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Selling Your Soup No Matter the Temperature

Mar 22, 2008
One of the keys to a successful restaurant business is learning how to woo your customer. This means being able to sell whatever you have on the menu to anyone at any time of the year. Even if it's ninety degrees out, people should want to buy your soup and when it's colder than ice outside, they should be looking for your salads and frozen treats. But since not everyone has the knack for selling, here's a crash course in sales techniques that actually work.

What's So Special About Your Place?

You need a 'hook' in order to get people in your door -- and to keep people coming into your restaurant. So, be honest with yourself, what makes you so special? While it's true that every restaurant concept has been covered (usually all on one street), you need to find something in your place that makes you better, or at least different, from the rest.

And if you can't find anything, it's time to make some changes at your restaurant. Maybe you sell all breakfast foods? Have your staff dress up in pajamas and then advertise from that angle. Find something that makes customer feel shocked or something that makes them laugh and you're going to bring 'em in by the busload.

Make it a Mystery

On the other hand, the less you tell your customer, the more they'll want to know. What you might want to do is create a mystery special or a mystery theme that will happen one night a week. Create flyers and signs that promote this mystery event and then do something wild that people will enjoy. Have an 80's night or redecorate the seating area in crazy colors. Just do something that makes people want to come in to see what else you can offer them.

Become More Regular

Some restaurants that have an older clientele or guests that seem to favor sameness will want to create a schedule of menu items and specials that repeats each week. For example, margarita Mondays are popular. You can create an entire schedule of weekly food specials or entertainment that will help keep people coming in, even though they know what to expect.

Other ways to bring people in:

- Have a certain hour of the day when everything's half off. But don't publish when that hour is.
- Have drink specials with certain menu choices.
- Include desserts with dinners on the weekends.
- Include your customers in a vote of what new items you bring onto the menu.
- Have private events for special customers.

Emptying your soup crocks when it's seventy outside takes talent. But creating a buzz? That just takes a little creativity.
About the Author
Able Kitchen (http://www.ablekitchen.com) sells restaurant supplies online for great prices due to large bulk purchases. The author, Art Gib, is a freelance writer.
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