How to promote a roadside café in one day

roadside café

How to promote a roadside café? How to create a profitable business in a roadside café? Best recommendations of restaurateurs from Japan, where roadside catering is one of the most developed services in the world.

Unlike other countries, roadside catering service in Russia is extremely underdeveloped. Though there is some progress in this area recently, drivers service zones are still insufficient. Those which are functioning are very far from “high-quality service”.

Today car-tourism in Russia seems to have positive trend, and has a great development potential. It is high time for restaurateurs to pay attention on such segment of business as roadside café.

There are 3 consistent tasks for a successful business of roadside café:

1. Capture drivers attention;
2. Persuade them to stop at your cafe;
3. Sell as much services as possible.

Capture drivers attention

People usually drive on a high speed when on a highway. Most of them will drive by unless you inform them about your location in advance. For it is hard for a driver to distinguish recreational area and to make a decision to stop.

Signboard “1km to recreational area”

Signboard “1km to recreational area”

  • Locate signboards with information about your location and services along the highway.
  • Locate them 1000, 500, 300 and 100 meters from your recreational area. Drivers should have enough time to think it over and to make a decision to stop.
  • The information on signboards must be brief and clear. Use graphic images. It is difficult for drivers to read long words and sentences while driving.
  • The biggest signboard with a giant arrow, pointing at your café should be located in front of it.
  • Locate signboards in both directions of vehicles. If there is a median barrier on the road, a sign should be located the way that cars from the opposite side can drive to your parking area.

A word of advice: if there is a gas station by the highway, locate your recreational area near it. It will make another reason for drivers to stop. It will also save your expenses on signboards.

Persuade drivers to stop at your recreational area

To make more people want to use your roadside service, you should offer them what they can’t find in other places.

  • Make a bright illumination of your recreational area after dark.
  • Make a big and comfortable parking area. Make a clear marking for different types of transport: freight transport, passenger transport, motorcycles.
  • Make a toilet and trash bins.
  • Offer free wi-fi and phones charging. Put this information at the café entrance door.

Sell as much services as possible

You worked well to make drivers come to your recreational area. Now the task is to sell them as much services as possible and to increase average bill in the café.

First of all, identify your customer. Find out what category of drivers and passengers prevails on the highway: whether it is long-haul drivers or families with children, driving for vacation. Offer a wide range of services which could be useful for your customers. Think which services you can make profit of, and which can be offered for free.

  • Put a booth with essentials (medicines, cigarettes, etc.) by your café.
  • Sell seasonal drinks: hot beverage in winter and cold ones in summer.
  • Make a separate menu with take-away items for those who don’t have time to stay in the roadside café. You should have a separate window or a booth for it. In this case drivers who are in a hurry will not make any discomfort to other visitors.
  • Locate a showcase with menu items replicas in a visible place.
The increase in the average bill due to the wide range of roadside cafes on the highway

The increase in the average bill due to the wide range of roadside cafes on the highway

Replicas of menu items increase profits to 250% per month!

  • Increase number of customers immediately.

    Marketing specialists proved that 4 out of 10 people who came closer to the showcase to have a look, eventually enter the café. Even if they planned only to buy a drink or cigarettes, they decide to visit the café after they see delicious menu items in the showcase.

  • Increase average bill

    Food replicas evoke appetite. The customers who came just for a cup of coffee and some rest, order a salad and a dessert, noticed in the showcase.

  • Reduce time of customer servicing

    Customers choose the dish by the showcase. That’s why they spend less time for ordering, and you can serve more customers per day.

  • Take away customers doubts

    Replicas demonstrate actual size, components and cost of the dish. It makes it easier for customers to estimate their expenses. That’s why they enter café with no doubt to make an order.

  • Decorate showcase

    Bright and realistic food replicas make your showcase nice-looking and attractive.

  • Create good reputation

    Positive feedbacks of your customers in social networks and forums, as well as personal recommendations to the friends will attract new customers.

How to make a showcase cafe roadside visual menu

A showcase with food replicas is located outside of summer café zone.

A showcase with food replicas is located outside of summer café zone.

The more menu items are displayed in the showcase, the longer average bill is.

The more menu items are displayed in the showcase, the longer average bill is.

Create comfortable conditions for automobile tourists. Offer high-quality and hospitable service. Then investment will pay off within the shortest time and roadside café business will be stable and profitable.


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