Awesome Restaurant Marketing Ideas!

Who Sold 230,000 bags of M&M's in 2012?

The SeaTac airport concessionaires sold 1.7 million bottles of water; 230,000 bags of M&Ms; 90,000 neck pillows; 20,000 copies of “50 Shades of Gray,” which was the biggest selling book at Sea-Tac concessions, and nearly 10,000 “Sleepless in Seattle” nightshirt/PJs.

Sea-Tac officials also said they set a record in airport concessions, with sales of $180 million in 2012 and the Port of Seattle collecting $25 million in revenues.

Sure, the reason might be as a result of the record number of airplane visitors.  Seattle-Tacoma International Airport said it set a record last year with 33,223,111 total passengers, beating the previous record a year earlier of 32.8 million passengers.

Of course you remember the requirement to show up two hours early for any flight.  Once through the security gate and ready to board, the waiting begins.  Naturally people will stop to buy a bottle of water, a bag of M&M's, a neck pillow and a book to read.  Since you forgot your nightshirt, you will pick one up at the airport.

What is missing in restaurants is the opportunity during peak times when people are in waiting mode.  Watch closely as people are not happy that they are waiting.  They may or may not talk to each other.  It is a bit like an elevator where people standing next to each other avoid contact.  This is a social environment.  Do people really want "less personal contact"?

Why is it that so few restaurant owners or managers take advantage of the opportunity. This is get to know you time.  Start the conversation, recommend the specials, gives secret menu tips, ask if there are any special occasions, ask if they like Facebook, have them draw out of a hat and maybe win something... and the list goes on. 

While a restaurant owner can't require that guest arrive two hours in advance and get away with making people wait, there are people waiting and would welcome ideas, thoughts, tips, special conversation from someone who cares about them. 

The lobby and entrance is not just a place in the structure, it is a valuable moment in time.  It is where people are first greeted and when they depart through the door. 

Do they depart as strangers?  I hope not.


Topics: Restaurant Marketing