by Andy Sernovitz
Great word of mouth marketers are willing to try lots of different topics until something catches on. Not everything you do will be a home run, but here are six quick ways to get you started:
1. Offer a secret menu item.
Offer a menu item that only insiders know about. It not only makes customers feel special, but it also gives them something to share with their friends. For a simple example, check out how Chicago's TAC Quick Thai Kitchen does it.
2. Put it on the wall.
Put things on the wall that will encourage customers to bring their friends in to show them. Try taking pictures of your best customers, having a "wall of fame," or allowing them to use personalized mugs. In another Chicago example, Sushi 28 does it with empty wine bottles in their window.
3. Host meetings.
Find key groups of talkers and invite them to meet in your restaurant. Try hosting a quarterly gathering for wedding planners or hosting meetings for groups that come together frequently, such as the Boy Scouts.
4. Celebrate something.
Maybe you go all out for a traditional holiday or maybe create your own — but however you do it, bring people to your place for a party. White Castle put a great spin on Valentine’s Day by creating “Love Castle,” where folks are encouraged to make reservations and bring their significant others for a candlelit dinner.