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How to Advertise a Restaurant

Monika Kamińska

Monika Kamińska - marketing and communication enthusiast, psychologist by education. For almost 20 years he has been working in areas related to marketing activities, customer path and decision making. Experience has taught her that the most important thing is efficiency. She boldly sets goals and implements them by choosing online and offline tools. Her passion is the analysis of customer behavior and content marketing.

Table of contents

Yes, we all know that good advertising is important. Whether you want to sell a product or a service, a proper ad is a must. XXI century gives you plenty of ways to advertise your business. There are many different advertising techniques for restaurants, which will definitely improve your income!

Let the Social Media Become Your Best Friend

The power of social media is insanely huge. Although there are still some people who might underestimate it, Facebook and Instagram are the two most popular social networks in the world. Numbers say it all – Instagram is estimated to have over 1 billion users and Facebook has 2,7 billion active users. Therefore, social media should be your key target when it comes to any restaurant marketing plan ideas.

Plan Your Budget

Whether you own a small family business, or a bigger and perhaps more established restaurant – you still need those effective marketing strategies for restaurants. But first things first – plan your budget. See how much money you can spend on local ads, like radio or newspapers. Try to calculate a certain amount for the entire year and do your best to stay in that budget. If you keep track of your marketing expenses, you will be able to manage the finances of your business way better. Good planning is the key to your success.

What if There is Little or No Money Left in Your Budget?!

Remember – there are always some ways to advertise for free! Yes – social media will be definitely a returning point of this article! If you need some restaurant advertising tips, then you have come to the right place! As we stated earlier – social media will be your secret weapon. Of course, you may buy an ad there, or simply advertise your business on a local radio. But as we all know, times are a bit tough right now and we all want to save up, right?

Take a Picture and Post it!

One of the most popular restaurant advertising tips is to engage your clients to tag your business or share their location while dining at your eatery. We live in times where people feel the urge to share their lives and endeavors with their friends. They go out to eat, they take a picture of that deliciously looking lasagna and bam! They tagged your restaurant, and now all of their friends know about your business. Who knows, that one innocent post might bring you some potential customers.

Keep Your Social Media Accounts Up-To-Date

There is nothing worse than visiting a restaurant’s home page or IG account and all you can see there is a post from 1998. You definitely want to avoid that! Keep your home page and all those social media channels updated. Opening hours, special events, lunch specials and most importantly – pictures! People love pictures. They want to know what the food you serve look like and what kind of drinks and desserts you offer. Remember – being active on social media is definitely one of the main restaurant advertising strategies.

Do Not Forget About Those Freebies!

Yes, people are different, but we all have this one thing in common – we like free stuff. Sometimes even a small thing that was given to us for free will make us extremely happy. That is why, if you are looking for some effective restaurant marketing tips – we have something to tell you – make sure to reward your loyal customers. Keep track of their visits, make sure to have a little pep talk once they visit your restaurant and – most importantly – do not forget to throw a drink or a dessert on the house. Trust us – they will feel extra special and will recommend your restaurant to their friends.

A Satisfied Customer Can Advertise Your Business

How to advertise your restaurant business? Well, there are plenty of ways, but remember that all of your loyal customers will most definitely advertise your restaurant as well, so always make sure to provide an impeccable customer service, great vibe and of course – terrific food. If you keep your standards high – your business will thrive.

How to Market A Restaurant Business?

Past year has been rough on almost every business and every profession. But better days are upon us, so let us all focus on placing your business out there, where it can be visible. We still did not mention the entire potential of social media. Apart from posting pictures, you can also announce things like events, special offers or other interesting things that might happen in your restaurant. Keep that in mind!

Make Your Restaurant a Place Worth Visiting

Delicious food and terrific customer service should not be the only factors that would make your restaurant stand out. Create an interesting event, like book reading or Live Music on Fridays. Add lunch specials to your menu. Happy Hour? Why not?! That will attract the customers. Throw a post on social media, let your clients know what is cookin’ in your restaurant!

Invest in Local Media

If you took local media – like radio – into account while calculating your budget for ads, then plan it all wisely. Think of the best time slots and choose a voice that sounds pleasant. Nothing too sharp or too dull. Keep it short but informative. It will be more encouraging if you throw a little discount there. Like 10% off for all students, or free drinks for senior citizens. Local radio station might seem like an old school method when it comes to marketing ideas for small business restaurant or any restaurant, but trust us – the power of radio is still quite impressive.

Digital Marketing Ideas for Restaurants

Digitalization is everywhere now. That is why, if you were looking for some digital marketing ideas for your restaurant, you should definitely think about making your business visible out there in the internet. Make it possible for your customers to make a reservation online, or let them be able to rate and comment your restaurant. Remember – even if someone has a negative word to say – it might help you improve your business’ features. Always listen to every comment – it will help you make changes which will transform your business into a five-star restaurant! 

Strategy is Important!

A good marketing strategy for your restaurant business is a key to success. Remember – timing is everything. Create your marketing plan for each quarter. Think of various holidays and events throughout the year and see what interesting features you can add. Things like lunch specials for Mother’s Day or free desserts for couples on Valentine’s Day. Make sure to let your customers know about it. Add a post on your social media and invite all the lovers on February 14th. You can also release an ad on the radio, which will let the people know that your restaurant is having a Karaoke night.

