Whether new or seasoned in the restaurant industry, you’ve likely crossed paths with restaurant advertising. Your restaurant needs a solid internet presence in this hyperconnected world where the next viral trend is just a meme away.
Choosing the correct type of advertising is vital to get new customers and retaining old ones. But getting your restaurant in the spotlight can become challenging with so many options.
So, in this article, we discover all about restaurant advertising and its types. Unearth the best strategies and choose the ones that fit your restaurant’s needs.
What Is Restaurant Advertising?
Restaurant advertising is the act of promoting a restaurant’s services and products to the general public. It is an effort to pique the interest of foodies and functional eaters alike.
You can choose from print ads that engage people’s senses to restaurant social media posts that make them drool at their screens. Ultimately, restaurant advertising aims to make people come in and eat their way to happiness.
The right messaging and engaging visuals can make the competition look bland. You can also show off your unique products and services to gain new customers, build loyalty toward your brand, and increase revenue and visibility.
Types of Restaurant Advertising
Clever restaurant advertising is the way to your customers’ stomachs. This ultimately extends to their hearts, making them loyal customers.
But choosing the right type of advertising requires careful consideration and experimentation, just like choosing a dish for a picky eater. You need to know your target audience, analyze your competition and set a budget.
Depending on your restaurant’s needs, here are some advertising types you can choose from.
Paid Restaurant Advertising
Paid restaurant advertising means paying for your restaurant ad to appear in a particular space. These include billboards, TV, social media, email, and Google ads.
In other words, it is a race to appear on people’s screens or in public spaces to attract customers and increase business. The best ads focus on the features, benefits, and unique selling points. Because to make the ad worth the money, it needs to be compelling and persuasive enough.
For example, you might have steaks that melt in the mouth. Or you might have décor inspired by a famous movie. Showcasing these points in your paid ads can create buzz around your restaurant and increase business.
Guerilla marketing can be excellent for restaurant advertising. It is economical marketing that uses extraordinarily creative and imaginative ideas that stick with people. These ideas can create excitement around your restaurant and generate word of mouth, making customers pour in to try your menu.
This marketing can take various forms like stunts, ambushes, flash mobs, viral videos, food trucks, and challenges. An effective guerilla marketing technique is wearing a chicken costume and handing out flyers.
Hold a competition to eat a massive burger with eight patties and the spiciest sauce within 30 minutes. Use your imagination, but check local laws and regulations before trying something crazy.
Word of Mouth
What’s better for restaurant advertising than some conventional word of mouth? It refers to people trying your restaurant and spreading the word about it. It includes giving their opinions and recommendations through informal conversations and social interactions.
Word of mouth is the best form of marketing because people are more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family. The easiest way to use this to your advantage is to keep the quality of your food exceptional.
Good customer service also plays a vital role here. Encourage customer reviews and interact with them. Become their food genie, granting every culinary wish they have!
Best Restaurant Advertising Ideas
Watching what people like to inspire your restaurant advertising is crucial as the world changes and evolves. Some of the best ideas include creativity and getting people’s attention. But with so many options, it takes time to choose.
So, here are some of the best restaurant advertising ideas that will make your marketing game sizzle like butter on a skillet.
It is no secret that social media posts can make or break your restaurant’s reputation. It is the first thing people turn to when choosing where to eat. You can use social media for your restaurant advertising even if you have a small budget for paid ads.
Good advertising comes down to showcasing the theatrics, your restaurant’s personality, and unique selling points. Take “Salt Bae,” for example. He makes short videos and shows off his fantastic presentation. And that’s what attracts customers and makes them want to try his food.
Or McDonald’s poppy stunt. They grew poppies in the shape of their logo and posted them on social media. BunBury Club has “live cheese,” where they splash cheese on the burger in front of the customers.
Restaurant Advertising Idea #2: Perform Search Engine Optimization
Performing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be an effective restaurant advertising idea. It increases your restaurant’s visibility, attracts targeted traffic, and builds credibility.
