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How to get more customers in your restaurant and increase sales

Explore the proven steps and strategies used by successful restaurant owners to get more customers and increase sales.

How to get more customers in your restaurant and increase sales

Updated on April 01, 2024
14 min read

Quick Summary

This blog talks about how to attract new customers to your restaurants. Here, you will find the steps and the details you need to take to get more customers. You will get new secrets to read and not what you have been reading on the internet. It has proven strategies used by successful restaurateurs to outperform other restaurants.

The restaurant industry is highly competitive. And attracting new customers while retaining existing ones is a constant challenge.

According to a recent study by Sage Journals, nearly 60% of restaurants fail within their first year, and only 16% make it to their fifth year. These statistics highlight the importance of implementing effective strategies to increase your customer base, drive sales, and ensure the long-term success of your restaurant.

In this blog, you will discover all that you have been searching for to increase your restaurant customer base and sales.

By the end of this blog, you will say, finally, you have got what you were searching for. So, let’s end your search.

Understand your target audience


Truly understanding your target audience is the foundation of any successful marketing strategy.

Without this crucial insight, your efforts to attract customers might fall flat. Just like a dish without the right seasoning.

By conducting thorough market research and analyzing customer data, you can find valuable information about their preferences, behaviors, and dining habits.

Conduct market research

This is the first step in understanding your target audience. It involves various methods, such as:

  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Observational studies and more

By gathering direct feedback from potential and existing customers, you can gain insights into their dining preferences, budget considerations, and even their expectations for a memorable dining experience.

Analyze customer data

In addition to market research, analyzing your restaurant's customer data can reveal valuable patterns and trends.

By closely examining data points such as;

  • Purchase history
  • Loyalty program participation
  • And online reviews, you can identify your customers' preferences, interests, and pain points. This allows you to tailor your offerings and marketing efforts accordingly.

Tailor offerings to your customer preferences

Now that you have a deep understanding of your target audience, it's time for you to leverage this understanding. You can now tailor your;

  • Offerings
  • Promotions
  • And marketing efforts to cater to their specific needs and preferences.

This targeted approach not only increases the chance for you to attract new customers. But also cultivates loyalty among your existing customer base. And it's because they feel truly understood and valued.

Enhance your online presence

Almost every business is going online. As per Statista, as of January 2024, 5.35 billion people are internet users, which is 66.2% of the global population.

The stats clearly show that having a strong online presence is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Below, you will learn the steps you can take to enhance your online presence.

Develop a professional website

Your website is the virtual face of your restaurant. And it's essential to make a great first impression. Invest in developing a professional and user-friendly website that showcases your brand, menu, and ambience through high-quality visuals and easy navigation.

Remember, an outdated website can turn your potential customers away before they even step foot in your restaurant.

Things you should keep in mind when building an online presence.

  • High-quality visuals: Entice potential customers and make them crave your offerings with mouth-watering images of your signature dishes. Make images that are coupled with visuals that capture the ambience of your restaurant.

  • User-friendly navigation: Ensure that your website is easy to navigate and has clear menus, contact information, and an intuitive online ordering or reservation system. A frustrating user experience can quickly turn potential customers away.

  • Mobile responsiveness: With the majority of internet traffic now coming from mobile devices, you must have a website that is optimized for smartphones and tablets. Or, you can also have your own branded food ordering app.

Optimize for search engines

  • Keyword research: Identify the keywords and phrases that potential customers are using to search for restaurants like yours. You can improve your visibility in search engine results by Incorporating these keywords into your website content, meta tags, and image descriptions.

  • Create valuable content: Provide useful information to your target audience in the form of blog posts, recipes, or guides related to your restaurant’s cuisine or dining experience.

Leverage social media

Engage with customers: Social media platforms offer a unique opportunity to connect with your customers and build a community around your brand. Engage with your followers and other potential customers by responding to comments, sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses, and nurturing a two-way conversation.

Share updates and promotions: Use your social media channels to share updates about new menu items, special events, or promotions. This activity will keep your existing customers informed and attract new ones who may be enticed by the offerings.

Implement digital marketing tactics


Everyone is getting digital. So should you. By leveraging various marketing tactics, you can reach and engage with your target audience effectively. Below, you will discover the techniques that will help you significantly increase your restaurant’s visibility and attract new customers.

Email marketing and SMS campaigns

  • Build an email list: Start by building a robust email list of potential and existing customers. Offer incentives, such as; discounts or exclusive offers, to encourage sign-ups on your website or during in-person visits.

