Topic: Strategy

Looking For A Unique Approach To Drive Restaurant Traffic

Posted by Anonymous on 125 Points
My client is a regionally specific franchisee of a fast-casual restaurant. Competitors include Quiznos, Baja Fresh, Subway, Chipotle, Panera Bread.

The challenge is to develop a strategy to drive in-store traffic in this highly competitive, fickle market. I've done an extensive market research effort, which has resulted in great positioning, but no fabulous tactics.

I am looking for tactics and success stories related to driving in-store traffic via customer loyalty programs, couponing, traditional advertising, word of mouth, PR, events, contests, etc....

My sense is everyone in this restaurant industry is doing and saying the same thing. What is working for you?
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  • Posted by Jim Sterne on Accepted
    There's a guy in my town with too much time on his hands. He runs a website at and he wanders around counting things. Cars, mailboxes, trees - you name it. But every day, he sends out this newsletter with the counts and a contest about what he may find tomorrow. Click through to answer the quiz (What % of people will be wearing jeans at the opening of the International Film Festival?) and you could win movie passes or a free latte.

    If the prizes were food related: Buy one entrée, get one free - free dessert - you could end up with a following. Of course, that means you'd have to find somebody with too much time on their hands...

  • Posted by Blaine Wilkerson on Accepted
    Try this site. It may have everything you need to know. I find it very helpful.

    It is free and has tons of information, studies, ideas, and articles on promotions, incentives, events, etc.

    Hope this helps!

  • Posted by ReadCopy on Accepted
    I think they are all great ideas, but what you really need is to understand why people would choose to move to your clients comeptitors outlets rather tha your clients.

    Maybe there is an attribute to your clients outlet that is failing them! I once read about a sandwich shop in the UK that was losing out on custom, and when they looked into why they lost out to their competitors, it seemed that their in store lighting wasn't bright enough, and customers simply were not drawn to enter. They changed this and quickly picked up custom.

    Remember the answer is not always a marketing tactic, but sometime it may be something else!
  • Posted by ReadCopy on Accepted
    BTW: If the problem is associated with a sell attribute and you need to relaunch/remarket, consider Ambient Marketing (Advertising). Its actually really a massively under used technique in its fullest potential.

    Ambient Advertising really means just placing an ad or promotion somewhere where people least expect it (examples in the past and now mainstream are on Taxis, Shopping trolleys, drinks mats etc). Trying thinking of wacky ways of promoting the restaurant (sandwich boards are hardly seen today and would provide powerful impact, students walking around with your clients restaurant logo on their foreheads!, students chalking directions to the restaurant on the pavement!).

    Its all cost effective (i have personally used art/drama students before and they love to do this type of thing and they may even do it for nothing!), it can have massive impact. Best to follow up with some PR, just to help the marketing effort :-)
  • Posted on Author
    Thank you all for the wonderful feeback. I really appreciate your time and your candor. Please let me know if you would like an update on the results from implementing your suggestions!

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