1. Open earlier
If you aren’t open by 11 a.m., you are missing out on customers. But even if you are, you could be missing out on the early crowd. Consider opening at 10:30 or even 10 to attract the early lunch crowd.
2. Offer more specials
Lunch usually is a time when people are looking to spend less money than at dinner, so to draw in more customers, you need more deals. If you don’t offer combos with lower package prices, that’s a good place to start.
3. Offer lighter menu options
In addition to wanting to spend less at lunch, people often want to eat less, too. To draw them in, you want to make sure you have plenty of light options, such as salads and wraps. You also might want to offer smaller “lunch portions” of regular menu items.
4. Speed up the seating process
Most people have a limited lunch hour of 30 minutes to an hour, so they will be looking for a place they can get in and out fast. You might bring in more hosting staff at lunch to ensure people are seated quickly or even let them seat themselves.
5. Speed up service
Getting people seated faster won’t be a benefit if you can’t get their order taken and their food to them with the same speed. Ensure you have enough staff and evaluate your practices to make sure you can meet customer needs.
6. Speed up payment process
Allow customers to pay their server directly if you don’t already. You might also consider technologies that let people pay from their phones to speed things up.
7. Have themed days
Taco Tuesdays, Meatless Mondays and other themed dining days will train customers to come to you restaurant on certain days.
8. Offer advance seating
Allow customers to call ahead and reserve a table for lunch so they know they won’t have to wait when they get there.
9. Allow pre-ordering
Just as with advance seating, advance ordering ensures people don’t have to wait. You might want to require advance credit card payment, though, so you don’t get stiffed.
10. Do carry-out
Allowing customers to pick up and take their lunch will draw people who don’t have much time for lunch.
11. Market the business
Send out fliers or cards to businesses in the area to let them know of your offerings.
12. Court return customers
Offer deals and specials to the customers you already have to ensure they continue coming back.
13. Expand the menu
If you have limited lunch items, add more dishes to the menu to appeal to more people.
14. Expand physically
If you already are packed for lunch, you might be able to attract more people with more seating, such as a sidewalk cafe.
15. Add alcohol
If your local government allows, you might consider offering alcohol to attract more people at lunchtime.
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