Imagine you are craving some meaty burgers. You fire up Google and search “best burger near me.” And voila, your restaurant appears on the first page. That’s the power of Search Engine Optimization for restaurant advertising.
However, you must set up your Google MyBusiness page to show up on Google Maps.
Perform keyword research and choose the ones with the lowest competition and highest search volume. Know your audience and create quality content. Build backlinks, include your restaurant’s name, number, and location for local SEO, and you can reap the benefits even with a limited budget.
Additionally, search engines prioritize websites that provide a good user experience. So, consider the user’s objective of accessing your website and ensure it is easy to navigate and loads quickly. You can also run paid advertising on Google, one of the best types of marketing campaigns.
Restaurant Advertising Idea #3: Mouthwatering Pictures
How many times have you stopped on the picture of a decadent, soft cake from Magnolia Bakery while scrolling your social media feed? Or do you rather fancy white sauce pasta swimming in a pool of cheese from Eataly?
Taking mouthwatering photos for your restaurant advertising can wake up the taste buds of your audience and entice them to order from you. These appetizing pictures also perform better in paid advertising. The only question is, how?
Figure out what’s unique about your food or environment. It may be a special sauce, your food presentation, or a particular type of décor. Use premium equipment, natural light, props, and editing techniques. Experiment with different angles. Moreover, you can encourage your customers to take photos of their meals and share them on social media using a variety of restaurant hashtags.
Restaurant Advertising Idea #4: Take Help From Food Bloggers
Collaborating with food bloggers can be the cherry on your restaurant advertising. Food bloggers are influencers in the food industry. They have an established following which trusts their taste buds and is willing to try anything they recommend.
Offer them incentives like complimentary meals, exclusive access, deals, discounts, or money. But ensure that they have the best experience to avoid a negative review.
Food bloggers love documenting their culinary adventures, from snapping enticing pictures to creating hilarious TikTok videos. This way, you can reach a wider audience and grab the attention of potential customers.
Restaurant Advertising Idea #5: Use a Wi-Fi Marketing Software
Adding Wi-Fi marketing software to your restaurant advertising can make your sales go higher than a stack of pancakes on a Sunday morning!
Social WiFi hotspots allow you to collect customer data about their likes and dislikes. This will help you create targeted campaigns that work. Also, using a customized splash page is a way to reinforce your brand and promote your business identity.
Moreover, you can use WiFi marketing solutions to prompt customers to leave a review before disconnecting. This trick can help you grow your rating on local review sites.
Restaurant Advertising Idea #6: Organize Events and Fundraisers
Who doesn’t love a food party or the warm, fuzzy feeling of supporting a good cause? Organizing events and fundraisers can be another good restaurant advertising idea. It helps you build a loyal following, showcase your flavorsome dishes, and give back to your community.
It also helps boost your restaurant’s reputation. But for this technique to succeed, you need to plan out carefully. Firstly, you need to determine your goals and target audience. You don’t want to promote chicken tenders to a crowd of vegans.
After planning out the event, promote it and spread the word. If you are arranging a fundraiser, choose a worthy cause. You also have the option to hold fun food challenges. For example, the food roulette challenge is where blindfolded contestants eat food someone else chooses.
Restaurant Advertising Idea #7: Create Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are popular with restaurant advertising. These programs are particularly interesting, especially for foodies.
For example, you can use loyalty programs that reward customers with points with every order. Once they’ve gained a specific number of points, they can claim their gift of free drinks, food, or discounts. With digital loyalty programs, your customers can track their rewards and receive exclusive offers while you collect valuable data on their dining habits.
You can also opt for loyalty programs with tiers. The more your customers spend in your restaurant, the better you reward them. The simplest version of loyalty programs is a punch card. These cards involve giving your customers physical punch cards that can land them to a prize once filled.
