Food courts are the most crowded eateries of all. Of course, because there are so many outlets around and people with different tastes flock in to have a good meal and a good time there.
The toughest aspect of being in a food court is the existence of other restaurants that can steal your business, and the best point of being in a food court is also the presence of other restaurants that can make you look like a star; provided you know how to take your services from good to great!
Let’s figure out how a restaurant at a food court can deliver better and earn more profits.
1. Get Friendly
Your staff is well trained and is all set to do their best while serving their customers. However, they need to have something extra here because we are in a food court and all other restaurants are doing the same!
It is time to get friendly. This does not mean you have to go all the way to anyone who is walking around and pester them with your menu. This will end up driving them away, and they will never return. Nobody likes to be poked when they are strolling through a mall.
You simply need to be extra alert. If your servers see someone approaching, they need to greet them with a smile and ask ‘What can I serve you today?’ They need to be proactive to get the customer’s attention and divert them from other restaurants in the vicinity. A soft tone and eye to eye contact is another great way to keep them from going anywhere else.
2. A live contest with immediate rewards
Yes, this is an incredible idea to get all of those footfalls right into your restaurant in that unbelievably crowded food court. Put up banners and placards of your contest everywhere. Keep this contest simple and sweet and the one that gives freebies on the spot for the day. It could be as simple as ‘Name our new flavour’ or ‘What do you think is the secret ingredient in our new burger?’
This gives you double the benefits. Firstly, these people will come flocking right in to play the contest to win that ‘free ice-cream’ or ‘free fries’. Secondly, to win the contest they must know about your food items! So they will automatically look for information. Easy marketing, isn’t it? You can now wink at all the jealous onlookers of staff peeping through the next restaurant.
3. Don’t let them scream
Well, unhappy customers can lose their cool pretty fast. If you don’t want free negative publicity and spend the rest of your day without any customers, then you need to act quickly. A food court is mostly an open area, and everyone can see and hear everything. If there is any customer grievance, address it immediately without wasting a minute. Your staff should be at the table in an instant and be talking politely to the customer, to solve the problem.
Customers love to feel important, and they like solutions to their problems. So, rather than just nodding their heads, your staff should be intelligent and quick enough to provide the desired relief. Also, forgetting to apologise is unacceptable. If you don’t apologize, get ready to hear your egoistic customers starting to raise their voice.
Another no-no?… Arguments. Remember, a customer is a king, and even more so in a food court where hungry predators are waiting to snatch your customers. Arguments will lead to these customers raising their voice, and this will be music to your competitor’s ears. So, nip it in the bud.
The restaurant next to you serves large family pizzas since 1922? No sweat. 1922 is over, and this is 2017. Time for a revolution? Why don’t you add mini pizzas to your menu? While customers have their own favourites, they do love to try new things from time to time. And if these new things delight them, they will get hooked on them! Human nature, isn’t it? So, it’s time you take advantage of this.
Add something new to your menu every month. What’s even better? Keep it with you only for a month! A limited edition newbie will become the most sought after food item in the food court. And guess what? Everyone will want to try it before it is discontinued! So, more footfalls month on month!
Keep your new recipes a top secret with the right restaurant software. No hassles with storing all the new recipe data here; the procedure, ingredients et al. It is time to talk to your chef. Right Now!
5. Entertain them
Don’t let them go just because the food court is so full and there is not a single chair for them to sit. Give them something to do while they wait so that you don’t lose them to another restaurant. It could be darts, board games, chess, small bowling alley, foosball or absolutely anything that can be done while they wait. Interesting way to make your customers stick to you, isn’t it?
Food courts are not such a messy affair after all. Loaded with too many people at peak hours, a food court is the biggest opportunity for any restaurant or restaurant chain to rake in enormous profits. Well, if you grasp all of these points well and inculcate them into your food court outlets, you’ll be celebrating expansion very soon!