Promoting a business is no easy task. You should have a detailed marketing plan to take your brand to the target audiences and bring customers. The same applies to a restaurant. While the quality of food, the location, ambiance, pricing, and menu play a role in determining the success of your restaurant, there should be equal focus on promoting it in the market.
With so much competition, how you promote your restaurant will impact the reach and brand visibility. Let’s look at some easy and creative ideas to promote your restaurant and bring more customers.
1. Video Marketing
Audiovisual content appeals the best to the audience. Videos are easy to share and spread the word. Video marketing is among the most preferred strategies in today’s scenario. Make short videos of the exterior, interiors, seating arrangement, etc., to create an aesthetically pleasing audiovisual.
Don’t forget to invite them to check out the ambiance and food. This will make them curious and attract people to your restaurant. Remember that visually compelling videos are more effective in pleasing audiences. Think of 3D videos and gifs.
2. SMS Marketing
An SMS message has a wide reach and can be sent to any person with a mobile phone. You don't need an internet connection to receive, read, and respond to text messages. Moreover, SMS messages have a high readability ratio compared to other forms of marketing.
Companies like TXTImpact offer business text messaging software for customer engagement, customer service, and marketing purposes. You can send automated messages, personalize bulk messages, and build an effective communication system through text messages. The same platform can be easily used for promoting the restaurant. Send menu specials, discount deals, and party invites through SMS marketing to bring more customers.
3. Local Events/ Food Festivals
Plan your restaurant promotion around a big local event that gathers a lot of crowds. You can offer a special discount to customers who attend the event (and produce the ticket). You are promoting the event and your restaurant at the same time. Tie up as an event sponsor or an advertiser to get more visibility at the event. You can even plan the day’s menu around the event’s theme.
4. Celebrities or Charities
Bring in a local celebrity to endorse the restaurant if you have the budget. Small restaurants might find it convenient to take the other option and donate a portion of the proceeds to charity or a cause you believe in. Social responsibility is good for a business.
5. Giveaway Contests
Who doesn’t like to win something at a giveaway contest? The best time to plan these is during Holidays or special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. Run a contest online or offline. Offer surprise gifts or a free dinner to the winners.
6. Taste and Review for Free
This promotion tactic doesn’t have to be limited to food bloggers. Open the restaurant to everyone for a night and offer certain dishes for free. The only constraint is that the customer should promote/ review the restaurant online. Make sure to plan this carefully to get the desired results. Restricting the menu to drinks and appetizers is one way to manage the budget.
7. Food Bloggers and Influencers
Food bloggers is always seeking out new restaurants and eateries to try and promote. Invite them for a special lunch or dinner in exchange for a shoutout on their blog. Look up influencers from the region to promote your restaurant. You can share coupon codes with the followers of the influencer. Ask for a video promotion of your restaurant to create a better impact.
8. Bundles, Discounts, & Limited Period Deals
Every item on the menu won't be a hit. You can promote the not-so-popular dishes by bundling them with the most ordered dishes and offering a discount on the total price. That way, you promote the restaurant and try to put another dish in the limelight. Run limited period deals on the hot favorites to attract more customers.
9. Happy Hour Meals
Happy hour meals are quite popular in the market. List the favorite drink/dessert from the menu and offer it for free during happy hours. Of course, there will be certain criteria for the offer to be applicable. But people will be more than happy to send a few dollars if they get their favorite item for free.
10. Takeouts and Special Deliveries
Bulk takeouts are lifesavers when people have unexpected parties or family nights. Take advantage of this opportunity to promote your restaurant by offering special takeout deliveries for small to mid-sized gatherings and get-togethers. The host will be more than happy to order from your restaurant instead of cooking for hours. Moreover, you can offer small discounts for events like birthdays, anniversaries, engagement parties, etc.