Finding good restaurant marketing ideas might seem daunting at first. However, with a comprehensive view of the marketing tools at your disposal, creating a marketing plan for your business will be much simpler.
In this article, you will find tons of marketing ideas and strategies for restaurants that will help you effectively promote your business.
How To Generate Restaurant Marketing Ideas That Work
When it comes to generating restaurant marketing, there are no secret tricks. What you have to do is look around, copy, and try new things.
First, you want to check what other restaurants are doing to promote themselves. You can be inspired and decide to do something similar for your business.
There’s no shame in taking restaurant marketing ideas that work, adapting them to your needs, and using them to grow your business.
Else, you can follow your intuition (better if driven by data) and try new things. Sometimes the best results come from simple ideas that you only need to start.
As you can see it is a simple process; however, not every business owner follows it.
Let’s now check several restaurant marketing ideas that you can use immediately.
Restaurant marketing ideas that leverage social media networks can get your business noticed by new customers and grow the popularity of your venue.
However, there are a few fundamental things to keep in mind when using social media to promote your restaurant.
Give potential customers a taste of what you have to offer. Posting mouth-watering photos of your food will make people want to come in and try it for themselves. However, is not all about food. Share pictures and videos about your venues and their vibes.
Be consistent. To get your restaurant’s name out there you need to post updates, pictures, and specials on a regular base. Social media growth is not a sprint. Is a marathon.
Interact with your customers. Replying to comments and messages shows that you care about their experience at your restaurant.
Let’s have a look at some examples of social media ideas for restaurants.
Here are a few creative ideas for restaurant marketing on social media:
- Share a meal recipe
- Behind-the-scenes video clips
- Tale pictures of your venue; try different angles, close-ups, and photos of your venue at different times of the day
- Promote your loyalty program
- Share your best reviews
- Reshare user-generated content (UGC)
- Promote seasonal menu options
- Run a contest with vouchers and giveaways
- Ask your followers what kind of events they would like you to organize
If you are creative and bold, there are infinite options when it comes to creating engaging restaurant social media posts.
Restaurant Marketing Ideas #2: Influencers Marketing
When it comes to social media, a fantastic restaurant marketing idea can be partnering with influencers.
An influencer is someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience.
Today, the term “influencer” is used to describe anyone with a large following on social media.
Starting a collaboration with local influencers can deliver impressive results. It is worth giving it a try.
The most important thing to remember when working with an influencer is that their influence comes from their ability to connect with their audience. Thus, when choosing an influencer for your restaurant, it’s important to select someone whose followers trust their opinion.
Restaurant Marketing Ideas #3: SEO & Google Maps
Every day, millions of people use Google to find information about anything.
You can be sure that people use Google also to find where to have their next meal, therefore, a great restaurant marketing idea is to optimize your business for being found on Google.
SEO enters the scene.
SEO is the art to make your website ranking on Google for queries that are related to your business.
There are a few effective actions that you can make to optimize your presence on Google and Google Maps:
At the end of the day, optimizing your business for ranking on Google is not that hard.
Unless you create your website (which is recommendable), you only need to provide updated information to your customers through google and, most importantly, receive tons of Google reviews.
Restaurant Marketing Ideas #4: Email Marketing
It is impossible talking about restaurant marketing ideas without mentioning email marketing.
Email marketing is a great way to reach out to potential customers and keep them updated on what is going on at your restaurant. You can use email marketing to promote your events, grow loyalty toward your business, and increase the profit margin of your restaurant.
There are a few rules of thumb when creating email marketing campaigns for restaurants:
- Make sure that your email list is up-to-date and accurate.
- Create enticing titles that attract the attention of your readers.
- Avoid spam. Send emails only when you have something relevant to say.
- Be engaging and authentic. Write emails that match your business identity and your readers want to read.
Email marketing can provide you with great results. However, you need to build up a list of contacts and get used to writing promotional emails.
Restaurant Marketing Ideas #5: Sms Marketing
Whether you’re a new restaurant looking to build an initial customer base, or an established eatery trying to keep things fresh, SMS marketing can provide amazing results.
Using SMS (short message service) marketing is an excellent restaurant marketing idea for a whole bunch of reasons.
First, is a personal communication channel. Second, it is simple and not time-consuming. Third, very few businesses use it so you will stand out.
With SMS marketing, you can send coupons, special offers, event reminders, and other promotional messages directly to your customers’ phones.
However, just like with email marketing, you need to build up your contact list.
Therefore, either you make this process manually or you use other strategies, like WiFi marketing (more on this later).
Restaurant Marketing Ideas #6: Running Events
No matter what the new trends are, running events will always be one of the most effective marketing ideas for restaurants.
By hosting special events and utilizing various marketing strategies, restaurants can increase their exposure, build customer loyalty, and boost profits.
You can either run regular events (karaoke, live music, DJ sets) or special events (Halloween party, Easter lunch, etc.).
However, to stand out and get impressive results, you must make remarkable events. Here are a few examples:
Hosting a cooking class is especially effective if your restaurant is new or struggling to attract customers. You can partner with a local cooking school or chef to teach a class, or host your own class led by your head chef.
Wine and cheese pairings are always interesting, so consider hosting an event centered around this classic combination. You can bring in a sommelier to lead the event and guide guests through different wines and cheeses. Be sure to have plenty of both on hand for guests to enjoy.
If you have a patio or outdoor seating area, host seasonal events like an autumnal harvest dinner or a summertime BBQ bash.
Once a date is selected, start promoting the event through various channels such as social media, email newsletters, and local publications.
Restaurant Marketing Ideas #7: Local Review Sites
There’s no need to look for advanced restaurant marketing ideas if you haven’t covered the basics yet.
