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If your restaurant has seen a steady decrease in foot traffic, you’re not alone. Slow sales and traffic were common for eateries in 2016, and according to The NPD Group, this could be an ongoing trend in the coming years.

However, the decrease of in-store restaurant traffic doesn’t mean your sales have to suffer. Now’s a great time to explore secondary revenue opportunities to keep profits up. Not sure where to begin?

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Happy Hours

Customers love a good deal, making happy hours a great way to attract crowds during the week. Offer a few drink and food specials, like half-off appetizers and cocktails, to help get people in the door during times that may otherwise be slow. Plus, you can also use happy hours as a segway into dinner for customers already in your restaurant.

Large Parties

You don’t need a dedicated room to host large parties. In most cases, a closed-off dining area works fine. Once you come up with a few specialized menu packages for customers to choose from, you can also adjust pricing based on the number of people and the length of the party.  

Special Events

Themed event nights can bring in your most loyal customers and serve as an excellent way to attract new patrons. While you can go as big as you want, these nights don’t have to be over the top. Simply host the night and spread the word on social media. Some common ideas include:

  • Trivia night
  • Award show-themed events
  • Company sponsored dinners
  • Live music


There’s no shortage of off-site food events you can get involved with, and catering these events is a sure way to gain exposure for your restaurant. Look for opportunities to join food festivals, company outings, school-sponsored events and more. Sharing just a few menu favorites can bring both loyal and new customers back to your establishment for more.

Slow restaurant traffic doesn’t mean you have to settle for less-than-stellar sales. Being open to new revenue streams can help you increase profits and identify events that may work well enough to permanently incorporate into your sales strategy.  

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