Fill tables with hotel guests
Advertisers offer numerous hotel opportunities such as key cards, room directories, and electronic kiosks to drive guests to your door. None are worthless but all miss a most important factor: personal recommendation.
Think about it. Why does Yelp work? Because folks can scroll through and discover what real people have to say about quality and service. Which holds more weight for you? An ad or a recommendation?
If your diner is near a hotel or many hotels, the key to drawing their guests your way is to get to know and impress the people most likely to be asked for their opinions about where to eat. Hint: Those people are generally not the general manager.
Those people are front desk staff, conference service managers, and concierge employees.
Courting these valuable people to send you referrals requires building a relationship. A lot of restaurants think that by passing out guest discount cards, hotels will suddenly start sending them hundreds of customers every week.
Here are some steps to win real referrals and fill your tables:
- Take a business card and a few takeout menus to the concierge. Write your hours of operation and delivery options on the card.
- Ask to meet the conference services or group sales manager. Again, bring your business card, menus, and a few Bear Bucks.
- Deliver a basket of cut up bear claws with our You've Been Clawed card for the front desk staff to enjoy.
- Gift each new hotel management or concierge contact with an invitation and a few Bear Bucks.
- Entice each new contact with reasons why our diner is so great, and why their guests will thank them for recommending it (large portions of yummy home-style food, breakfast anytime, fun bear decor).
- Ask the concierge or conference services manager about upcoming groups and develop a special for conference attendees. For example, run lunch specials for all guests of a particular group or conference and require proof of a conference pass or name tag to snag the offer. Provide a half page flier to support the offer. (Contact Marketing for help with the flyer.)
Remember to keep your initial introduction friendly but brief. Most concierge teams will appreciate any extra local information they can provide guests, but may not have a lot of time for chit chat. Conference services or group sales managers may be tough to pin down, so get to know who their assistant is and relay the vital information to them.
If in your initial attempt, you are unable to meet with the desired people in person, obtain an email and phone number to try contacting them again in a few days. Be friendly to everyone you encounter while working your way through the neighborhood and have fun meeting the people in your neighborhood.