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15 Best Fast Food Marketing Strategies


The fast-food industry is extremely packed. Competing with all the fast food restaurants requires restaurant owners to be ultra-creative when it comes to marketing. 

In this article, we’re going to present you with the 15 best fast food strategies so you won’t have to reinvent the wheel and simply use these battle-tested ways to market your fast food restaurant. Pick the ones that match your restaurant marketing plan best and get rolling!

15 Best Fast Food Marketing Strategies

Your chances for success without a fast food marketing strategy are simply much lower than if you had one. Below are the ten fast food advertising strategies and ideas to help you maximize your revenue. 

1. Increase the Marketing Budget by Using Your Own Online Ordering System

fast food marketing ideas online ordering system: example photo

Save over 30% in commissions and increase your marketing budget!

Investing in an automated ordering system is a strategic step toward taking full ownership of your business. Food delivery apps such as Uber Eats or GrubHub often charge exorbitant commissions, cutting into your revenue. By adopting a commission-free online ordering system, you can save thousands of dollars that can instead be used to promote your restaurant. Additionally, you’ll have the flexibility to create enticing last-minute offers that attract existing and new customers.

Key benefits of owning an online ordering system for fast food restaurants
  • Save over 30% on commissions
  • Increased revenue potential
  • Improved customer experience
  • Streamlined operations
  • Access to customer data and insights
  • Expanded reach and market penetration
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2. Develop a Website to Boost Your Online Presence and Drive Sales

 fast food marketing ideas fast food website: example photo

Owning a fast food website helps establish your presence in the industry. Your website serves as a virtual business card, providing easy access for customers to locate, contact, and order from your restaurant

By listing your website on Google, you enhance the discoverability of your business and simplify the ordering process.

Importantly, building and running a website costs you next to nothing. The return you get simply by being online is far greater than the initial investment. Just look at any fast food company out there; all big fast food companies offer top-tier websites that make it easier for customers to order directly from them. 

If you’re looking to build a fast food website, consider using a dedicated restaurant website builder. That way, you can scale your website by adding more tools like restaurant analytics.

Key benefits of owning a fast food website
  • Online Presence and Visibility
  • Online Ordering and Reservations
  • Analytics and Insights
  • Marketing Campaigns and Promotions
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • High return potential for a tiny amount
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3. Offer Bundle Meals to Bring in Larger Groups and Families

fast food marketing ideas offer bundle meals: example photo

Offering bundle meals encourages upselling and increases average order value as customers are enticed to purchase additional items bundled together at a discounted price. This strategy promotes the sale of complementary products and can lead to higher overall sales revenue. 

Bundle meals provide customers with a convenient and value-packed dining option, offering a complete meal with a variety of menu items in a single package. This simplifies the ordering process for customers and saves them time by presenting them with pre-selected options. 

Ultimately, the convenience, value, and enticing pricing of bundle meals contribute to an enhanced customer experience, fostering satisfaction and potentially leading to repeat visits and increased customer loyalty.

Key benefits of offering bundle meals
  • Sell more food
  • Reach wider audience
  • Customer convenience
  • Simplified ordering
  • Repeat visits

4. Share Special Offers via SMS Campaigns

fast food marketing ideas: sms campaigns

SMS marketing gives you a direct and immediate way to reach customers, allowing for smooth communication of promotions, discounts, and limited-time offers. SMS messages have high open and response rates, ensuring that your marketing messages are more likely to be seen and acted upon by customers, resulting in increased customer engagement and potentially driving more sales.

 Additionally, SMS marketing allows for personalized messaging and targeting, enabling you to tailor your promotions to specific customer segments and maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns. The best way to carry out SMS campaigns is by using dedicated restaurant marketing software

Key benefits of SMS marketing
  • Restaurant sms marketing allows you to instantly reach your customers and is great for last-minute offers.
  • Direct and immediate communication with customers
  • High open and response rates for increased engagement
  • Personalized messaging and targeting for effective campaigns
  • Timely communication of promotions and limited-time offers
  • Cost-effective compared to traditional marketing channels

5. Organize Regular Social Media Contests to Engage With Your Customers

 fast food marketing ideas social media contests: example photo

Restaurant social media contests generate excitement and engagement among followers, increasing brand visibility and attracting new customers. They provide an opportunity to gather user-generated content and customer testimonials, which can be leveraged for future marketing efforts. Additionally, contests can incentivize social media sharing, expanding the reach of your restaurant’s promotions and creating a sense of community among your audience.

You can monitor how much traffic and revenue you gain by being present on those platforms through restaurant analytics software.

Key benefits of organizing social media contests
  • Increased brand visibility and exposure.
  • Enhanced customer engagement and interaction.
  • Expansion of social media reach and audience.
  • Generation of user-generated content and customer testimonials.
  • Incentivized social media sharing and word-of-mouth promotion.

