Is your restaurant located near the highway, with hotels and motels all around? If you’re in an area with lodging nearby, it’s wise to partner with your local hotels, inns, and bed & breakfasts for marketing purpose. I’m on the road this weekend, and by the time the long days are over and I’m in my hotel, I’m usually starving. So how do I figure out where to eat in a small town I’m totally unfamiliar with? I look through the hotel literature. Pretty much every place I’ve ever stayed — from super-classy B&Bs to seedy motels — has had some information about local restaurants. At the very least, they have a list of places at the front desk; some have pamphlets and menus; others even go as far as a more complete partnership with a restaurant next door where they send customers looking for a nice dinner and sometimes even offer room service meals cooked in the restaurant.
Getting in touch with local hotels can bring in hungry travelers!
If your local hotel isn’t one of the ones with a restaurant inside, this can be a great way to get more business. People are in hotels for convenience, and whether they’re vacationing or just traveling through, laziness can prevail — if your food is the food that’s easy for them to order in or walk across the parking lot to, you’re going to get a lot more customers. Partnering with local hotels will be easier if they’re independently owned — it can be as simple as getting in touch with the owner or manager and seeing what you can do together to benefit both businesses. At the very least, and even if you’re near chain hotels, inquire about getting on their local food list, leaving takeout menus, or offering some type of special for travelers. You can’t expect to make any money in this business if you don’t find ways to get your name out there and get as many people as possible coming through the door!