Do you think that all good restaurant marketing ideas have already been used? Do you think that you are unable to face the competition who spend huge amounts of money on advertising? Have you heard of viral marketing? See what viral marketing is and how to introduce it into promoting your restaurant in 3 steps.

New restaurant marketing ideas: what is viral marketing?

The name is no coincidence. The message in this advertising format is popularised similarly to a virus – incidentally and often not intentionally. All you need is to come into contact with the information briefly to become “infected”.

The speed of spreading the message is simplified additionally by means of the platform which is used to pass the information on. The Internet enables us to send data around the globe in an instant, while the growth of social media has made it even easier. Currently, portals such as Facebook or Instagram are no longer just pages intended for consumers. Today, they are very important tools for executing restaurant marketing ideas.

Viral marketing is one of the restaurant marketing strategies consisting of introducing certain information into the awareness of an audience, which is immediately popularised through the Internet and other media. This information may be hidden in infographics, photographs, videos, podcasts, and many others. Creativity and a catchy message are important here.

How to conduct a successful campaign with the use of viral marketing? Start with the following 3 steps.

1. Prepare contagious material

There are no specific rules on how a viral message should look. Nevertheless, we can list several characteristics. We all remember such actions as the Ice Bucket Challenge or the Polish Neostrada campaign where Heart and Mind where the main characters? What was so special about them?

The Ice Bucket Challenge aimed at collecting money for research on multiple sclerosis. However, the entire campaign was driven by the humoristic idea of this challenge and not just the aim. In just a short period, accounts of users on social media were flooded with short videos of people pouring ice-cold water on themselves.

The Neostrada advertising campaign won the attention of recipients through appearances by charismatic characters: the reasonable Mind and the emotional Heart. The structure of the characters was based on the notion that opposites supplement one another. It featured many funny scenes and became very popular very quickly, lasting for several years.

The common denominator of those two campaigns was the funny idea. Thanks to this, both were very popular and willingly spread. In the case of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the users being its target audience became closely involved.

In order for viral material in your restaurant online marketing to be willingly spread, you have to give your target group a reason to do so. It can be for charity or it may just be very attractive. Choose humour. Refer to current events and try to do a parody. Wink at your competition or even shock your audience a little.

2. Choose the appropriate platform for promotion

Despite the fact that viral marketing is best spread online, this is not a reason to simply forget other media, especially if you have a significant budget for the campaign.

Viral marketing on the radio or TV will effectively reinforce activities conducted online. In some cases, it may even surpass them! As an example, take the above-mentioned Neostrada campaign or the Pepsi challenge.

3. Ensure proper distribution

Someone has to take the first step. When your viral promotional material is ready, focus on its distribution. If you start your promotion online, post it on your website and in your social media. But this is not enough.

Send it to your family and friends. Ask your employees (especially people who work on the campaign), to do the same. Think about paid forms of promoting the material, e.g. Facebook advertising. Catchy viral material that will be displayed on a user’s wall several times will not be ignored. And that’s exactly what you’re aiming for.


Viral marketing is a relatively new concept among restaurant marketing ideas, especially online. It seems, however, that so far (except for large fast food networks), it hasn’t been used on a large scale in the restaurant industry. Perhaps, this is an opportunity for your restaurant management. Take advantage of it!