The competition among restaurants is fierce, and you’ll need to give your all to be successful. We all know the head-scratching frustration of making sure you’ve always got a successful restaurant promotion going. If you’re struggling to find what will help you to promote your restaurant, then this list is for you.
Here are some ideas to promote your restaurant effectively:
1. Hold Special Events
Engage customers while they’re stuck at home by running new contests and online games. For example, they could help name a new menu item, post personal photos related to your business in some way, or enter a drawing for a free meal. Let customers drop their business cards into a bowl for a raffle.
The reward can vary – a lunch for the winner and 10 friends, a 2-hour happy hour with discounted drinks, whatever you feel like! Not only are these raffles fun, but you can also make use of those business cards by emailing customers.
2. Create a Loyalty Program
Customer loyalty is more important than ever in these trying times. If you don’t already have a loyalty program, now is the time to start. Establish how many points guests will earn per dollar spent, and come up with a wide range of compelling reward offerings, such as freebies, discounts or specialty promos.
Partnering up with online food apps should definitely be a consideration as part of your restaurant marketing plan. Partnering with online apps encourages visitors to check out your restaurant through gamification and customer loyalty programs, which offer visitors a free purchase or discount for visiting a certain number of times.
3. Sell T-Shirts
You can sell t-shirts of your restaurant that can add to brand awareness. Modern printing techniques, like direct to garment printing, recreate detailed and colorful images, which means your tempting desserts and sumptuous starters will make clients’ mouths water even if it’s just a picture printed on fabric. Your dishes that you’re known for should be advertised on t-shirts or other paraphernalia.
Provide products to employees to wear around while working. When your customers like branded t-shirts, hats, and other merchandise sported by your employees, they can easily find where to get one of their own.
4. Add Touches to Your Food
Adding small decorative touches to your food makes your brand recognizable. You can stick toothpicks in burgers and sandwiches with your restaurant name or logo on them. Custom toothpicks can spread awareness in a unique way. Small touches to your food will make them fun and memorable for your customers. This is something that will set your restaurant apart from your competition.
Your customers will then take their fun experience and share it with their friends and family. Anything you can do for that word-of-mouth marketing is essential.
5. Send out Regular Emails
One successful way to promote your restaurant business to a local market is to ask customers to sign up for a regular email through your website and when they dine with you. Use the email to showcase employees, new food items, discounts and other company-related news to keep your restaurant in front of your customers. This is an important way that you can provide new information to your customers.
If you need to close for a holiday or if you have a new deal, this is a great way for you to reach out to your customers. Keep customers up-to-date with your latest policies and procedures, and let them know how they can support you. These regular emails will remind your customers that you’re still there and they can come dine with you anytime.
6. Be Present on Social Media
Creating Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages are an essential way to promote your restaurant business to a local market. Use these platforms to spread the word about food specials, new food items, recent news and positive reviews — and of course, to interact with your loyal customers!
Social media is also a great way to keep customers updated on the latest developments in your business, such as new hours of operation, new company policies, or new products and services. When posting, the timing should be strategic. For example, feature a savory food item or special a couple of hours before lunchtime so customers have time to plan their order. Social media marketing strategies are an undeniable force in today’s world, and you’ll need to have a strong social media presence.
7. Offer Coupons and Discounts
What better way to promote your restaurant business than by offering savings? Join a local ecommerce savings site, such as Groupon, to offer discounts where customers are already looking for local deals. Providing coupons and discounts for your restaurant is always a surefire way to bring customers running. Offer a free dish to your new email newsletter subscribers.
The pros of offering coupons include introducing new customers to your store, introducing new product lines, providing a way to get rid of unwanted inventory to make room in your warehouse or store for newer product, encouraging customers to try a new brand that is more profitable to you or getting customers to come back to your store. Coupons and discounts can become a crucial part of your social media marketing provided you use them strategically.
8. Build a Website
Your website is the heart of your restaurant’s brand, and it’s even more important now that people will be ordering online. It should be eye-catching, yet easy to navigate. You should make sure it contains an easy to read menu, featured food, newsletter sign up, online ordering options, rewards, and contact information. Each of these things will give your customers much needed information about your restaurant. When customers are looking up a restaurant and they can’t find a website, then they’re less likely to dine there. You need a website to draw in new customers.
With all of these ideas, you’ll be able find something you can start today. The hardest part is getting started, so commit to one idea and get the ball rolling. Once you get started on these small things, then you’re guaranteed to see results quickly.
Trying to get more traffic to your restaurant website? Let us help you!