Restaurants Leverage Special Events to Keep Diners Coming

Restaurants Leverage Special Events to Keep Diners Coming

From viewing parties to themed brunches to open mic nights, eateries’ special events can help them reach up to half of all restaurant customers.

By the Numbers

This month’s edition of PYMNTS’ exclusive Connected Dining report, “Connected Dining: Word of Mouth in the Digital Age,” looked at how restaurants can reach consumers when they are searching for new places to eat.

The study revealed that 50% of restaurant customers search for information on eateries by looking at advertisements, such as special offers or events.

Where consumers find restaurant information

The Data in Context

Restaurant technology providers, noting the demand among restaurants for solutions that make event planning and hosting simpler, have been getting into the space. Take, for instance, point-of-sale (POS) provider SpotOn, which announced in the fall the launch of Experiences by SpotOn Reserve, powering reservation and waitlist features for special events.

Meanwhile, small restaurants are getting collaborative, sharing tools and strategies that have helped them pull off their own successful events, as Jeremy Jones, chief vision officer and co-founder at Chicago vegan restaurant Uncooked, noted in a December interview with PYMNTS.

“There are a lot of things that I as an operator wouldn’t have thought about if it weren’t for being connected to somebody in our community,” Jones said at the time.

Many restaurants got creative during the first year of the pandemic, finding new ways to bring customers in the doors, and these strategies have continued to help attract diners even after contagion concerns subsided.

Andrew Robbins, co-founder and CEO at Paytronix, told PYMNTS in May that restaurants’ outdoor events, such as a “Tiki bar on a Friday night in their parking lot” can draw customers to a space that accommodates more people than the in-restaurant dining room, which may make these sorts of special events a mainstay of restaurants’ post-pandemic futures.