Updated: Jun 21, 2020
Have you ever tried participating in a parade in your community?
If you haven't yet, then better check your city's or town's calendar of events next time so that you can join in one of their activities to help you advance your restaurant and grow your sales.
Read on to see how we made this, and learn how you can also do this to your own restaurant!
There are so many opportunities that you can look for. In our community, for instance, we had engaged in different public happenings from the beginning.
Like us, you need to be looking for those opportunities as well. Remember that no one comes, knock on your door, and be like "Hey restaurant owner, do you want to be part of this?"
Outsell the competition!
The restaurant business is a very competitive industry, so you need to be proactive, you need to out-market your competitors.
You know that a lot of restaurant owners are not going to be in those places, so you must be there.
When we began a few years ago, we started just being super active in our community and joined our local chamber of commerce because they do have a lot of different events.
Get involved before it gets saturated!
We've been active everywhere and we found that there are no restaurant owners present in most community events that are being held within the city.
All kinds of businesses, there were so many realtors, there were a lot of insurance people, there were all kinds of people like that.
The cut-throat competition was there but there weren't many restaurant owners who make the time to be active in those community celebrations. So you need to get engaged in these events.
So what are these city events that we have partaken with that you may try joining in too?
1. Be part of different parades
There are multiple local parades in your town or city that you can be a part of.
There's the 4th of July parades, there are Christmas parades, etc.
It is dirt cheap, for us at least, it was only about $25 to get a parade float.
You have a hundred people as your audience because the city promotes the event as they want the public to enjoy the celebration, and have a good time.
There's going to be a lot of families out there in these parades and we've always been super active in those. We were thinking about how are we going up to our game for these different parades.
But $25 to get exposure in front of hundreds, if not, thousands of people, is already a fantastic opportunity, isn't it? That's why we do that every year.
One of the things that we have done during a Christmas parade was, we had a big Christmas balloon and a Star Wars-inspired decorations with Master Yoda and Darth Vader structures in our parade float that the kids really loved.
We always have had a pizza costume or a pizza hat that we or one of our kids usually wears during parades. I wear a bigger pizza costume and you know what, the kids go nuts for it. "Hey pizza can I eat you?", they said.
Building that goodwill and winning the hearts of people in the community is something that we are absolutely passionate about.
We need to turn people from their ways or from their habits to come and check us out and being involved in local events like that is very very important.
2. Attend different elections or city council meetings
We have elections, and we have city council meetings every week.
When we started doing this, in the beginning, it was unheard of because city councils are rigid. What they have is political meetings, so obviously, people aren't there to have fun.
A lot of times it was like 6-7 PM, so some of the people just came out after work.
And a lot of them might not have a chance to eat food. So we just took food out.
We took a bunch of food and we just laid there and offered to everyone. We just introduced ourselves as a local business so we were able to get in.
Everybody might be hungry, so who's going to say "No, you can't serve food here local business."
Believe me, if I say that no one will because we've done that multiple times. We've been able to show goodwill.
You are not doing it thinking of making sales. Again, you are finding first an opportunity to be recognized by the people.
When people are hungry and they are at this meeting, we can be present because no one else is.
Find this hidden gem opportunity, like for instance, next month, there's going to be a "meet the candidates" event, you know council meeting is every week, find time to attend it.
For us, as business owners, we must be very neutral when it comes to politics. Because it is not really about that, when people love pizza, we are there (that's for our business at least).
It's the "meet the candidates" event, and apparently, hundreds of people are going to be there because it will be attended by the candidates, the individuals that we are going to vote for.
The city promotes that event because they want people to come out. So we are not even promoting our business to people, we are just bringing our food to them.
And when you just think about it, the cost of food is very affordable because you are getting in your food on people's mouths on the spot. Plus, you don't even have to think about marketing it for now.
3. Look into your local Chamber of Commerce
Pick up the phone and call them today. You can go to their website and check their schedule of events.
For sure they always have a calendar section for your city. Is there an event coming up? Contact them and let them know that you would love to feed the volunteers. I bet no one's gonna say no to you!
These are great opportunities for you to get in there, and put your food on peoples' mouths so they can taste how great your food is.
This is the best way to show some goodwill that people can't wait to tell their friends and relatives about it.
They take pictures of the food and they share it on social media. These things are invaluable to us.
I hope that you find these tips useful. You must put it into practice, otherwise, it will just be a door of opportunity waiting for you to open it. Start attending your local events as soon as possible.
The restaurant is a pretty tough industry, we got to be moving quickly to thrive and succeed in this business.
It's a lot about sowing seeds every day. It's not just about one thing or one idea that is going to blow your sales out of the water.
It is steady, long farming, we got to be planting seeds every single day, watering them and getting a good harvest after all our hard work and dedication that we have done.
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