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  • Writer's picturePinky

Surge Pricing and Other Restaurant Promotion Ideas to Get More Customers

There’s no denying that Singapore’s F&B industry is outrageously competitive. But we’re also a city of serial foodies, eager to dine at yet another restaurant. So, it could simply take some gentle prodding to turn potential customers into seated diners.

Try these low-cost strategies.

1. Surge Pricing

It’s not just ride-hailing apps that implement surge pricing – if you think about it, this dynamic pricing model that balances demand and supply is nothing new to the modern economy. Prices for flights soar during holiday periods. Movie tickets are more expensive on weekends.

F&B establishments, too, can do a lot with this strategy. Even a restaurant that’s completely filled with hungry diners by 7pm every day could be painfully idle the hour before. Consider running early bird promotions, happy hours or other time-based deals during these off-peak periods to speed business up.

Japanese restaurant Kan Sushi and Vietnamese restaurant Wrap & Roll are two of many restaurants that feature on the Eatigo app, a platform that offers time-based discounts.

It’s a win for both customer and restaurant – customers pay less for dining at a quieter time, and restaurants at least get extra business instead of leaving their tables empty.

2. Capitalise on your under-utilised assets

Even before opening for business at 4pm each day, central London bar Sway is already filled with customers.

And they’re all on their laptops.

Sway is one of the several F&B establishments that was previously closed during the day, but has since reinvented its off-hours space into a co-working hub for its city’s entrepreneurs and creative freelancers. For a certain price each month, members get a space to work productively in the day – and conveniently treat themselves to a cocktail (or three) when it’s time for happy hour.

The benefits for restaurants go beyond the additional revenue from membership fees (with minimal costs at that) – it could be a smart marketing move, too. Ever since Toronto gastropub Marben began doubling up as a co-working space in the day, it has seen a significant increase in its popularity, even among the general public. After all, news sources feed off each other, and buzz is amplified.

This strategy is certainly news-worthy in Singapore, where co-working spaces have really began to take off in recent years. These new-age working spaces portray themselves as the “dream office”, evolving beyond traditional work cubicles and providing a more laid-back, social environment. In other words: everything a restaurant already is.

3. Social Media

So, your customers are sharing pictures and posts of their dining experience on their social media. Great! It’s no secret that the most credible form of advertising comes from the people we know, which explains the value of user-generated content.

If nothing else, interact with your customers by leaving a simple comment. Social media is, after all, about being social. You’re not only establishing your brand as a more “human” one, there’s also another often overlooked yet incredibly valuable merit: You’re putting your username out there, giving anyone looking at the post more avenues to click into your business’s social media profile.

The trendy Alter Ego being social on social media, as you do.

Or, take it a step further – for instance, pick a couple of posts a month and leave a comment offering those customers a discount off their next meal, and you might just be earning yourself a new brand ambassador. The possibilities with social media are endless.

If executed well, these simple promotion ideas can go a long way to wooing your customers and marketing your restaurant.

Have more ideas? Share them with us in the comments section down below!

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