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47+ Best Restaurant Marketing Strategies & Ideas (2023 Update)

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In a highly competitive restaurant industry, having a robust marketing strategy is critical for attracting and retaining customers. Our article provides more than 47 of the most effective marketing strategies and ideas for restaurants in 2023. 

We have analyzed the latest industry trends, successful campaigns, and consulted with experts to bring you up-to-date and relevant marketing ideas. From social media marketing to customer loyalty programs, this guide covers a range of strategies that can boost your restaurant’s success. Let’s explore the best ways to market your restaurant in 2023!

What are Restaurant Marketing Strategies?

Restaurant marketing strategies are a set of techniques and tactics that restaurants use to promote their business, attract customers and increase revenue. These strategies can range from traditional advertising methods like print ads, billboards, and radio spots to more modern techniques like social media marketing, influencer collaborations or paid online advertising. 

Effective restaurant marketing strategies often involve a combination of both online and offline tactics tailored to the specific needs and goals of the business. Ultimately, the goal of restaurant marketing is to create a strong brand identity and build a loyal customer base that will keep coming back and recommending the restaurant to others.

Illustration of RestaurantMarketingStrategy-examples

How to Build a Restaurant Marketing Strategy?

Building a successful restaurant marketing strategy involves several key steps. Here’s a general framework to help you get started:

  • Define your target audience: Identify your ideal customer, create buyer personas, and understand their needs, preferences, and behaviors.
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis: Evaluate your restaurant’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Use this analysis to identify areas of improvement and opportunities for growth.
  • Set specific and measurable goals: Establish clear objectives for your marketing activities, such as increasing sales, boosting online reviews, or growing your social media following.
  • Develop a unique brand identity: Create a brand voice, visual identity, and messaging that reflects your restaurant’s personality and values.
  • Choose effective marketing channels and tactics: Select the most appropriate channels and tactics for your target audience and goals. This may include social media marketing, email marketing, local advertising, or events and sponsorships.
  • Create compelling content: Develop high-quality content that engages and informs your audience, such as blog posts, social media posts, and email newsletters.
  • Monitor and analyze your results: Use analytics and metrics to track your progress, measure your success, and adjust your strategy.
  • Build positive relationships: Foster positive relationships with your customers, employees, and local community through excellent service, outreach programs, and community involvement.
  • Adapt to changing trends: Monitor industry trends and consumer preferences, and adapt your strategy to stay relevant and competitive.

By following these steps, you can build a strong marketing strategy that attracts and retains customers, builds brand loyalty and drives revenue and growth for your restaurant business.

47+ Restaurant Marketing Strategies & Ideas to Increase Revenue

In this list, we’ve compiled over 47 restaurant marketing strategies and ideas that can help boost your restaurant’s visibility, engage with customers, and increase sales. From creating an online presence to hosting events and offering promotions, these strategies can help you stand out from the crowd and succeed in the ever-changing world of the food industry.

1. Start Selling Online From Own Website

Starting to sell online directly from your restaurant’s website can be a great way to boost revenue and increase your customer base. With the convenience of an online ordering system, customers can easily place their orders, choose their desired pick-up or delivery time and pay for their meals, all without leaving their homes. 

Benefits of own online ordering system

  • Take back control of your business: With your own online ordering system, you have full control over online presence, marketing, and customer relationships.
  • No commission fees: If you already sell on services like UberEats, you can save thousands on commission fees selling food from your own website.
  • Improved Marketing: Collect valuable customer data to create your own targeted promotions and marketing campaigns without limits. 
  • Labor Cost Savings: Save costs associated with taking orders over the phone, such as staff time and phone bills.
  • Increased customer loyalty: When customers order directly from your website, they are more likely to become loyal to your brand and return for future orders.
  • More customization options: You can customize your online ordering system to match your brand and tailor it to the specific needs of your customers.

Find out more in our article about the benefits of online ordering for restaurants.

Offering this service can not only help you reach a wider audience but also improve the overall customer experience and satisfaction. By implementing an efficient online ordering system, your restaurant can stand out from competitors and enhance its bottom line.

Online Ordering System
Your own branded online
ordering in 5 minutes
Launch commission-free online ordering on your own website in 5 minutes and grow your revenue, build loyalty and protect margin from third-party aggregators.
See more →

Learn more with our guide on how to set up online ordering system.

RestaurantMarketingStrategies - Example of online ordering system in action

2. Build a Restaurant Website (With Online Ordering)

A dedicated restaurant website with online ordering capabilities can greatly benefit your business by providing a platform to showcase your menu and allowing customers to place orders conveniently.

