Sunday Lunch Crowds?

I’m wondering if anyone has had any success in building an after church crowd on Sunday afternoons. I remember when I was young that we always went out to eat with friends after church, usually rotating between 2 or 3 different places. I think this is a crowd that will be steady customers if I can get them in the habit of coming in.

I tried advertising in the church bulletin at the large, catholic church here and made about $90 in sales on a $300 ad that was a about 1/2 the size of a business card. The other logical step would be to try to get my wife/in-laws church to start coming in, but they do a pot luck dinner in the church after services.

That seems like a really expensive ad. Maybe you could renegotiate it to $100.

It was for a year of advertisements, not bad when you consider that its only $6 per ad, but the return was not worth it.

We do an ad in our church bulletin, the cost is similar, and it may pay for itself but it is not making us rich. We see several faces from church and a few mention the ad from time to time. I look at it as more of a stewardship item really than a marketing tool. It is like the spots in the back of the high school yearbook. We don’t put an offer on it, it just has our info and the fact that we are owners, operators and parishioners.

Maybe you could make Sunday afternoon an event. Add a couple of entrees that you have thought you would like to do and only offer them Sunday afternoon. I have seen places around here offer a 5% or 10% discount on Sunday if you bring in a current church bulletin. We do as you described in the original post. We have 3 or 4 places we frequent depending on what we are in the mood for. You need to get into that rotation.

Disclaimer: We are Del/CO only but nobody else was tossing any ideas at you so I thought I would suggest a couple of things.

We actually tried a similar promotion with some of our restaurants that are “Steak 'n Shake” themed diner-style. Instead of buying ads we merely posted specials on a bulletin board that was free to post on. Ability to do this probably relies heavily on the church you’re dealing with, but it’s worth a try. I would also suggest trying to target more effectively within a given church. Churches segregate their members into Bible study classes by age group, familial status, etc. so it might be worthwhile to try and find out what kinds of groups meet when, where and how they accommodate attendees…

Sunday lunch is our biggest shift of the week. Here in the bible belt I think it’s everyones. We don’t advertise to churches, there are just so many as long as you have good food and decent service your bound to get them.
We do brown nose them alot too though ( free dessert to big tables, ect. )