According to the U.S. Travel Association, travelers spend more than $267.7 billion annually dining out.
The pandemic hindered that for more than a year, but for tourists who are ready to venture out, it’s a great opportunity to increase your revenue. These helpful tourist tips can boost sales and build brand awareness:
Tourists will be eager and curious to try new food when they travel, and your food is the main attraction that decides whether consumers choose your establishment over another. Update your summer menu with new creative dishes, seasonal LTOs, and locally sourced regional cuisine to add to the overall cultural experience. Adding specials or fun summery cocktails to the menu is a nice touch for those who have never dined with you before and can be the very thing that leads to a repeat customer or positive online review.
Collaborating with local hotels, museums, or entertainment venues to create a package is an excellent way to get tourists already planning to stay in your town to dine out. Reach out to local hotel concierges and see if they would be willing to provide coupons for your restaurant or recommend your eatery to guests that are staying with them. Invite concierges to dine at your restaurant, so you can build a relationship with that business, and so they can recommend you with confidence. Offering early entry into a concert by dining with you or a free dessert if they show tickets from an exhibit opening are also both great options to attract those visiting your city.
Spread the Word
Before people go anywhere, they look online at Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other travel sites for recommendations and reviews. They also check out the social media pages for businesses. Make sure your Instagram and Facebook are not only active but helping you stand out from the competition with mouth-watering photos of food and an up-to-date event calendar and menu. Ensure you have an active presence on these travel sites, your website is optimized for mobile, and you are offering discounts through digital ads to attract tourists to your spot. Partnering with lifestyle and food bloggers, and other influencers to highlight food from your establishment is another very effective and impact marketing strategy to get tourists in the doors. It may seem a little unfamiliar, but it’s a low-risk way to reach a much bigger audience.
Travelers were forced to alter plans when COVID hit and with summer wrapping up, consumers will be looking to have one last hurrah. Live music, fundraisers, watch parties, or other events offer a fun and unique way to guests who are looking for something fun to do during their visit. Or consider bringing the vacation to diners that are still hesitant to travel out of town with destination nights. Curating special nights like, “An Evening in Paris,” or “A Tour of Italy” with themed menus, cocktails, music, and décor can be just the escape they need and a unique way to garner business and pique interest.
Give ‘Em A Sign
Diners visiting from out of town for the first time may not be aware of the current policies for masks and other safety guidelines at your establishment. Make sure all your policies for masks and vaccination status are displayed clearly around your space as well as on your website. Beyond sanitary measures, make sure your restaurant is inviting and enticing to people exploring the town on foot. A colorful chalkboard menu with specials is a simple, homey touch to attract those walking by. An inviting patio with music, bistro lights, comfy seating, and fun, summery décor is another sure way to get people’s attention. Even if you don’t have room for an outdoor patio, setting up a few small tables on the sidewalk is perfect for snagging those hungry tourists off the street.
To ensure all your marketing strategies are successful and tourists have the best experience, make sure you have plenty of well-trained staff to handle the surge of foot traffic coming in. Encourage them to promote certain specials, up-sell desserts, and recommend local attractions. You don’t have to get fancy or go over budget to attract tourists to your restaurant. Think about the unique experience that only your restaurant can provide and what experiences tourists are seeking out, and you’ve got a formula for success.