How to grow traffic in 2017

These four strategies can help your restaurant buck weak traffic trends

Last year, restaurants faced significant challenges in attracting consumer visits, and 2017 isn’t looking much different, according to The NPD Group, which forecasts little to no traffic growth this year.

But NPD says there are still opportunities for restaurant operators to capture customers.

“It’s becoming more and more competitive,” said NPD analyst Bonnie Riggs. “[Operators] have to give consumers a compelling reason to visit.”

Here are four methods Riggs said operators will likely use to entice consumers to visit — and potentially change the forecasted traffic future — as well as insights from forward-thinking brands.

1. Increase innovation. The world is changing — fast — and consumers expect restaurants to keep up, to provide innovation and to be relevant not only on the menu, but in the overall restaurant experience. Operators that fail to innovate risk being overlooked by a significant portion of consumers, according to NPD’s 2017 Outlook.