3 Ways to Increase Lunch Traffic
Looking to drive up guest counts at lunch? So were these chefs. Here's how they're doing it.
People are busy in the middle of the day. How do you get them to consider lunch away from their desks and away from quick-serve counters? To help answer that question, we tapped three talented chefs, who not only create delicious food, but also get people through the doors for lunch. "When we took a look at our lunchtime strategy, we broke it down into three barriers: convenience, selection and price," says Jeffrey Tenner, vice president and executive chef of 93-unit Bertucci's Italian Restaurant. "If you can overcome those, you can win in the lunch business." For Andrew Zimmerman, executive chef of Sepia, an independent restaurant in Chicago, making his restaurant a lunchtime destination means delivering the same quality of experience while adjusting how that experience is packaged. "We understand that diners want to have lunch and leave," he says. "We still focus on handmade, but apply it to items that are faster, like sandwiches." Time is really the key to unlocking the lunch opportunity. "You have to respect the time element, but know that you can compete at lunch if you offer a quality experience in a short timeframe," says Cliff Pleau, culinary director at Seasons 52, a Darden concept with 30 units nationwide. Here are three strategies offered by these chefs that help drive lunchtime traffic.