Restaurant Advertising Idea #8: Email Marketing for Restaurants
Email marketing for restaurants is the best thing since the invention of the deep fryer and the greasy happiness it gives. It is one of the best restaurant advertising ideas. This is because it helps you connect with your customers, promote your menu, and offer exclusive deals and promotions.
The first thing you need to cook up a perfect email marketing campaign for your restaurant is data. Build a list of subscribers and segment them into categories based on their preferences and dining habits. Send out compelling emails with mouthwatering pictures and enticing subject lines.
Some great examples of restaurants that use email marketing are Chipotle, Starbucks, Olive Garden, and Panera Bread.
Examples of Creative Restaurant Ads
The best restaurant advertising should make the viewer entertained and hungry at the same time. But to come up with these ads, you need inspiration. We have compiled some of the best creative restaurant ads to spark your creativity and have a slight chuckle.
No creative restaurant ads list is complete without the mention of McDonald’s. It released an ad campaign where people could pay with ‘loving gestures’ instead of money during certain hours.
Dominos launched “paving for pizza,” offering to fix potholes in cities across the United States. This ad also highlighted the importance of smooth roads for pizza delivery.
Taco Bell created a fake movie trailer called the “web of fries” to introduce its new menu item, nacho fries.
Ruby Tuesday’s video ad “shy girl” uses emotional and subtle storytelling. Its ad captured the shyness of children afraid to speak up and order independently. It also showcases its homely environment.
How To Increase Restaurant Sales Without Advertising?
Every restaurant owner asks “how to increase restaurant sales without advertising” when traditional restaurant advertising strategies become too expensive or laborious. There are many ways to attract customers and increase revenue without spending big bucks on advertising.
Spice up your menu with new items. Observe what the competitors are doing and what people like. Improve your presentation, customers’ experience, and quality of food.
Deals and discounts help to spread word of mouth. You can also partner with other businesses. For example, you can give discounts to people who visit your partner shop or brewery.
Why Does Restaurant Advertising Matter for Businesses?
With the food industry getting more competitive than ever, it is crucial to get your restaurant noticed. Without restaurant advertising, your eatery could be a hidden gem nobody knows about.
Effective advertising can help you stand out from the crowd. It can help you promote the recipes you spent years perfecting and the environmental traits you are most proud of. You can create engaging ads with compelling pictures of your menu items, making people drool at their screens.
It helps create a buzz around your restaurant, leading to foot traffic growth, more online orders, and soaring revenue. It enables you to reach a wider audience and compel existing customers with irresistible offers to keep them coming for seconds.
Even though food quality, pricing, and customer service matter greatly, restaurant advertising is fundamental. Because if you don’t advertise these positive points about your restaurant, how will people know?
How Much Does the Average Restaurant Spend on Advertising?
To set an accurate budget, you first need to know how much the average restaurant spends on advertising. According to Aaron Allen & Associates, the average restaurant spends around 3-6% of its gross revenue on advertising. For the mathematical brains, if your restaurant generates $1 million in revenue annually, you should spend around $30,000 to $60,000 on restaurant advertising.
The amount you spend on advertising will depend on factors such as your restaurant’s size, competition, type of advertising, and target audience. Loyalty for small businesses is crucial, so if you’re a small restaurant, basic loyalty programs and promotions will suffice for now.
But advertising is just a part of a much bigger picture, so don’t spend all your dough on one ad!
Restaurant Advertising: Conclusion
From attracting new customers to keeping the existing ones engaged, effective restaurant advertising can help you go a long way. It makes you stand out, increases sales, and builds brand awareness.
You can choose from the various options on your plate, such as paid ads, creative guerilla marketing, food challenges, events, and more. A successful ad can leave your customers wanting more like a perfectly cooked dish.
If you want to improve your marketing results, a WiFi marketing solution like Beambox can help. With Beambox, you can gather data from your actual customers and automate marketing campaigns that will boost your growth.
Beambox integrates with most internet systems and does not require purchasing any hardware. Moreover, you can try it for free for thirty days. Start your free trial now!
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