Cricket World Cup 2019 is fast approaching, and you won’t want to miss out on a minute of the action. Make sure you’re well prepared for the competition with these top tips.
Chefs, you know your clientele best, so take a look at these ideas and pick and choose what’s right for your customer, your locale and your restaurant…
- Individual: offer the first 10 people through your door a 10% discount.
- Impulse drop-ins: lure passers by off the street with an AMAZING discount on something really popular: e.g. a set price for unlimited appetisers (which will fuel drinks purchases).
- Groups: promise discounts for large groups (e.g. a 10% discount for groups of 10+) on social media and encourage retweets to share the love.
- If any items on your menu aren’t selling so well, bundle them together with a more popular item and offer them at a discount.
- Play with flash sales and limited time offers on your social media (but don’t overpromote or people switch off – two or three times is enough).
- Offer loyalty cards: every time customers spend over a certain amount they earn a stamp. Earn ten stamps and they get a free meal.
Make your restaurant look the part by decorating it with cricket memorabilia and team colours – but don’t forget to keep the lighting and décor Instagram-friendly. Perhaps even factor in some perfect spots for posing. Advertise your handles and unique hashtags on your menus so you can keep track of positive coverage.
- Theme your food – offer 10 different burgers to represent the 10 teams, and encourage people to ‘collect’ all the flavours. For example, New Zealand could have beetroot in theirs, the English one might feature Cheddar cheese, while the Afghan burger could be topped with yogurt and pomegranate seeds. Set a burger challenge – give customers a stamp card; if they manage to try all 10 they win a meal voucher; if they eat five they get a free dish.
- Name your desserts, pizzas etc. after favourite cricket players, and try to capture their personalities in the flavours! Involve your customers (online or in the restaurant) by asking them to suggest flavours, too – the winner gets their dish featured on the menu for the semi-final and final.
- Invite a relevant celebrity to make a guest appearance at your place: a singer, a DJ, a sports writer, a cricket hero – get them to sing, DJ, sign books, pose for photos, whatever’s appropriate. You’ll soon create a buzz.
- Start a fantasy cricket league with cash prizes or restaurant vouchers. This is a really fun way to keep your customers loyal.
- Engage with your customers on social media – post pictures of your best dishes, ask for feedback – such as votes on which flavour ideas they prefer. Ask them which way they think the game will go – if one team wins you can offer a discount on one dish, if the other… you get the picture. Have fun with it and people will keep tuning in and coming back for more.
- Tell everyone you are screening the CWC and offer great deals for early bookings – shout it out on your social media and advertise the fact weeks in advance so that groups can book tables.
- Run a caption competition on social media – use a funny photo-still from one of the matches. Wittiest caption wins a prize.
- Give away FREE STUFF! Everyone loves free stuff. Merchandise – caps, t-shirts, pens and keytags with your restaurant name all over – but also free Wi-Fi and smartphone charging (some customers are going to watch the whole game so they’ll want to know they can stay connected).
- Offer free or really cheap bar-style snacks (such as salty peanuts or savoury popcorn) – you know that a few of those will inevitably lead to a round of drinks and will probably stimulate appetites, too.
Don’t lose out during downtime – when there’s a quiet patch or players break for lunch, keep customers entertained with quizzes, bingo and trivia for instant prizes.
- Goldfish bowl – put a bowl on the counter for business cards, or provide cards for customers to write down their details for the chance to enter a free prize draw. Remember to ask if they mind you emailing them special offers.
- How about a cricket selfie competition? This can start on social media by getting people to post their pics (dressed in cricket whites or as their favourite cricketers) but then you can start building a ‘selfie wall’ in the restaurant and customers can vote for their favourites – the winner gets a prize at the end of the tournament.
- Can you think of a suitable eating challenge for your customers – for example, who can eat the hottest chilli, the driest crackers without drinking, the biggest quantity of mini-burgers? Post the video (with permission from contenders) on your social media and hope to go viral....