Three Ways Restaurants Can Attract More Lunchtime Customers

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From 11am to 1pm every weekday, restaurants experience an influx of corporate customers taking a break from work and eating out. If you are a restaurant, these two hours will typically comprise about 15% of total sales. Competition for customers can be tough, though. As the Orlando Sentinel points out, restaurant promotions for this key period have amped up as the economic downturn caused more employees to stay in at lunch, rather than go out.

If you want your restaurant to succeed during the lunchtime window, you’ll need to amplify your approach. Here are three tips for getting more busy tables during lunch.

1. Better Online Marketing

It’s no secret that consumers are using the internet to find out information about local businesses. As hunger sets in mid-morning, many employees will simply be Googling “local places to go for lunch.” About 67% of consumers, in fact, searched for restaurants online in 2013, according to Bright Local. Having great search engine optimization, online reviews, and social media specials will help keep you at the top of search lists. Review sites like Yelp, UrbanSpoons, and Google local results can be easily enhanced by the inclusion of restaurant hours, a menu, and photographs.

2. Optimize Your Restaurant for Lunchtime

Lunch and dinner are very different in what consumers want and expect from restaurants. Dinner patrons will appreciate being given space, while lunch patrons like quick responses from wait staff, as they typically only have an hour of time. Streamline your lunchtime system so that food is ready quickly, and customers don’t have to wait 20 minutes for the check. One advantage of having a separate lunchtime menu is that you can pare down your offerings, making it easier for chefs to move from dish to dish.

3. Think Outside the Box

In this case, the “box” is the walls of your restaurant. You might be doing your best to service customers who stop by. But what can you do for those who don’t have the time? Lunch delivery services and catering services are two ways to expand the number of customers you can serve. Lunch catering can potentially be very profitable since it typically involves simply dropping off the food, and collecting the bill. Similarly, catering for events can help you fill an important niche in your local area, and bring in more money during slow periods.

Does your restaurant offer catering services? Let us know in the comments. For more about this, go here.

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