Two things are more than certain: people travel and will continue to do so, and while on their travels, they like to dive deep into the culture and keep their stomachs and taste buds happy. No wonder that during the last year alone, only in the US, people spent over 200 billion US dollars on food services.
The road from an usual dining place to an attractive tourist destination may not be as long as you might have imagined it. There are many establishments around the globe that have successfully undergone this transformation. Here is their story.
Never Forget Social Media
Social media is a very powerful partner that can lead many customers right through the doors of your establishment. When you successfully maintain a regular and valuable social media presence, which of course includes a paid ad here and there, there is a great chance that you will pop up as a local attraction once the visitor checks in a local hotel.
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are new visitor guides, and you should pay attention to them respectfully. Not to mention free marketing, should your happy visitors decide to tag themselves and leave a positive review of your establishment.
Pay Attention to your Staff
The staff of your restaurant is the one that’s in direct communication with the tourists. And, tourists like to ask a lot of questions, and not only in regards to the menu and food recommendations, but also about where are some famous places located and what is the easiest/fastest way to get there.
This is why, when you hire your staff, you have to make sure that they are fluent in a at least one more language other than their own, and that they know their surroundings. There is nothing wrong to hire seasonal workers who are not from that locality, as long as they know the place really well.
In most cases, tourists don’t like to carry cash around with them. What they do carry are credit cards. This is of the utmost importance to sign a contract with processor company that offers the best conditions. Since you are running a restaurant, it would be best to get the one that offers wireless terminals and affordable annual fees, since you won’t have the same profit every month throughout the year. Before proceeding further with this, make sure to check credit card processing company rankings in order to reach a good decision.
When the guests leave your place, you want them to leave with a good experience. This way, you will get free marketing that is far more valuable than paid marketing. And, you will achieve this by providing a unique and welcoming experience. Offer them free desserts, or extra drinks on the house. Strike a conversation with them, ask them what food they prefer and which tastes they like and then offer them something from the menu that will meet their needs.
Another important thing is to shorten the waiting times. You can implement some of the latest solutions in your establishment that will help you with this matter.
Pro tip: Always use local ingredients that are fresh, especially when preparing dishes from the local cuisine.
This should be done well before the season starts. You can organize an event and invite local hoteliers, concierges, representatives of tourist offices, and anyone else who is directly involved with the tourists. By making this network strong, all of the entrepreneurs whose establishments heavily depend on the success of the tourist season will experience benefits. You can even agree about discounts that tourists can get if they made a purchase in specific stores. If you all work as a team, in the end, everyone will win.
Transforming your restaurant from a usual place into a tourist destination is not rocket science, as you can see. Though, it most certainly requires a lot of time, energy and effort. You will have to pay more attention to your public image, marketing campaign, and forming partnerships. In the end, the goal is to establish a well-functioning partnership network where all entrepreneurs support each other, while they are all supported by the local government tourist office.
In the meantime, make sure to read a lot of travel blogs; there is a lot to be learned from customers’ experiences as well as from your own competitors.