Restaurants and Cafe owners! Are you looking for ways to bring in new customers? What about redesigning your interior and bringing a bit of life back into your everyday working world? Why not host a themed day or week?! Both the complicated themes like ‘1940’s Gangsters’ in addition to the more simple themes like ‘Polka-Dot’ can really help break up the monotony of the work place every day. It will paint your cafe or restaurant as a fun loving, great place; you’ll get to have fun while doing it and the chances are that you’ll bring in a load of new customers, particularly if you make it a regular event! Local advertising and events listings can help increase your exposure and give the impression that you have a restaurant that is one to visit regularly in order to keep up to date with new menus or dining experiences.

We’ve compiled a list of great hints and tips to get you started on making your themed day as successful as possible.

Props

Little things make a big difference. Whether it is just a few beach style posters stuck to the counter, or a small inflatable palm tree in the corner, props will really help add to your themed day. Plan your props for your space and your budget however; giant stuffed animals aren’t going to work if your customers spend half their time edging around them. The aim is to add to the atmosphere and not detract from or disrupt your core business. Be sensible, but be fun!

Drinks

A cocktail of the day is even better when it is themed. Renaming drinks to suit the theme will make the whole experience more enjoyable, and comically named drinks almost always go down well with guests, especially if you can fit some bad puns around the names as well! This works just as well for non-alcoholic cocktails and so any restaurant or cafe can benefit from this idea.

Menu
Equally as important as the drinks; themed dishes are a must for themed days. Don’t spend hours changing your whole menu as it can be complicated and time consuming. Add maybe one or two dishes to each course that represents the theme you are currently celebrating. Changing the names of some of the other dishes to suit the theme would work well too! You may want to add your themed dishes alongside your most popular regular dishes so as not to deter any regular customers.

Costume
Make fancy dress optional for your employees. It really works well if they get involved with the theme day as well. However don’t force your employees to wear a costume, instead provide some simple garments (eyepatches for pirate themed etc.) that they can put on if they feel left out. Let your employees really get into the themed days, it’ll be more fun that way!

Mask Backdrop

Costumes do not fail to delight youngsters and being served your meal from a pirate is also a sure-fire way to get your child to eat their meal. Just remember to keep it professional and age appropriate at all times.

Competition

Hosting a themed competition can be a great way to encourage people to sit and dine. Just a simple raffle for a free dining experience for 2, or a themed quiz that you can hand in along with your bill will engage people, and they’ll ultimately have a more enjoyable experience. Who knows, next time they might bring friends! In offering incentives or prizes you are seeking to engage your customers with your business and connect with them on a different level that can add to the regular customer service they can expect from you.

The possibilities for themes are endless, but it is better to make sure that they are all child friendly, as you could be isolating potential customers who want to dine out with their children. Always bear in mind your regular clientele and even canvas some for their opinions if you have the chance to. The idea is to ensure that all guests feel they are listened to and looked after whilst they are eating at your establishment and if you only have small premises, the personal approach will always be noted and appreciated by your customers. Regardless, setting a regular themed day or evening for your cafe or restaurant is a fun experience, and can prove extremely successful in the long run!

Mike James is an entrepreneur and self-starter who is also passionate about Design and Technology and as keen writer he also writes about issues concerning SMEs such as office design and interior design for Engaging Interiors.