How do I get a more diverse crowd in the door?

We are running the lunch buffet, and things are going really well with it. I’d like to do more of course, but the thing that I’ve noticed is that 95% of our customers are Male. About 60% of those are construction workers. Granted, we are in a bedroom community, with no factories nearby and no big office buildings. But how do I go about getting more women in the door for the buffet? Or do AYCE buffets only attract men for the most part? We have a pretty strong salad bar, and the thing does get used, but I don’t know what else to do.


Where do the women in your town work? Or are you trying to get the stay-at-home mom crowd? With summer here, perhaps some sort of special on kids meals would help. Do you know where the women are going for lunch? In my building, most of the union labor is female. They get a 30 minute lunch. The non-union folks get an hour (and flexible at that), so perhaps you have a timing dynamic working against you as well?

I’m not real sure where they work honestly. We don’t have a lot of businesses. But I went to lunch about 2 months ago to check out a new Mexican place in town and they had 5 or 6 tables full of women. I stopped back into the pizza shop on the way home, and we had 10 or 12 tables, and only 2 women in the building.

Now, I also noticed that last week when it rained, we hardly had any construction workers, and several tables full of moms and kids. Do you think Moms/women just avoid my place if they see a full parking lot? Or construction trucks in the parking lot? My only other thought is something to do with our seating. We don’t have any booths, all tables. So nothing to corral the kids with.



We have the exact same problem. My managers and I have pondered this for a while… Why 95% of our AYCE lunch crowd is men. And like you, probably a full 60% is construction wokers. The few women that we do get in are normally in with their children, and I think the children probably made the lunch decision. We are near plenty of office buildings, so I don’t think that’s the problem. And we’re in a stipmall with an Asian restaurant, and they have about a 50-50 mix of men/women for their lunch.

So next week we’re launching a new line of signature salads that we’ve created, and we’re hoping that will draw in more women. They can either get a signature salad with the AYCE pizza (for an additional charge) or get the signature salad and drink for the same price as the lunch buffet. I know it sounds stereotypical, but we’ve heard from numerous people (including my wife) that women aren’t all that interested in all-you-can-eat, but will flock for a great salad.

Can any women on the board offer any other pointers on what would get you in for lunch?

We have the salad bar already, and I think it is a pretty nice one. We have about 20 salad items, and then 6 different dressings. I’ve wondered about putting up a banner selling slices of pizza and just the salad bar at seperate prices. That way they can get a slice of pizza and a salad bar for xyz or whatever. Thoughts?

Men are pigs… Tim Allen taught us that, right? AYCE pizza is a challenge to men. Women are far too worried about their figures to see how much they can stuff down their throats. AYCE is also unfair to skinny people who don’t eat a lot, at least from a perceived value perspective. Construction workers love a good food challenge. However, construction workers are often portrayed as rude to women. They’re also (gasp!) BLUE-collar workers. I wonder if you don’t have a “class” dynamic working against you.

Sadly, I have no suggestiong on how to FIX the issue. Perhaps offering a “light lunch” special, with a slice, single salad, and a drink at a very attractive price will help.

iv been doing a buffet for 24 years best way to get the ladies in is with a ladies day i charge $5 for the girls every thursday my busiest day of the week by the way am so busy am considering adding another day for the girls its just like a bar your always going to get more men on a ladies day special has been one of the smartest things i have ever done to attract a more diverse crowd for lunch

Very soon we are opening for lunch and are going after the female market for sit down meals. Male customers will be mainly from the building industry and will be take away.
As for the females we are offering minute pizzas (about 4") with a choice of any 3 from our gourmet range with a small side salad and a coffee for a set amount. Also bringing in healthy options such as low fat organic quiches and similar dishes. Smaller dishes with a coffee is what they want so we are doing it for them.