Restaurant Management: 5 Ways to Increase Lunch Sales

By Elizabeth Kelly

Looking for new ways to increase traffic to your restaurant during a slow lunch? From specials and promotions, to social media, there are a few budget friendly strategies that can help. 

Between 11am to 2pm, there’s a big opportunity to attract business lunches, workers on their lunch breaks, and lunchtime catering business. If you aren’t doing anything to encourage that, you’re missing out. Try implementing any—or all—of the tactics below to draw in business diners. 

1. Offer a lunch special.

The cost of eating out everyday can quickly add up. Help local workers look past a bag lunch by offering a lunch special, or a combo deal. A good lunch—at a perceived reduced price—will bring customers back on a regular basis. 

2. Hand-deliver samples.

Get out and meet your neighboring businesses by delivering samples to nearby offices. Plan to do this just before lunch, and pair it with menus or coupons. Encourage your neighbors to visit your restaurant, or order online. People like to support people they like—by hand delivering the samples you’re giving them a chance to get to know you and your business. 

3. Give group discounts. 

It’s pretty common for co-workers to go for lunch together, and it’s also typical for work meetings and discussions to take place off-site over lunch. Encourage larger parties by offering a special deal for groups of four or more. This type of incentive can lure-in groups of friends or associates looking for a meeting location.

4. Offer free delivery to local businesses. 

When deadlines are tight, people tend to work through their lunch. Ordering-in to the office is common practice in large offices. Free delivery could help you win more of their lunch business. In the post Catering to Businesses and Organizations with House Accounts, we discussed a few methods for billing businesses, and how it can be different from residential deliveries. 

5. Post to social media.

Consider posting on Facebook or Instagram in the late morning with scrumptious pictures of your food. Post lunch deals and special discounts to be redeemed at lunch. Nothing makes someone’s stomach grumble faster than checking Instagram at 11am. We’ve covered social media best practices in a few posts, such as Insta-Love Worthy Instagram Tips for Restaurants, and Restaurant Marketing: Facebook Tips from Smart Pizza Marketing

Tap into the business customer base in your area with service and menu specials that cater to what they need during the workday. And watch your lunch sales and profits grow.

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Posted on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 @ 08:11 AM.
Updated on January 16, 2020 @ 7:48 PM PST.

Posted by Elizabeth Kelly

As the Marketing Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions Inc., Elizabeth is the Managing Editor for On Point: The Restaurant Technology Blog. Have an idea for an article? Send her a message!

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Tags: Restaurant Marketing, social media

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