  • Craft engaging campaigns: Develop engaging email and SMS campaigns that showcase your latest offerings, promotions, or events.

    • Use eye-catching visuals
    • Compelling copy
    • And personalized messaging to capture your audience's attention and encourage them to visit your restaurant.
  • SMS marketing best practices: SMS marketing is highly effective. But, it's essential to follow best practices, such as;

    • Obtaining the consent of the target audience
    • Sending messages during appropriate hours
    • And providing an unsubscribe option to avoid annoying potential customers

Paid advertising

  • Google Ads: With targeted ad campaigns, you can reach potential customers actively searching for dining options in your area.

  • Social media ads: Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer robust advertising capabilities that allow you to target specific;

    • Demographics
    • Interests
    • And locations

Use engaging visuals and compelling copy to capture the attention of potential customers scrolling through their feeds.

Encourage customer reviews

  • Monitor review platforms: Stay vigilant and monitor popular review platforms like Yelp, Google Reviews, and TripAdvisor. Positive reviews for your restaurants from satisfied customers can significantly influence potential diners' decision-making process.

  • Respond to reviews: Engage with both positive and negative reviews in a professional and timely manner. Thank satisfied customers for their kind words and address any concerns or feedback from dissatisfied customers by demonstrating your commitment to excellent customer service.

Offline marketing strategies


While digital marketing tactics are essential in today's digital era. You should not overlook the power of traditional offline marketing strategies. Learn what you can do to connect with your local community, build brand awareness, and attract new customers who may not be active online.

Distribute flyers and brochures

Distributing flyers and brochures in your local community is a cost-effective way to reach potential customers in your locality. Partner with nearby businesses, community centers, or even distribute door-to-door in residential areas to promote your restaurant's offerings, special events, or promotions.

Participate in community events

Participating in community events, such as;

  • Local festivals
  • Fairs
  • Charity functions and more

These are an excellent way to increase brand visibility and connect with potential customers. For even better reach and popularity, you can;

  • Offer sample dishes
  • Or sponsor the event

To showcase your restaurant's commitment to the community.

Partner with local businesses

Your collaboration with local businesses can be a win-win situation for both parties. Learn how you can successfully partner with them below.

Word-of-mouth marketing

It has remained one of the most powerful tools in the restaurant industry. By providing exceptional customer service, you can turn satisfied customers into brand ambassadors who will enthusiastically recommend your restaurants to friends and family. Know how you can do and leverage this.

  • Exceptional customer service: Train your staff to deliver outstanding customer service. From greeting guests warmly to handling any concerns or complaints with professionalism and empathy. Positive interactions can leave a lasting impression and invite customer loyalty.

  • Encourage referrals: Implement a referral program to incentivize your existing customers to spread the word about your restaurant. Offer rewards or discounts for successful referrals.

Offer promotions and discounts


Who doesn't love a good deal? Offering promotions, discounts, or loyalty programs is a proven strategy to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more. Follow the below-mentioned points to drive foot traffic to your restaurants.

Special deals for first-time customers

An excellent way to entice new customers is to offer special deals or discounts and invite them to try your restaurant.

This could be a;

  • Percentage off on their total bill
  • A complimentary appetizer or dessert
  • Or even a buy-one-get-one offer

These special deals will incentivize new customers to visit and provide an opportunity to showcase your offerings and exceptional service. It will increase the chances of them becoming repeat customers of your restaurant.

Limited-time promotions

Create a sense of urgency with limited-time promotions to drive foot traffic and boost sales.

Whether it's a;

  • Seasonal menu
  • A holiday-themed promotion
  • Or a special offer for a limited time

These promotions create a fear of missing out (FOMO) that can compel customers to visit your restaurant sooner rather than later.

Loyalty programs

Implementing a loyalty program is a powerful way to incentivize repeat visits and strengthen a strong customer base. The best way for this is to;

  • Offer rewards on referrals
  • Discounts
  • Exclusive perks
  • Incentivize repeat visits

Create a memorable dining experience

Every restaurant promises great food to its customers. Where you can win is, by creating a memorable dining experience. You can create it by having;

Live entertainment

Create a unique and exciting atmosphere to keep your customers engaged and eager to return to your restaurants by incorporating live entertainment. You can have;

  • Live music performances
  • Interactive cooking demonstrations and more

These experiences can elevate the dining experience and provide a memorable evening for your customers.