Where to advertise?

How to advertise a restaurant? There are plenty of advertising techniques and marketing tactics for restaurants. You just need to know when and where to advertise. You have to define your main target. If most of your clients are younger people, then social media will definitely do half the marketing work here. But if your clientele is more of an old school type, then you might want to invest in local media. You can also print out some leaflets with your menu. Leave it in the local beauty salon.

Gain New Customers

Remember that in many cases the “good gossip” might turn out to be a perfect campaign for your restaurant. A word of mouth has a huge power here. Your customers will tell their friends about that cool restaurant, that offers insanely good food, and there you go – a free ad right there! That is why you should always keep your guests satisfied!

Online Menu is a Must!

There is another important matter – an online menu. Make sure it is up to date. Pandemic forced us to dine out, so we want to see what kind of food are you offering. Photos are extremely welcomed there! And if we can also place an online order – well that would be awesome. Make sure you will let your customers know all about the online menu as well as the possibility to order online. A simple post on your IG or FB account will do the work.

Delivery is Crucial Here!

Partner up with delivery services and make sure your customers will get their food right on time. Food needs to be fresh and still warm! We know that sometimes it is hard to deliver a hot chocolate lava cake in its proper temperature, but at least you have tried! Fast delivery is what everybody is counting on these days. Monitor your delivery people and listen to what your customers have to say. Remember – if they complain – they you need to act fast before the bad publicity occurs.

How to Avoid Bad Publicity

We think everything will go perfectly well on your side, but it is always better to keep track of what is going on in your business. If you designated someone to manage your social media accounts and follow the marketing plan – then it is great. Just make sure to check on your business every now and then. Good publicity is what every restaurant owner wants. Make sure your staff is well-trained, pleasant and offers impeccable customer service. Serve food that is fresh and made with good quality products. Customers will notice that and they will definitely come back for more!

Events will be helpful

Some of other restaurant marketing tips include events. That is a great way to put your business out there. You can take part in those grater events, like some annual culinary/restaurant shows or simply become one of the sponsors for your local kid’s club. Someone is opening up a new store or celebrating their 20 years in business? You can be their caterer. Make sure to have your business cards or leaflets, so you can hand them out later. Or simply direct them to your restaurant’s social media accounts.

Have you Ever Considered a Food Truck?

There are many restaurant advertising strategies. One of them might be a food truck. In many cases it is somehow connected with the events. Lots of huge companies are throwing parties to promote their businesses, so therefore you can promote yours. Partner up with a company that wants to order food and beverages for their employees and guests. Always have your offer ready. Remember that there are multiple restaurants out there and you want your business to be visible!

How to Stand Out From Your Competition?

Some of the most effective marketing strategies for restaurants might include a celebrity. Yes, we know – it is impossible to hire an A-list actor to advertise your restaurant, but focus on your local celebrities. Nowadays, an influencer is considered to be a celebrity. Search for those with many followers and reach out to them. See if they would be willing to visit your restaurant and post few pictures. It might involve some money, but this kind of expense might be easily placed and considered in your annual budget.

Do Not Forget About Local Newspaper

Online banners and those huge billboards are quite expensive, but definitely effective. Do not worry though – your local newspaper might do the work too. You can advertise your business there and throw a coupon for a free dessert. Freebies always attract customers. They work like magic!

Learn How to Negotiate

Restaurant marketing strategies and tips are crucial while running your business. But there is another asset you need to learn – know how to negotiate. Ads might be quite expensive, and when you sit down and start planning your budget for the next year, try to think outside the box. You might need to advertise your restaurant on the radio more than once, so ask them to give you a good price for a package of 4 ads. If you take part in a local event and there will be other businesses there – negotiate to be the main sponsor or at least be the only food supplier for the event.

Ever Heard of Geo-Targeting?

Geo-targeting delivers content of advertisements to customers based on their geographic locations. This is essential for restaurant businesses, because they all depend on foot traffic and home deliveries. This tactic will help you spend your marketing funds more effectively. If your income is highly dependable on home deliveries, then you definitely do not want to waste your money on advertising your restaurant in areas that are too far away.

Present Your Staff

People in general like to know who serves their food. You can create “About Us” and “Our Team” sections on your website and upload pictures of your employees. Make sure to put their names there and maybe a short description or a bio. Do not forget about your own picture. Remember to keep that information updated. Ask your employees to strike a pose and take a picture! Every now and then, you may also want to post something with your employees on Instagram or Facebook.

As you can see, there are many awesome restaurant marketing ideas and tactics out there. In many cases, you can advertise your business for free. Social media will definitely help you with that. They key is to know where and when. Remember to plan ahead. A good agenda will definitely make you not to forget about the upcoming events or holiday and what is more – you will avoid spending those extra funds on unnecessary ads. Planning is important. Set up a goal and keep up the good work!

Monika Kamińska

Monika Kamińska - marketing and communication enthusiast, psychologist by education. For almost 20 years he has been working in areas related to marketing activities, customer path and decision making. Experience has taught her that the most important thing is efficiency. She boldly sets goals and implements them by choosing online and offline tools. Her passion is the analysis of customer behavior and content marketing.

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