Restaurant Marketing Tips

You should consider these elements in your restaurant’s marketing strategy when building a website:

  • Add high-quality images.
  • Make sure there are no misspellings.
  • List your competitive advantages.
  • Inform about news, promotions, and discounts.
  • Integrate with analytics tools to measure valuable data.
  • Use the same colors and fonts to fit your brand identity.

Learn more with our guide on how to create a restaurant website.

3. Build your own Restaurant Mobile App (No-Code)

With your own restaurant mobile app, you can provide a seamless ordering experience for your customers, offer loyalty programs and promotions, and send push notifications to keep them engaged.

You can use our restaurant app builder to create a functional mobile app for customers and publish it on App Store or Google Play in less than 1 hour. By increasing customer loyalty to your brand, a restaurant mobile app can help you build a stronger relationship with your customers and boost your revenue.

Why does your restaurant need a branded mobile app?
  • Outperform your competition in the crowded food delivery app market.
  • Send personalized push notifications to your customers.
  • Increase diner’s loyalty to your brand.
  • Send direct promotions and discounts straight to customer’s pocket.

Learn more with our guide on how to create a food delivery app

4. Create and Optimize Google Business Profile

Enhance your restaurant’s Google Business Profile to improve your online visibility and attract new customers searching for local restaurants in your area. By optimizing your profile with accurate and up-to-date information, including your hours of operation, location, and menu, you can increase your chances of appearing in Google’s Local Pack and Maps listings.

Well-optimized Google Profile should have
  • Added images and a logo.
  • Contact and location details.
  • Button to direct online ordering.
  • Links to website, menu, and online reservation.
  • Selected categories based on restaurant type.
  • Recently published posts.

Additionally, Google Business Profile allows customers to leave reviews, which can help build your restaurant’s reputation and credibility. Regularly monitor and respond to reviews to show your customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing exceptional service.

Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of restaurant’s Google Business Profile

5. Use Review Platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor

If you’re looking to build a strong online reputation and attract more customers to your restaurant, it’s important to use online reviews platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor. By actively managing your restaurant’s presence on these sites, you can respond to customer feedback, address any issues or complaints, and showcase your restaurant’s unique qualities to potential customers. 

Positive online reviews on these platforms can improve your restaurant’s visibility and credibility, making it more likely that new customers will choose to dine with you.

Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Examples of restaurants listed on Yelp and TripAdvisor

6. Build engagement with Social Media Platforms

Being active on social media platforms is a crucial marketing strategy for restaurants. By creating and regularly posting content on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, restaurants can reach a wider audience and build a community of engaged followers.

Social media also allows for two-way communication, giving restaurants the opportunity to engage with customers and receive feedback. There are a variety of restaurant marketing ideas like posting user-generated content, running contests, and promoting specials and events are all effective ways to increase engagement and attract new customers.

Why should you use social media in your restaurant marketing strategy?
  • Reach thousands of customers entirely for free.
  • Reach younger audiences who are most active here.
  • Build loyalty and engagement by interacting with customers.
  • Forward potential diners directly to your website with online ordering.
  • Improve your online visibility among the local community.

Facebook

It’s a powerful social media platform for restaurants to engage with customers and promote their business. With features like Facebook Pages and Groups, restaurants can showcase their menus, events, and promotions and connect with customers through comments, messages, and live videos. Additionally, Facebook offers advertising options to target specific audiences and increase brand awareness. Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of restaurant’s Facebook Page profile

Instagram

It’s a visual-based platform that allows restaurants to showcase their food and atmosphere through photos and videos. It’s an ideal platform for building a visual brand and engaging with customers through hashtags, contests, and influencer partnerships. Instagram also offers business tools for analyzing performance and running ads to reach a wider audience. Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of restaurant’s Instagram profile

TikTok

It’s a video-sharing social media platform where users can create and share short-form videos. With its popularity among younger generations, TikTok offers a unique opportunity for restaurants to showcase their brand, menu items, and behind-the-scenes footage in a fun and engaging way. By creating TikTok videos and using relevant hashtags, restaurants can increase their visibility, attract new customers, and build a loyal following. Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of restaurant’s TikTok profile

7. Create Restaurant Loyalty Program

By creating a restaurant loyalty program, you can encourage customers to return and continue ordering from your restaurant. With UpMenu, you can set up your own loyalty program with custom rewards and point or stamp systems that align with your brand and diner’s preferences. 

Offer incentives like discounts, free items, or exclusive access to increase customer retention and boost sales by rewarding loyal customers. Furthermore, collected data can help you better understand customers’ preferences and behavior, allowing for targeted marketing and personalized experiences.