6. Create Enduring Customer Relationships With a Loyalty Program

fast food marketing ideas loyalty program: example photo

Implement a restaurant loyalty program to maintain customer satisfaction and foster long-term relationships. By creating a program that offers rewards or discounts for repeat visits and referrals, you can incentivize customers to keep returning. That way, you can build a loyal and dedicated customer base. Additionally, the data gathered from the program allows for deeper insights into customer preferences and buying habits. This, in turn, enables you to run more targeted and effective marketing campaigns and enhance customer engagement and retention even further.

Key benefits of loyalty programs
  • Increased customer loyalty
  • Encouraging repeat business
  • Enticing new customers
  • Gathering valuable marketing data
  • Driving word-of-mouth marketing
Loyalty Program
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7. Offer Special Deals for App Orders to Boost Online Sales

 fast food marketing ideas: special deals for apps: example photo

Encourage customers to use your app by offering exclusive discounts, freebies, or special promotions for online orders. Highlight the convenience, speed, and contactless nature of online ordering to attract tech-savvy customers and drive more digital sales.

Owning a mobile app for restaurants also allows you to get your audience to order directly from you. By encouraging them to do so, you’re paving the way for yourself to switch from using third-party delivery apps completely. Build your loyal customer base and get rid of third-party fees.

Key benefits of offering niche food options
  • Build a loyal customer base in your app
  • Avoid massive third-party commissions
  • Send notifications directly through your app
  • Generate buzz around your brand
  • Send group offers to bring new customers

8. Organize Influencer Takeovers to Diversify Your Audience

 fast food marketing ideas influencer takeover: example photo

Influencer takeover is a form of restaurant influencer marketing where a selected influencer ‘takes over’ your social media account for a period of time.

This form of marketing can increase your brand exposure and reach. When an influential social media personality takes over your fast food restaurant’s social media or features your brand on their channels, they expose your restaurant to a massive following you might have never reached otherwise.

Also, an influencer takeover can bring credibility and authenticity to your brand. If you choose the right influencer, you’re getting someone who has built trust and a loyal following through their content and personal brand. When they endorse or feature your fast food restaurant, their audience is more likely to perceive your brand positively and view it as a credible recommendation.

Key benefits of influencer takeover
  • Expanded reach
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Authenticity and credibility
  • Engaging content creation
  • Social media exposure
  • Targeted audience

9. Visit Local Events With Pop-up Restaurants to Engage New Customers

fast food marketing ideas pop-up restaurant: example photo

Restaurant digital marketing is great, but sometimes it’s worth going back to fundamentals. Organizing a pop-up restaurant can be a great way to promote your restaurant during local events. 

Participating in events like music concerts or local sports events can significantly increase your exposure to a diverse audience, expanding your reach beyond your usual customer base. Tailoring your concept to align with the event’s theme or target demographic enables more effective and targeted marketing efforts.

Furthermore, offering samples or small portions of your signature dishes allows attendees to experience your food firsthand, creating a memorable impression and increasing the likelihood of future visits. This engagement not only differentiates you from competitors but also generates valuable social media content. Lastly, building relationships with event-goers fosters customer loyalty and encourages positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Key benefits of pop-up restaurants
  • Diversify your audience and win new customers
  • Build relationships with customers and other business owners
  • A great market testing opportunity
  • Brand exposure and promotion
  • Collaboration and networking
  • Enhanced creativity and innovation

10. Create Seasonal Events and Promotions to Increase Engagement

fast food marketing ideas seasonal events and promotions: example photo

Creating seasonal events and promotions is an effective strategy for fast food restaurants to increase engagement and attract customers. By aligning with holidays, special occasions, or seasonal themes, you can tap into the excitement and anticipation that comes with these moments.

You can decorate your restaurant, create engaging social media campaigns, and organize fun activities or contests that revolve around the season. By incorporating interactive elements and encouraging user-generated content, you can boost customer engagement and generate buzz around your brand.

Key benefits of organizing seasonal events and promotions
  • Increased foot traffic
  • Higher customer engagement
  • Enhanced brand visibility
  • Boosted sales and revenue
  • Opportunity for creativity and innovation
  • Building customer loyalty and repeat business

11. Keep Your Customers Updated via Email Campaigns

 fast food marketing ideas: email campaigns

Email campaigns provide a direct and personalized channel to engage with your customers, enabling you to deliver targeted messages, promotions, and updates tailored specifically to their preferences. 

This cost-effective marketing tool allows you to reach a large customer base, drive customer loyalty, increase repeat purchases, and ultimately foster the overall growth of your fast-food restaurant. With the ability to measure campaign results and gain valuable insights, email campaigns empower you to optimize your marketing strategies, retain customers, and build lasting relationships.

Key benefits of email marketing
  • Restaurant email marketing is a great way to reach your customers for free. Since most people have their email notifications on, it can be as effective as SMS marketing.
  • Increased customer engagement
  • Personalized communication
  • Cost-effective marketing tool
  • Measurable results and insights

12. Establish Happy Hours to Boost Sales During Slower Periods

 fast food marketing ideas: happy hours

Happy hours create a sense of excitement and urgency, enticing customers to visit during specific timeframes and increasing foot traffic during slower periods. By offering discounted prices or special promotions on select menu items, happy hours can boost sales volume and revenue. 