Themed nights

Hosting themed nights is a creative way to add a sense of novelty and excitement to your restaurant's offerings.

Whether it's a;

  • Wine and cheese pairing event
  • A cultural celebration
  • Or a themed menu inspired by a particular cuisine or region

These experiences can attract new customers and keep regular ones coming back for more.

Interactive dining options

Popular restaurant brands offer interactive dining options such as;

  • Build-your-own pizza
  • Or DIY sushi rolls

They use this trick to engage customers in the culinary experience. You can use the same method based on your restaurant theme.

This will create a memorable and personalized dining experience and will encourage your customers to share their creations on social media.

Ambience and customer service

Creating a welcoming and inviting ambience that aligns with your restaurant's branding and theme is essential for setting the stage for a memorable dining experience.

Train your staff to provide exceptional customer service. Positive interactions can leave a lasting impression and build up customer loyalty.

Leverage restaurant management software


The success mantra in today’s digital era for restaurants is not managing restaurants manually but smartly with restaurant management software.

Along with the brand name, the secret behind the success of restaurants like Subway, Mcdonalds, Dominoz, Darden Restaurants, etc is food ordering and delivery solutions.

Efficiency is the factor for them to be successful. That’s where YelowXpress’s restaurant managing software comes in. It promises to streamline your operations, improve the customer experience, and ultimately drive sales consistently.

YelowXpress features

YelowXpress offers a white-label software solution with powerful features designed to streamline your restaurant's operations and enhance the customer experience. This comprehensive solution has everything you need to stay ahead of the competition. Let us explore each of them in detail one by one.

  • Online ordering: Offer your customers the convenience of ordering their favorite dishes online. YelowXpress's online food ordering solution is user-friendly and integrates seamlessly with your existing operations.

Read More: Click to explore customer app features in detail

  • Delivery management: Streamline your delivery operations with YelowXpress's delivery management platform. Track orders, optimize routes, and ensure timely and efficient delivery.

Read More: Click to discover features of the driver app in detail

  • Loyalty program management: Implement and manage loyalty programs with ease using YelowXpress's order management solution. Reward your most loyal customers, incentivize referrals, and foster a strong community around your brand.

Read More: Click to explore the vendor panel in detail and see what you can do with it

  • Analytics: Gain valuable insights into your restaurant's performance with YelowXpress's powerful restaurant management system analytics tools. Analyze sales data, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your operations and marketing strategies.

Read More: Know all about the admin panel and the power you will get with it to manage restaurants seamlessly


So, you have discovered the secrets that popular restaurants use to get more customers and increase sales. There is no doubt that talking about the secrets and implementing them in real are 2 different things.

Implementation is always tough and challenging. But, if you follow the steps mentioned above dedicatedly, you will surely make a record for your own restaurant of driving more customers to your restaurants both ways - foot traffic and online customers.

However, the restaurant order and delivery management software is there for you to streamline your operations, help you implement all these ways easily, enhance customer experience, build customer loyalty, make informed decisions based on customer behavior, and most importantly drive direct digital sales that lead to increased revenue.

So take these good ideas you have read above, use them with your heart and soul, and see your restaurant grow big and strong.



To attract more customers, you have to enhance your online presence, offer promotions, provide exceptional dining experiences, and leverage restaurant management software like YelowXpress.

Some effective restaurant marketing ideas are social media promotions, email marketing campaigns, partnering with local businesses, hosting special events, and optimizing your website for search engines.

To increase sales for your restaurant, you can offer promotions, improve customer service, implement digital marketing tactics, enhance the dining experience, and utilize restaurant management software to streamline operations.

Entertainment combines dining with entertainment, such as live music, trivia nights, or themed events. It can attract more customers, increase sales, and create a unique dining experience that keeps patrons coming back for more.

You can make your restaurant popular in the local community by engaging with the local community through events, sponsorships, and partnerships. Offer excellent service, unique dining experiences, and promotions to attract and retain customers.

Some unique ways to attract a lot of customers include hosting pop-up events, collaborating with local influencers, offering exclusive promotions, taking your restaurant online, offering an online order facility to your customers by leveraging white-label food ordering apps, and creating shareable experiences that generate word-of-mouth marketing.


Mushahid Khatri

Mushahid Khatri is the Chief Executive Officer of Yelowsoft, one of the leading taxi dispatch and on-demand delivery solution providers. He is a visionary leader who believes in imparting his profound knowledge that is leaned on business and entrepreneurship.

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