Sunday and Monday nights are when the hardworking guys and gals in the restaurant and bar industry finally get to kick up their heels after working their butts off all weekend when everyone else is out partying. Since people who work in restaurants and bars are usually the best customers when they go out themselves, restaurant operators should host “Industry Nights,” offering specials and deals to attract their cohorts.
What is industry night? “Industry night is a special day and time hosted by an area restaurateur exclusively for restaurant and hospitality industry service personnel such as chefs, dishwashers, waitresses, and bartenders, to give them special treatment, offers and a place to unwind.”
Why should a restaurant host one? “Industry nights are an opportunity to showcase your restaurant brand, menu and create an environment fit for restaurant industry professionals, who in-turn, spread the word to other friends, family and hype up the fun on social media, with potential guests about your restaurant.”
What restaurants gain from hosting one? “Industry nights give a restaurateur the opportunity to create a positive buzz about their brand from people “who know food”, and ultimately it will drive trial and sales. When bartenders or chefs are asked, “where do you go to eat?” they refer business and It creates a positive perception of, “If industry people hang-out here and eat here…it must be good! “Civilian’s looking to rub elbows with their favorite barkeeps and servers and buy them a drink (or eight), industry nights are where it’s at. It creates almost a celebrity atmosphere.”
What do Industry Folks want on Industry Nights? “Great drinks, greater daily treats, and (MOST importantly) a full menu until 1:30 a.m. After completing their work shift they like to stop in somewhere for shot-and-a-beer combos, and forget about whiny-needy customers for a while!”
Tips for a successful industry night:
- Invite area restaurant industry folks, (chefs and staff at nearby restaurants, hotel chefs and their staff, hotel concierges, foodservice professionals at nearby hospitals and even your competitors employees), to relax and spend some quality time with their service industry brothers and sisters.
- Have invitees bring a pay stub or business card (from a restaurant, bar, or hotel) to land them some serious perks for all their hard work.
- Host a monthly industry night. Choose something the restaurant industry folks can remember like the first Thursday of the month.
- Become the hangout of choice for service-industry folks, especially on Sundays, with drink specials all day.
- Try serving up complimentary passed tapas for weary restaurant workers from 11:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.
- Invite restaurant industry folks to take off their aprons, order a glass of wine and let someone else clear their dishes!
About the author, Linda Duke, Chief Executive Officer, Duke Marketing, LLC., is a 25+ year restaurant marketing expert, published author, and her firm specializes exclusively with multi-location brands.