5 Ways to Attract Customers in a Construction Zone

Temporary construction, whether it’s happening on the road outside of your restaurant, the building next door or the strip mall you’re in, is an unavoidable event that can turn off customers and hold up revenue.

Rather than succumb to the slow business that often results from being hidden under scaffolding, restaurant owners and managers should develop a proactive strategy to attract customers. Here are five tips for bringing in business despite the dust.

Limited-time discounts

Offering a percentage off customers’ total orders, or buy-one-get-one deals, is a direct way to attract customers who might otherwise stay away during hectic construction periods. Plan two-part promotions (i.e., customers that carry out during a certain week receive 10 percent off their order, plus a coupon valid for the next 30 days) to secure repeat business.

Push notifications

An effective way to lure customers into your restaurant is by marketing to them when they’re already close by. Businesses that maintain a mobile app can take advantage of geo-targeted push notifications – alerts that app users automatically receive on their smartphone or tablet – to send customers special offers (or remind them that you’re open during construction) when they’re within a certain distance from your restaurant.

Multichannel contests

Give customers a new reason to stop by your restaurant, despite local construction, by holding in-restaurant contests during peak mealtimes. Go beyond the usual business card drawings with themed restaurant trivia or eating contests organized around a favorite menu item. Adding a social media component (i.e., rewarding the best customer Instagram photo of the day) not only puts your brand in front of a wider audience, it generates valuable content to use for marketing later on.

Business partnerships

Whenever there’s construction nearby, chances are your restaurant isn’t the only business affected by it. Consider partnering with other local companies to collaborate on strategic campaigns that attract customers who might be hesitant to shop or dine next to a construction zone. Running a joint promotion across businesses on the same block or in the same mall gives customers more incentive to visit and linger.

Takeout and delivery deals
To accommodate customers who simply won’t dine in during construction, restaurants should double down on takeout and delivery services. Adding special items to the takeout menu, or offering discounts for offices, schools and other groups that place large orders, can help your restaurant attract customers and maintain a steady revenue stream during an otherwise chaotic time.

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