If you’re running a restaurant and you’re struggling to get the diners in, there are simple ways to get more diners through the door. It’s far from easy running a restaurant, so having the upper hand with your planning can make all the difference.

Firstly, check out what else is available in your immediate area. Are there any cafes, bars, other restaurants or takeaways nearby? If so, check them out. What is the cafe over the road doing and what are their peak business times?

Knowing when you are likely to face competition will undoubtedly give you the edge when pushing for business.

Has the pub round the corner got any lunch deals running?

If so, why not head there yourself or ask a friend?

What are offering and how much are they charging?

Is it good value for money?

If it appears to be popular, perhaps you should adopt a similar approach and offer an even better price.

There are many easy ways to get more diners in your restaurant

Staying on costs, have you overreached in terms of your prices? If your area is more suitable for takeaways and convenience foods, perhaps fine dining isn’t the route to take! Knowing your customer is the difference between success and failure, so doing your homework is crucial. If you’re still considering a location, perhaps take some small surveys spread over different days and times, just to give you an idea on what people want.

Financial planning is of course a crucial part of running a successful restaurant, pub, cafe, or any other business. Having access to funds as and when needed means you can adapt and push forward. Good cash flow can make a big difference. There are many options available for cafes, restaurants and pubs, and not just from banks.

There are alternative finance options available such a a merchant loan advance that can offer you the freedom and flexibility you need. If you take card payments from your customers, you may be eligible for a merchant loan advance. A merchant loan lender will assess your card sales volume and can lend you cash accordingly.

The great part about this is, if your restaurant experiences a quiet spell and you take less card sales, your payments will reduce in line with this. This can be a flexible and affordable way to inject some cash into your restaurant. Keeping on top of your competition and in the know with your finances can make all the difference!