It’s sad to drive down the street and see those busy big-name chain restaurants overflowing with customers and the poor little neighborhood diner – which has much better food and a friendlier staff – is struggling to make ends meet. But those big chain restaurants have a lot of financial backing. They can afford things like TV commercials and big fancy websites. If you’re looking for a fun way to make money online you can do it with restaurant cards – and you’ll be helping your local restaurants while you’re at it.
Smaller, locally owned restaurants just can’t compete with those corporate operations. The money they do have for promotion isn’t even a drop in the bucket compared to those big guys so they generally just rely on word of mouth advertising.
But they do have some money set aside for advertising and and they’re looking for unique ideas to help them stand out in that see of competition. You can provide them with that unique promotional opportunity when you tell them about restaurant cards.
Restaurant cards are promotional hand-outs, about the size of a postcard. They usually have an image on one side – a picture of the restaurant or one of their special dishes. And on the other they have information such as the address and phone number and hours of operation. They may even have a portion of the menu or the weekly dinner specials and special offers like money saving coupons.
Your business will be creating these cards and passing them out to the public. But you don’t want to just pass them out anywhere you happen to be. Your goal is to bring plenty of new customers to the restaurants that use your service. Pass out your cards to people passing nearby the restaurant or go door-to-door in the neighborhood. The restaurant will gauge your success – and their return on their investment – by the number of new customers who come in waving one of your restaurant cards.
The benefit of using these cards is that they’re inexpensive compared to most other types of promotion. But what makes them even more special is that you hand them directly to people you meet. You look them in the eye and actually hand them something they can hold on to that will be a constant reminder that they need to visit that restaurant.
To calculate how much you should charge you could have a set fee for the cards themselves and then charge your customers an hourly fee for passing out the cards. Or, you could also have them pay you for each card that’s redeemed.
The beauty of this business is that you don’t need a website to get started. Simply print up a few different sample cards and start visiting your local restaurants. If they agree to your service you can take pictures or use images from their menu so you can create custom cards for each new client.
However, once you have a couple of successes under your belt you’re going to want to set up a website. These restaurants are going to start talking about their increase in business and other restaurant owners are going to want to contact you. And since everyone goes to the Internet for information these days, you’ll want to have a website so they can find you.
A website will make it even easier for you to promote your business to a larger audience, too. Upload copies of your successful cards to use as examples and give a good explanation of the service you provide. If you have access to some actual statistics from restaurants you’ve already promoted, that would look great on your website, too.
Make sure you have a prominent page that includes all of your contact information, including an email address that you check on a regular basis.
As your business grows you may even want to add some automation to your site. Set up a payment system so restaurants can pay you and schedule your service online. And include multiple prices or buttons for those restaurants that might want to hire you on a monthly, or even weekly, basis. The more you automate the payment system, the easier it is for you clients to just click a button and hire you – again and again and again…
You can make money online with restaurant cards but remember, your goal is to promote the restaurant and help increase their sales. If you’re successful, you’ll have every restaurant in town contacting you to hand out cards for them, too.