Ah, the season of summer. You can almost smell the sunscreen on the table of five in the back. They’re obviously on vacation – which means they just as obviously won’t become regulars – so why give them any extra attention? Restaurant marketing to summer tourists is worth it. Here’s why…

It’s actually pretty simple — people on vacation spend more. They drink more, order more appetizers, go for the bigger items on the menu and splurge on dessert. When they find a place that has great food and an even better time, they keep coming back… on this vacation and on those to come. Add those facts to the statistics that show more people are traveling this summer and you’ll see why it’s smart to make a little extra effort in your restaurant marketing for passing-through guests.

Boost your vacation business with…

  • Signage. Welcome tourists on your door or with exterior signs. Make sure signage welcomes visitors and promotes specials. Keep the outside area as clean and inviting as possible. You may have the best wings in the world, but no one from out of town will know that… and they won’t even slow down if your exterior isn’t up to par.
  • Social media. Look to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to advertise to friends of your followers. Look for events on LinkedIn to connect to people coming in from out of town for business this summer.
  • Old school ads. People do still read things in print, especially when they’re traveling. Place an ad in your local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) visitor guide. Most CVB’s do an excellent job distributing their guides from hotel rooms to malls and a lot of other places in between.
  • Coupons. Ask nearby hotels if they’ll provide guests with your coupons that feature special tourist offers (“bring in your out-of-state license and get a free appetizer”). Promote an “out-of-towner” special to your regulars to encourage them to bring in family and friends visiting them this summer.
  • Attitude. Prep your servers and greeters with local activities and hotspots (for families, singles and couples) so they can seamlessly direct touring guests.

Remember, any restaurant marketing program will fall flat if your staff isn’t trained to handle increased traffic, provide exceptional service, and make helpful suggestions. No train, no gain!