4 Tips to Increase Foot Traffic in Your Local Restaurant


Foot traffic in restaurants is dwindling. Recent research has revealed that traffic at quick-service restaurants fell 3.5% in the first three months of 2024. However, the overall sales managed to stay slightly positive, with a growth of 0.8%. 

Cracker Barrel is a notable American restaurant chain that has experienced a dip in foot traffic. Kona, Starbucks, and Denny’s are other noteworthy food giants whose foot traffic has declined a bit this year. 

The decline in foot traffic of industry giants could be worrisome for small restaurant owners. If the big players are struggling, what hope is there for your local eatery? Fortunately, there are several strategies you can adopt to increase foot traffic to your restaurant. 

Here are some tips to grow it and help your business thrive despite the industry’s challenges. 

#1 Make Your Restaurant Business Meeting-Friendly

A sure-shot way to increase foot traffic to your local restaurant is to make it business meeting-friendly. If you’re successful at attracting companies to conduct their meetings at your restaurant, its impact will be dramatic. 

Offer ample seating space, comfortable chairs, and a quiet atmosphere. Businesses also require a high-speed internet connection for conducting meetings, especially when their clients are overseas. Equip your restaurant with fast WiFi. Companies looking for restaurants to hold meetings will find your premises attractive if they have fast WiFi. 

To ensure a smooth business meeting experience, streamline the ordering process with options like a dedicated server or online ordering. This minimizes interruptions, allowing attendees to focus on discussions without delays.

Display signage outside your restaurant to let people know that your restaurant is available to host meetings. Interested ones will get in touch with you. 

#2 Create a Restaurant Website 

Research has revealed that 62% of consumers find restaurants on Google. Wouldn’t you lose out on a lot of revenue if your restaurant doesn’t display at the top in the SERPs when people search for it? Of course, yes! 

Hence, establish your online presence by creating a restaurant website. Don’t hire professional web developers; they’ll cost you a lot of time as well as money. Instead, use AI-powered website builders to create your website from scratch. These website builders are capable of generating a fully functional website in a matter of minutes. 

AI website builders, Hocoos explains, make the process of creating a website faster and easier than ever before. Thus, you can save money and time, which isn’t possible if you opt for traditional website-building methods. Moreover, these website builders offer AI design tools. You can create eye-catching, professional-looking websites without any design skills. 

Once your website is up, add all important details, such as a menu, location, hours of operation, contact details, and reservation options. Showcase your culinary offerings by uploading high-quality images of your dishes on your website. This will entice your website visitors, compelling them to visit your restaurant to taste them. 

Include an online ordering button, too. This will streamline the process of ordering food. 

#3 Create Instagram-Worthy Exteriors

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t click pictures of themselves as well as the food when they visit a restaurant? Most people do. 

Why not create Instagrammable exteriors and give people a reason to visit your restaurant? This will increase the foot traffic to your restaurant, helping you grow your brand. 

Incorporate unique architectural elements like arched windows, textured walls, or intricate trims. They will add character to your restaurant. Use a cohesive color palette that stands out yet complements the surroundings. Landscaping is crucial—incorporate lush greenery and colorful flowers to enhance curb appeal.

Pay attention to outdoor decor and furniture, as well. It should be stylish yet functional. Create cozy seating areas and add vibrant cushions as well as tasteful lighting, such as fairy lights or lanterns, to create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Statement pieces like sculptures, water features, or a bold front door can add character and serve as focal points.

#4 Shake Things Up With Daily Specials 

If your restaurant is struggling to generate sales, try offering daily specials. This can really invigorate your menu and convince your customers to return. 

Offer a diverse range of daily specials that highlight the chef’s creativity, seasonal ingredients, or unique culinary techniques. These specials can include dishes not typically found on the regular menu, enticing patrons to try something new.

Spread the word about your daily specials through your website and social media profiles. You can also inform your customers about them on a table tent card or chalkboard. Also, create themed days, like Taco Tuesday or Seafood Saturday, to give customers something to look forward to each week. 

To sum things up, attracting people to your restaurant could be challenging, especially if your establishment is newly opened. But you can drive more people to your doorstep with these savvy tips, so follow them. 

You can also attract diners to your establishment by offering loyalty programs. Partnering with local influencers is another way to increase foot traffic to your restaurant. When you follow all these tips, rest assured that your restaurant will become a thriving hub of activity where customers keep returning for more.

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