Food Tours Increase Bookings With Contests

Food Tours

Food tour operators have picked-up on an perpetually popular way to book more tours - contests. The contests run the gamut from simple to very sophisticated but each have a business-positive return on investment. This post looks at examples of how food tours increase bookings with contests and ways in which you too can proclaim "Winner, winner. Chicken dinner!"

Food Bitch

The business value of contests in general comes from the free advertising spread by participants. And contests are easy to cross-promote with enthusiastic bloggers who are always on the look-out for fun subject matter to write about.

An excellent example of this type of contest cross-promotion was seen on a very popular food blog called Food Bitch.

Based in Dallas Texas, Food Bitch posts are widely read by gastronuts because each one is entertaining and informative. Cross-promoting a contest, the post was written with genuine enthusiasm about how readers could win tickets to the 'Neighborfood' food tour.

Good news, food fans! The folks at Dishcrawl Dallas have given me 2 tickets to their next event, an Uptown crawl called Neighborfood. And luckily for you, you can win them...I’ll randomly choose someone to win the pair. Who knows? Maybe the next Dishcrawl will feature your favorite restaurant?

Food tour operators that want proof contests increase awareness - and thus event bookings - need only look at the large number of written comments the post received. And even though there was only one contest winner, all Food Bitch readers were made aware of the event.

Striking just the right balance between simple and sophisticated, the contest for Dishcrawl food tour tickets serves as a template for cross-promotion between tour and tastemaker. Note that Dishcrawl (video above) operates in dozens of major metropolitan areas nationwide and food tour operators can reproduce the contest in their local market.

Eating Rehoboth

An even easier to replicate example of a food tour contest was in Rehoboth Delaware. Custom home builders the Schell Brothers found so much potential fun (and value) in the Eating Rehoboth food tour, an impromptu contest was held. The simple contest merely asked area residents to comment on the Schell Brothers' blog and nothing more. The company owners and employees are self-described "foodies" and love the Eating Rehoboth food tour enough to give tickets away on their own volition.

The Eating Rehoboth website describes their tour as "3-hour culinary adventure through historic downtown Rehoboth Beach, Delaware! Enjoy exclusive food tastings at five of Rehoboth's best eateries, paired with delicious wines, local beers or signature cocktails."

While the Eating Rehoboth tour is yet to adopt an online event booking system [ Editor's note: We can help you with that :D  ] the company is making good use of coupons. Coupons can help food tours increase event bookings just as much as contests, just imagine the business benefit of combining the two.

Austin Restaurant Week & Google Local

In contrast to the simple Eating Rehoboth contest, at the pinnacle of sophistication, is Austin Restaurant Week's current give-a-way. Made in conjunction with Internet search giant Google, the Austin Restaurant Week contest requires that people write reviews on Google Local:

Think you're an expert on all Austin has to offer? We're giving away a $50 gift card to the participating Austin Restaurant Week eatery of your choice to 5 lucky winners just for sharing your opinions on Austin businesses...Each new review you write is a new entry and chance to win. We'll pick the entrants who writes the overall best review during the contest period as the winners, so don't forget to write with style.

Thousands of people participated in Austin Restaurant Week last year and this year is set to be even more successful. Of course the large scope and scale of Austin Restaurant Week is technically beyond what is traditionally thought of as a "food tour", but the contest format still serves as a how-to for operators.

If your food tour is currently listed on one of the user review platforms like Yelp or Google Local, you can make written reviews a requirement for contest entry. Start by announcing the contest as early as possible and ask that participants write a review for at least one of your stops. Alternatively, each of the restaurants on your food tour can bring your contest to the attention of their guests with in-store displays or as a spoken call to action. You may already have an agreement with businesses to make mention of tour, simply embellish that B2B dynamic to include promotion of your food tour contest.

Food Tours Increase Event Bookings With Contests ...And Software Too!

Create Custom Coupons TodayContests and coupons are effective ways food tours increase event bookings, but before all that extra business can come rushing in, you'll need the right software.

The ThunderTix plan for food tours supports coupons codes from services like Groupon. When someone buys a daily deal for your tour they are assigned a unique code, then GroupOn provides the you a spreadsheet of all purchases, customers, and codes. That’s when the ThunderTix bulk import feature comes in to play. You import all the Groupon codes into your ThunderTix account with just a few mouse clicks greatly reducing data entry.

And speaking of reduced data entry our technology makes it easy to add additional dates and times when your contest begins to increase event bookings. Our tour management software lets you set your tour's details, date and time, then propagate the information for every day of the year – all at once – no need to enter the same date and time over and over! When you are ready to get started, be sure to take a look at our other features and sign up for a free trial today!