights in your restaurant

You have the space to entertain, it’s up to you and your imagination to think of things to do with it. Why not host a Dad And Daughter night, or Cheese And Wine tasting, or a tour behind the scenes of your restaurant? Be sure to promote these events in advance so people have time to book up. Use social media channels, and be sure to take pictures to show everyone who didn’t make it what a great time they missed out on.

CASE STUDY: An owner of a Mexican restaurant organizes Tequila Tastings for $30 a head. Tickets sell out weeks in advance and the buzz and business they generate is unbelievable.

And the winner is… you.

Everyone loves a contest and the chance to win a prize. So why not arrange a competition based in your restaurant? It could be a contest to come up with the best name for a new dish or even a theme for a special night. The prizes you offer don’t have to break the bank. Free merchandise or Gift Certificates will motivate many to take part. It’s more about getting people together for a good time at your restaurant, so you can attract and impress more customers.

Restaurant Week Is Your Week

If there’s a better chance to promote your restaurant than Restaurant Week, you’ll do well to find it. Established in 1992, although the nature of the week varies from place to place, the core idea is for restaurants to partner with local businesses, tourist organizations or chambers of commerce and promote lunch and dinner special offers. Some outlets have seen sales volumes increase by as much as 40% during Restaurant Week. You should want to grab some of that!

Themed Dinner Parties

Why not choose a theme for a night, such as an Italian dinner party, and lay on a fully themed experience for your guests. Everything from the menu to the tablecloths, the music to the service should reflect your theme. It will give you something different to promote to the local community and your customers a unique experience they’ll tell their friends about.