According to Brightlocal, 97% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews to judge a local business. That’s just one piece of data but makes it clear how important are reviews for the success of your business.
Here are a few marketing strategies for restaurants on how to use properly local review sites:
- Make a list. Discover which are important local review sites for your business and take particular care of them
- Run ads. Some local review sites allow you to be featured on their main pages via promotions.
- Answer to reviews. By answering those who leave feedback, users will know that your restaurant takes its reputation seriously.
- Listen closely. Sometimes reviews are unfair. However, they might expose a real downside of your service that is in your interest to fix
Whether for good or bad, reviews drive customers to those businesses at the top of the best local review sites for restaurants. Thus, take these platforms seriously!
In today’s economy, one of the best ways to market your business is by being remarkable. However, this might be harder than it seems.
That’s why Guerrilla Marketing techniques are in this list of restaurant promotion ideas.
Guerrilla marketing is a low-cost marketing strategy that uses unconventional methods to promote your business.
It requires you to look at your surroundings and create something that can not pass unnoticed.
The main advantage of Guerrilla Marketing is that it will be noticed inevitably. Moreover, it can be cheaper than advertising.
However, you need to be very creative to find the right idea for your guerrilla marketing initiative.
Restaurant Marketing Ideas #9: Advertising
When it comes to restaurant marketing ideas, advertising can produce impressive returns on your initial advertising investment.
However, in a world where people are constantly inundated with advertising, to get results you need more than just money.
Here are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to advertising for restaurants:
Focus on why your restaurant is unique. What makes it special? What can you offer that others can’t? Highlight those things in your advertising.
Make sure your ads arrive at the right target. Who is your ideal customer? What are they looking for in a restaurant? Appeal to their taste buds and let them know that you have what they’re looking for.
Don’t be afraid to be creative. People respond to creativity, so think outside the box when it comes to your restaurant’s advertising. Get people talking about your business and you’re sure to see an uptick in customers.
Test. It is extremely hard to get advertising right at first. Advertising requires experimentation. Thus be sure to try different headlines, pictures, copy, and Call-To-Action.
Television, radio, billboards, and flyers. Any restaurant marketing ideas that worked for the last one hundred years, will keep working if you use them appropriately.
Moreover, these initiatives can be cheaper than effective advertising.
A sponsored article in your local newspapers or magazines will hardly cost more than $150 and can drive a lot of attention to your venue and your social media pages.
Ideally, you want to resort to these media regularly and in combination with other digital marketing initiatives.
Restaurant Marketing Ideas #11: Loyalty Program
Don’t you have a loyalty program yet?
Then it can be the next marketing idea for your restaurant.
A loyalty program is a system that rewards customers for their patronage. Customers earn points, perks, and discounts by making purchases or completing other actions.
Many restaurants use loyalty programs as a way to build relationships with their customers and encourage repeat business.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of loyalty programs, but they all have one goal: to keep customers coming back.
A points-based system. Customers earn points for every purchase they make, and they can redeem those points for discounts or freebies.
A tiered system. Customers move up through different tiers based on how much they spend at the restaurant. The higher the tier, the more benefits the customer gets.
However, this is only scratching the surface. There’s much more to learn about loyalty programs for restaurants.
Local Store Marketing Ideas for Restaurants
Promoting your restaurant in the surrounding areas is always a good idea.
In fact, locals have to know about your business and where it is. Moreover, they might become loyal customers.
There are many ways you can promote your business in your surroundings, Here are some local store marketing ideas for restaurants:
- Leave flyers with your menu at the store registers
- Leave coupons offers
- Create a dual loyalty program with selected stores
- Partner with local stores to promote your business (for something in return)
- Ask to create a stand and offer samplings of your best dishes in their store
- Partner with selected stores to create events that promote both businesses
You will attract new customers and get known quickly if you work well.
Marketing Plan for Restaurant Example
The restaurant marketing ideas listed above provided you with some inspiration to market your business.
However, an example of a marketing plan for a restaurant can make things clearer.
To build your perfect marketing plan, you first need to set your goals. In fact, marketing is supposed to help you reach your business goal.
Let’s imagine that your restaurant aims to attract millennials and wants to grow in that niche, then the best actions to set up would be:
- Social Media Strategy. Millennials are on social media and you need to be there too. You will have to set up your business pages and promote your business there.
- Events. To attract millennials, you got to create events that are interesting for them. Avoid cooking classes. Prefer events where people can socialize, while having a few drinks.
- Strong WiFi and a fashionable venue. Ensure that your venue has solid WiFi and is fashionable enough to be captured and shared on your customer’s social media profiles.
- Advertising. As your targets spend a lot of time on social media, you want to complement all your effort by running ads on the main social media platforms.
Do you want to learn more? Here is a template on how to create a marketing plan for your restaurant.
Getting the Most Out of Your Restaurant Marketing Ideas by Using WiFi Marketing
No matter which restaurant marketing ideas you like the most, you need your efforts to meet your customers’ preferences.
Are you already offering free WiFi to your customers? Then, you can leverage it to get tons of reviews, build up your contact lists, and gather precise information about your real customers.
To do that, all you need is a WiFi marketing solution like Beambox.
Beambox is a plug-and-play device that allows you to connect, capture, and learn more about your customers and their preferences, by using your WiFi. The one you are already offering for free!
And guess what? You are not alone.
There are over 12,000 venues that are taking advantage of Beambox to collect data from their real customers, measure their results, and redirect their marketing efforts.
If you want to give it a try, do it for free for thirty days! Start your Beambox 30-day free trial now!
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