If you own a restaurant, I’d place a good bet you’ve got a special menu. Maybe multiple! These menus can increase sales during periods where business slows down, encourage repeat visits, and even attract different audiences.
Not only are special menus a great way to drive sales, there’s a lot of them to try. Here are five special menus to try out in your restaurant.
Happy Hour Menu. When it comes to special menus, happy hour may be one of the most common and popular ones around. Happy hour classically helps improve off-peak hours, focusing on the time of day when the work crowd gets off and is ready for a bite to eat with a nice cocktail. All at a reduced cost. Different restaurants use happy hour menus in different ways of course. Some start closer to noon than 5 o’clock. Others run twice a day, with some restaurants keeping happy hour active before and after dinner. Make it work for your restaurant.
For more on perfecting your happy hour menu, click here for five tips, courtesy of our blog.
Seasonal Menu. The seasonal menu is the type of menu that incentivizes your customers to eat at your restaurant year-round. Each time a customer finds a new favorite off the seasonal menu, they’re hooked. In the back of their minds, they know that they only have until the end of the season to try it again. And then when it pops up again a year later? If they haven’t stopped by in a while, they might just think to.
After Hours Menu. For many restaurants and bars, the after hours menu (or late night menu) is just another variation of happy hour. However, the after hours menu can be very much its own beast. Many restaurants, for practical reasons, will partially close their kitchen after a certain time period. Therefore, the after hours menu will have to work with certain restrictions.
Rather than host a limited version of the happy hour menu, give the after hours menu its own identity. Late night eaters are more likely to look for more than just the appetizers you’d find on a happy hour menu. Many of them have been drinking, and might be looking for more comfort-based food. This can vary wildly, as everyone has their own preferences in what they’re looking for. Play to your restaurant’s strengths.
Prix Fixe Menu. Set at a fixed-price, pre fixe menus offer an entire multi-course meal in one convenient package. You probably won’t always have a pre fixe menu running. In general, most restaurants want to try these out around holidays and other occasions.
These are particularly popular during the various nationwide Restaurant Weeks that occur throughout the year. Participating can help expose your restaurant to customers who use the occasion as an opportunity to try new places to eat at. Impress them by showing off your restaurant’s best stuff. Find your local Restaurant Week at FindRestaurantWeeks.com.
Chef’s Specials. Because they change so often, these specials don’t always get their own physical menu. Sometimes they’re listed on a chalkboard outside the restaurant, or maybe they’ll get a spot on the table in the form of a pop up menu. And, as you’ve probably experienced, many restaurants have their servers memorize what the specials are and will happily list them out for guests before their orders.
The chef’s specials are particularly attractive because, from the customer point of view, these are meals that the chef has personally designed. It’s a creation born of a chef’s passion for cuisine. That outlook can make even an expensive special appear vastly more appealing.
Promote your special menus digitally with CoGoBuzz
Ready to promote your specials? Get started with CoGoBuzz. Our powerful digital marketing service gives your specials the digital presence and promotion they deserve.
Taking advantage of powerful WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, we set your restaurant up with a wide range of ways to promote. The CoGoBuzz relationship starts when your customers login to your in-restaurant HotSpot. After logging in through email, social media, or phone number, they’ll be taken to a custom landing page tailored to your restaurant. There, they can access your specials menu, sign up for your brand new text-based loyalty program, and more! As soon as they’ve left, you can promote your future specials menu via text or email!
What special menus does your restaurant use? Sound off in the comments!