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Operating a Fast Casual Restaurant? Here are some tips to help you succeed!

Children with hamburgers

Fast casual doesn't have to be fast food. It can be gourmet, food truck, ethnic - really anything that involves a cheaper price point and quick turnaround time. But your fast casual concept can definitely benefit from some universal marketing ideas. Here are some to get you through the (sometimes slower) summer months - unless you're in a lobster shack by the water, in which case you'll probably be using these tips in the cooler months to come.

Kids eat free! Consider offering a free kids menu for little diners. Kids meals are almost universally simple - a hot dog, a burger, or a couple chicken nuggets. These cheap items carry a very small margin and offering them at no cost can entice in parents, who will spend considerably more, looking to entertain kids over the school break.

Live music - do you have an alcohol license, outdoor seating, or any other amenities that may cause people to want to sit and mingle at your restaurant? Then live music may be a good bet. Cover bands and acoustic acts are available for booking individually or via a booking agent, and offering live music will set you apart as an entertainment destination, particularly outside when the weather is warm. Guests are more likely to linger at tables, but also more likely to order multiple drinks and drive up their cover charge, and you will be busier on the live music nights if they are advertised properly as well.

Trivia nights - have a slower Tuesday or Wednesday night? Consider setting up trivia! It's fun, free to play, and will attract large crowds of competitive teams to your location on nights that may otherwise be seriously slow for business. Another alternative - or addition - is paint nite. A great date activity, pain nite will also attract couples and girls groups which are likely to come back and frequent your establishment again. Advertise on your Facebook and other social media channels and also consider drink specials or extended happy hour for these special events.

Wifi - lunch is not necessarily a time to sit and relax during the week. If you have cheap lunch items, capitalize on the 'working lunch' crowd who travels with their laptop by offering complimentary wifi to your guests. You can always turn the wifi off during dinner service in order to ensure that your tables are used for service vs. people looking to work for a couple hours like they would in a coffee shop. But in the digital age, everyone takes their work everywhere, and having free, fast wifi will attract a valuable 9-5 customer for both lunch and the slower afternoon lull in your restaurant.

2016-07-19 00:00:00
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