Travelers spend more than $200 billion annually on food service in the United States, according to the U.S. Travel Association. What does that mean? The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, states that “‘food services and drinking places’ spend accelerated in the fourth quarter [of 2013], increasing 7.7 percent,” presenting an opportunity for you. Below are some tips to help you get started!
1. Build Your Social Media Presence. When tourists arrive at their destination, they often check in on Facebook to a location—and this is when ads for local attractions start. Busy holidays such as the Fourth of July are the perfect time to boost advertising and offer specials, turning this into a great tool for businesses. Twitter can also act as a channel to reach tourists. Do a little research and tweet using hashtags that tourists may follow or post to. For example, if you’re a restaurant in San Francisco, use #SF or #BayArea when tweeting a special promotion you may be running for visitors.
2. Connect with Concierges. These are the first people visitors speak to upon arrival and are generally the people they go to for restaurant and bar recommendations. Get to know the concierges in your area. Supply them with promotional cards offering guests a free dessert or a 20% discount.
3. Team Up with Local Businesses. Work with local businesses (e.g., hotels, shops, chambers of commerce) to cross-promote by sharing links on your websites, exchanging menus for brochures, offering hotel guests a discount at your restaurant, and more. For example, connect with a local bus tour group and offer a free drink to tourists who present their ticket stub or referral card.
4. Train Staff as Local “Tour Guides”. Training your staff to speak knowledgeably about your area can build your reputation as a place that’s not only welcoming to visitors but is a good resource as well. Take it a step further and encourage staff to become CTA certified.
5. Gather Feedback. Ask visitors verbally or via comment cards how they heard about you. This can help you direct your marketing decisions in the future.
Learn more about other tools we can offer to help build and grow your business at Breadcrumb.com.