By Lisa from Texakana, TX
Set a theme of some king, maybe like a hat theme. Where everyone has to come with a hat on of any kind, prizes for craziest, most elegant, most original, etc.
Give away some promotions to increase your business, too:
1. Bounceback Gift
This is a good idea when you normally have a slow month after a busy month.
Prepare small envelopes that contain a 10% or 20% discount on their meal, a free dessert or entrée or even a gift certificate. You can put in a lucky draw bowl and let the guest (who dines a certain amount) pick one. The vouchers is valid for the next month (the slow month).
2. Frequent Diner Passport
This can be used if you have daily buffets or brunches. Create a passport or something similar, where every time a guest dines or spends a certain amount, the service staffs stamps the passport. If they collect say 10- 12 stamps they can perhaps get a free buffet or brunch depending on your outlet. You can also put the guest picture and mailing address on the booklet.
3. Employee Marketing Challenge.
Create vouchers and pass to your staff. Have them sign on the back of the vouchers. Let them distribute the vouchers to any one they want.The vouchers can be discount for purchase for a meal. Give a prize to the staff that has the most vouchers coming back to the restaurant. This makes the staff feel important and also if he/ she wants to win a prize he needs to give to people that he/she knows will come and dine.
Have a dance competition (maybe not the right name for it), write down the names of different dance styles through the eras and have the "brave" ones in couples pull one out from a "hat" and imitate that style and then everyone else has to join in. (Charleston, Swing, Waltz, Cha-Cha, Salsa, Hip-Hop, The Swim, the Jerk, the Mashed Potato, the Twist, etc).
Have plenty of horns and noisemakers and appetizer/finger foods.
Play the NAME GAME: Have everyone print their full name on a label, then you call out letters (from the Scrabble board is good to use) or just print your own and put into a hat. Whatever letter is called, they cross it out in their name (if they have 3 "E's", they cross them all out) game ends when someone calls out "BINGO" or whatever you want them to say! Give them a free gift of some kind.
Have some great music ready to liven the place up, hope there's room to dance and you get equal number of female/male guests :D.
Do a multiplication dance, have 2 people start out dancing. A few seconds later stop music and they go and pick 2 NEW people to pull out onto the floor. Few seconds later, those 4 people go and grab 4 other people, keeps going til everyone is out there! Play some kind of moderately fast music (don't want slow).
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