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6 Brilliant Ways to Attract the Corporate Lunch Crowd to Your Restaurant

The corporate lunch crowd wants to eat out, so it’s up to you to entice them to your restaurant.

Looking to improve your profitability over the lunch hour?

It turns out that workers who take a lunch break and actually leave their offices are more satisfied with their jobs and may even be more efficient. Knowing this can help you craft a marketing strategy to get more office workers in your restaurant over the lunch hour.

While many restaurants are busy during the dinner rush, they struggle to fill their tables from 11 am – 2 pm. To help you, we’ve put together six brilliant ways to attract the corporate lunch crowd to your restaurant.

#1: Offer Lunch-Only Specials

For many businesspeople eating out every day can get expensive. You can help them out with their weekly food budget while also encouraging them to dine at your restaurant. (tweet this) How?

Offer specials to entice the office crowd to lunch. Your specials might even reach office workers who are a little further away from your office.

As you create your specials, consider offering the following:

Grab-and-go deals
Discounted combination meals
Salad and main combo
Main and dessert combo
10-20% off lunchtime meals during a certain time frame

#2: Offer Quick Service

For the corporate crowd that wants to come in and dine, you want to remember that many of them only have an hour to get to your restaurant, eat, and return to the office.

So, do everything you can to streamline your service. Add some extra staff during the lunch hour to accommodate those who need to get in and out relatively easily and quickly.

#3: Offer Prix Fixe Meals

You can also reserve a portion of your menu where you feature a prix fixe meal. Prix fixe is French for a fixed price and offers a meal at a set price. This might include salad, main course, and drink. Get creative and listen to what your customers are looking for.

A prix fixe meal would also be one that’s quickly prepared for busy office workers on a set schedule. It makes for not only a fast ordering process, but it allows you to get diners in and out quickly.

Both your restaurant and your customers benefit from prix fixe meals. Here’s what your restaurant gains:

Your staff spends less time preparing food.
It’s easier for your team to handle the lunch rush.
Your staff is less stressed out for the hour or two that your restaurant is packed.

Finally, the best prix fixe lunch has two to three variations per course. You might have three to five offerings, so each prix fixe lunch is quick.

Make your restaurant a cozy spot for office workers to eat and collaborate.

#4: Create a Loyalty Reward Plan

This is one of the best ways to keep the corporate crowd coming back to your restaurant. You do this by rewarding them.

Your best bet is to start simply. For example, give diners a free lunch after 10 lunch visits. Then, on their birthday or even their half-birthday, send them a coupon for a free appetizer, side, or dessert.

You can also offer them comeback coupons periodically, where you surprise them with a discount or free item.

With your reward plan, the key is to keep marketing to your diners. You want to email them and text them several times a month to stay in front of them. Remind them how close they are to a reward.

You’ll find that a loyalty program can really drive your lunch business.

#5: Offer Pay at the Table

Once diners are finished with their meals, they often wait 10-15 minutes to get their check and then for the server to bring their receipt and credit card/cash back to the table.

You can significantly reduce this by adding your POS system kiosks to each of your tables. This way, diners can pay on their own time and still have enough time to return to work.

As an added benefit, this helps you get their emails and phone numbers so you can continue to market to them.

#6: Offer a Group Special

Generally, in many offices, co-workers get together and go to lunch as a group. They may even do this as much as once a week.

This is a perfect opportunity to market to the “workgroup.”

So, offer a special group discount for office workers. You can set the size. It may be three people, five people, or even more than 10. You get to decide. Then, offer a percentage off the total bill.

In addition, it helps to have specific areas in your restaurant ready to take a large group of six or more. You definitely don’t want them to have to wait for you to find space for them or to put tables together.

Final Thoughts on Gaining Lunch Traffic

Now that you have our tips for attracting the corporate lunch crowd, you’re ready to create and implement your lunchtime marketing strategy.

Before you go, though, we want to leave you with one more important tip.

To really attract the corporate lunch crowd from the beginning, you want to take samples around the office buildings in your vicinity. Once you’ve done that, you can reach farther out from your restaurant. (tweet this)

Create a box of your most popular lunch items, grab a handful of menus, put on your restaurant-branded clothing, and visit local offices during the lunch hour when people are hungry. You can even hand out coupons for first-time diners.

This is a great way to introduce people to your restaurant and give them a reason to come to dine with you.

Finally, make sure your menus or handouts include the following:

The special discount
Daily or weekly specials
Your prix fixe menu
Information on your loyalty reward program

This is a great start to your corporate lunch crowd marketing plan!

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Images: LinkedIn Sales Solutions and Helena Lopes on Unsplash

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