Four Ways Facebook Can Help Your Family Restaurant Drum Up Business

Posted on: 22 July 2016

Oftentimes, the family-restaurant business owner has a good following of senior citizens lining up for the early-bird specials. The after-church crowd on Sunday mornings is also usually good for business. But that leaves a lot of week left in which to generate much-needed revenue. Here are four ways you can use social media to let customers know about your unique daily and weekly specials and get those customers in the door. 

Encourage Check-Ins

Pick your slowest time of the day. For most family restaurants, this is typically the period of time from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., also known as the afternoon doldrums. Offer a free drink with every dessert purchase as long as they check-in to your restaurant on Facebook. The money lost giving away a free soda or coffee is negligible compared to the increased traffic, dessert sales, and free advertising you'll receive.

Offer a Discount to a Specific Group of People

Each day, you can offer a free piece of cake to anyone who shows proof it is their birthday. Yes, you are losing the revenue on each slice of cake you serve, but most people don't go out for their birthday by themselves; they bring people to celebrate with them.

You can also have a name-of-the-day special, being sure to post a name each day on your business Facebook page. Use a resource that lists the top names of all time and alternate each day between male and female names. When you get to the end of the list, simply start over again. The prize can be a beverage, a dessert, or one of your high-profit entrees.

Hold a Fan-of-the-Week Contest

Encourage your guests to take a selfie with their plate while seated in your restaurant. Then the guests can post the pictures on your Facebook wall. Whoever gets the most likes wins a $5 gift certificate or whatever prize you decide on for the week.

Let Your Customers Choose Your Next Menu Item

This is similar to a popular potato chip company's contest in which customers create their favorite flavor profiles that they would like to see become reality. Ask your Facebook friends to suggest new items they'd like to see on the menu. You won't be able to pick every suggestion, but this will give you both an idea as to what your customers want as well as a reason for them to go and try the dish once you offer it.

Check out the Facebook accounts of other restaurants, such as The Loading Zone, to see what seems to be working for other business owners, and then get started!