In foodservice, certain times of year are busier than others, and it’s important to have a strategy for building business during the slow stretches. In many cities, operators take part in restaurant weeks to help encourage consumers to eat away from home.
During these promotional periods, participating restaurants have a separate menu with a special selection of items available at a lower, fixed cost. If you’re considering getting involved in your local restaurant week, keep these suggestions in mind.
- In larger cities, restaurant weeks occur multiple times per year in an effort to build tourism and promote the culinary scene. If that’s the case in your area, you can pick and choose which time-or times-of year you want to join the festivities.
- Build excitement by showcasing your restaurant week menu through your social media channels, website, enewsletter, etc. If there’s a city-wide hashtag and/or logo, incorporate those to draw more attention to your announcements.
- These events often generate new and repeat traffic, and it’s a good idea to feature a signature dish as well as introduce one you’ve never served before. That way, your patrons will be able to order a popular selection or explore something outside your typical offerings.
- When building your limited menu, remember that some of your guests may be vegetarian, have a gluten intolerance, or have other dietary preferences or restrictions. Including an option that meets their needs will make them feel welcome.
- Many diners use restaurant weeks as a way to try menu items they typically couldn’t afford. With that in mind, make sure to clearly identify the prices associated with these specials and be up front about anything that would require a separate charge.
- Keep your restaurant week customers coming back by giving them additional incentives to return. Consider offering a discount on a subsequent visit or setting up a referral program to reward those who get their friends through your door.
Traylor, Richard. What is Restaurant Week? (and Why Should Your Business Participate?), WebstaurantStore, August 2017.
Costa, Kristen. 3 Ways To Make The Most Of Restaurant Week, Restaurant Insider, January 2016.
Day 29: Make the Most Out of Restaurant Week, OpenTable, January 2015.