Additionally, happy hours provide an opportunity to attract new customers, enhance customer loyalty, and create a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, ultimately contributing to the overall success and profitability of your fast food restaurant.

Key benefits of happy hours
  • Increase foot traffic and customer volume during slower periods.
  • Attract new customers and expand your customer base.
  • Boost sales and revenue through discounted prices and special promotions.
  • Enhance customer loyalty and encourage repeat visits.
  • Create a vibrant and energetic atmosphere, fostering the overall growth and success of your fast food restaurant.

13. Surprise, Delight, and Leave a Lasting Impression

 fast food marketing ideas: surprise and delight

By going above and beyond to surprise and delight your customers, you can create a memorable and positive experience they will remember and share with others. This initiative can generate powerful word-of-mouth marketing and positive reviews, attracting new customers and increasing brand awareness. 

Moreover, by consistently surprising and delighting your customers, you can foster strong customer loyalty, leading to repeat visits and increased customer lifetime value.

Key benefits of a surprise and delight initiative
  • Create a memorable and positive customer experience.
  • Generate word-of-mouth marketing and positive reviews.
  • Increase customer loyalty and repeat visits.
  • Differentiate your restaurant from competitors.
  • Enhance customer satisfaction and build lasting relationships.

14. Diversify Your Audience by Organizing Food Challenges

 fast food marketing ideas: food challenges

Create food challenges or eating contests that showcase your fast food specialties. Challenge participants to finish a large portion of food within a certain time frame or invite them to submit creative food-related content. Promote these challenges through social media and offer prizes to winners, attracting attention and engaging customers.

By doing so, you can generate powerful word-of-mouth marketing and positive reviews, attracting new customers and increasing brand awareness. Moreover, consistently surprising and delighting customers fosters strong customer loyalty, leading to repeat visits and increased customer lifetime value. 

Key benefits of organizing food challenges
  • Generate Buzz and Excitement
  • Drive Foot Traffic and Acquire New Customers
  • Foster Customer Engagement and Participation
  • Encourage User-Generated Content and Social Media Exposure
  • Establish Differentiation and Build Reputation

15. Offer Customizable Menu Options to Satisfy Everyone’s Needs

 fast food marketing ideas: customizable menu

Offer customizable menu options where customers can create their own unique combinations of ingredients, flavors, or toppings. Customizable menus offer the flexibility for customers to tailor their food choices to their preferences, dietary needs, or taste preferences. This empowers customers to personalize their meals and creates a sense of ownership, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Key benefits of offering customizable menu options
  • Personalized dining experience
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Catering to dietary preferences
  • Enhanced menu flexibility
  • Competitive advantage

Key Takeaways

  • The fast food industry is ripe with high-quality competition. In order to survive, you might want to consider preparing a restaurant marketing plan.
  • You can save a lot of money on third-party delivery app fees simply by setting up your own online ordering system. That way, you can use more money to fuel your marketing and beat your competition.
  • You can only benefit from owning a fast food website and social media.
  • The industry is full of powerful solutions. For example, you can now use dedicated restaurant marketing software to automate your fast food marketing for maximum efficiency.
  • It’s best to use a dedicated restaurant website builder to build your fast food website. That way, you can easily automate your online ordering and marketing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

To effectively market your fast food business, you need to prepare a restaurant marketing plan. Focus on establishing a strong online presence through a user-friendly website, active social media engagement, and online advertising. Additionally, utilize local marketing tactics such as partnering with local influencers or businesses, participating in community events, and offering targeted promotions to attract customers within your immediate area. Continuously engage with your audience, provide exceptional customer service, and leverage customer feedback to refine your marketing strategies for ongoing success.

McDonald’s utilizes a mix of marketing strategies to reach and engage its target audience. Their marketing efforts often revolve around emphasizing their brand familiarity, affordability, and convenience. McDonald’s invests in various channels, including television advertising, digital marketing, social media campaigns, sponsorship of major events, and localized promotions, to maintain brand visibility and drive customer engagement.

Burger King’s marketing strategy focuses on creating innovative and attention-grabbing campaigns that challenge industry norms. They often employ bold and provocative advertising tactics, leveraging humor, controversy, and pop culture references to generate buzz and engage their target audience. Additionally, Burger King actively utilizes digital platforms and social media to connect with customers, promote new menu offerings, and encourage customer interaction and loyalty.

The best way to promote your fast food restaurant is by implementing a multi-channel marketing approach. First, prepare a restaurant marketing plan. Then, utilize online platforms like social media, online advertising, and search engine optimization to reach a wide audience. Additionally, leverage local marketing strategies such as community partnerships, local event participation, and targeted advertising to attract customers in your immediate area. Regularly engage with customers, offer promotions, and provide exceptional service to foster positive word-of-mouth recommendations and encourage repeat business.

Emil Gawkowski

Emil Gawkowski

Creative digital writer and marketer. A caffeine-fueled madman who loves to make things better.

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