Business and Operations
Making Dough with Diane: June 2014
Eight ideas to attract tourists
By Diane Chiasson
Now that summer is here, there are probably hundreds of tourists walking around your pizzeria’s neighbourhood.
Now that summer is here, there are probably hundreds of tourists walking around your pizzeria’s neighbourhood. Does your marketing strategy cater to tourists? If not, it should.
Recent statistics show that around 25 per cent of the restaurant industry’s dollars come from the tourism industry, and this number is expected to continue to increase as more and more people travel the world.
Eating also tops the list as one of the favourite activities of travellers. Many tourists today will go to a particular destination just to eat at a certain restaurant they have seen on TV or read about on the Internet.
Here are a few ideas that might help attract more tourists into your pizza operation:
1. Be known for something special
Your pizza operation should have a signature dish or style that is unique to your area, thus making your pizza a must-try for tourists. Send information about your signature dish to food bloggers, travel bloggers, travel writers, travel shows or any other outlet that would promote your pizza as the place to eat for visitors to your town.
2. Advertise in hotel lobbies and magazines
Ask the hotels and motels in your area to place your pizza operation’s menu/brochures in its lobbies and/or guest rooms. Offer free delivery to guests staying at the hotel. Most hotel rooms also have a magazine or booklet that offers recommendations on where to eat in the city. Make sure to get your information into that guide. Consider also car rental agencies, travel agencies, bus charters and event centres.
3. Create a packaged tour
Work with other local businesses to create a full package that includes hotel stay, a meal at your restaurant and an activity such as a spa visit, golf, theatre, concert, wine tour, or anything else that is a must-do activity in your area.
4. Have a great website
Most tourists and out-of-towners are more likely to use the Internet to look for a good place to eat. Make sure that your website is up to date, fun and inviting, and make a special welcome for visitors with a 10 per cent discount for anyone who is from out of town. Send a link request to your local chamber of commerce and tourism bureau.
5. Join a rewards program
There are several rewards networks that exist like Open Table, SkyMiles Dining or Rewards Network Restaurant that can help you attract business from customers who frequently travel for business and are trying to collect points.
6. Organize a culinary event
Draw tourists to your area by organizing a culinary event in your neighbourhood. Hold a street fair or a culinary festival with other restaurants and businesses on your street. Have carnival rides, clowns, bands and entertainers to ramp up the entertainment value.
7. Advertise on billboards
If your pizza operation is nearby a highway exit or by a major airport, it might be a good idea to purchase billboard space to attract potential tourists to stop in your area for a bite to eat.
8.Use proper signage
If your pizza operation is located on a busy strip or near a tourist attraction, use sidewalk boards to direct tourists to your business. Be sure to make passersby an offer they can’t refuse.
Tourists have only a limited time to sample the delights of their destination. Make sure your marketing strategy does everything possible to entice these willing, and no doubt hungry, customers through your door. Use these eight ideas will help you get your marketing strategy started and boost your bottom line by capturing some great out-of-town business.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com .