Loyalty Program Statistics

In its first six months, McDonald’s US loyalty program enrolled 30 million members, more than two-thirds of whom were actively earning rewards, president Chris Kempczinski said on the company’s Q4 2021 earnings call. The fast-food brand has seen a 10% increase in digital customer frequency since launching the program.

57% of restaurants offer rewards and loyalty programs, while 41% of consumers say this encourages them to buy from restaurants.

Paytronix and PYMNTS’ 2022 Restaurant Friction Index

You can also provide additional benefits to customers by encouraging them to use a dedicated app for ordering instead of third-party delivery services, thus avoiding extra fees and commissions.

Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Examples of UpMenu’s loyalty programs

8. Offer Discounts and Promotions

As a restaurant owner, offering discounts and promotions is a great way to attract new customers and keep your current ones coming back. By offering deals on your menu items or creating special promotions, you can increase traffic to your restaurant and boost sales.

One effective way to manage your discounts and promotions is using a restaurant management system like ours. With UpMenu, you can easily create and manage promotions such as percentage-based discounts, buy-one-get-one-free deals, and many more. Try it yourself for free!

Most popular and effective restaurant promotions
  • Offer a percentage discount
  • Offer a personalized discount based on order history
  • Create a limited-run menu item
  • Offer a happy hour special
  • Offer a special menu

Find out more promotions ideas

It’s important to keep in mind that while discounts and promotions can increase traffic to your restaurant, it’s also important to ensure that your promotions are sustainable and won’t negatively impact your bottom line. You should also consider targeting specific groups of customers with your promotions, such as loyal customers or those who haven’t visited in a while.

Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example promotions created in UpMenu

9. Create Automated Email Marketing Campaigns

Automated restaurant email marketing campaigns are an effective way for restaurants to build a loyal following and increase customer engagement. You can create and automate campaigns triggered by specific customer behaviors or events using our email marketing platform.

For example, you can create a welcome email series to incentivize new subscribers, target customers who haven’t visited in a while with a special promotion, or send a birthday email campaign to celebrate with customers and encourage them to visit your restaurant.

Email Marketing Tips
  • Use professionally designed email templates.
  • Add a link or button to the restaurant website with online ordering to allow customers to order directly from their inbox.
  • Write short, catchy email titles.
  • Include promotions or discount coupons to increase conversion rate.
  • Use automated campaigns to increase retention in customers who haven’t ordered in a long time.

        By streamlining the process with UpMenu, you can efficiently manage your email campaigns, track engagement metrics, and segment your email list based on various criteria. Implementing automated email marketing campaigns can be a powerful marketing solution for restaurants to increase customer retention and drive repeat business.

        Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of Email Marketing Campaign

        10. Send Text Messages via SMS Marketing

        Restaurant SMS marketing is an effective way for restaurant owners to engage with their customers and drive sales. By collecting customer phone numbers through your online ordering system or loyalty program, you can use an SMS marketing platform to send targeted text messages.

        This strategy is particularly effective for time-sensitive promotions or events, as customers are likely to see and respond to text messages quickly. To ensure success, it’s important to provide clear opt-in and opt-out instructions and to only send messages to customers who have consented.

        Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of SMS Marketing Campaign

        Overall, SMS marketing can be a powerful tool for restaurants to increase customer engagement and drive sales. Using an SMS marketing platform and following best practices, you can effectively communicate with your customers and build a loyal following.

        11. Turn on Google Ordering

        Enabling Google Ordering is a simple and effective way for restaurants to reach a wider audience and increase sales. By allowing customers to place orders directly through Google, you can make it easier for them to discover and order from your restaurant. 

        To enable Google Ordering, you will need to set up an account with a Google-approved ordering platform such as UpMenu, Toast, Olo, or ChowNow. Once you have connected your restaurant’s menu and ordering system to the platform, customers will be able to find and order from your restaurant directly through Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Assistant.

        Google Ordering Facts

        According to data provided by Zuppler, about 80% of customers who order through Google are new. They have never ordered from the brand before and are using Google to find different places to order food. People might type in the term “Food Near Me” and Google will identify restaurants nearby. When the person clicks on a listing, the Google integration will appear, and customers can order directly from Google.

        Food Delivery News

        Google Ordering also provides valuable data and insights on customer behavior and ordering trends, which can help you optimize your menu and promotions for maximum impact.

         Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of Email Marketing Campaign

        12. Enable Online Reservations

        Enabling online table reservations is a valuable strategy for restaurants looking to improve customer experience and increase sales. By offering an easy-to-use online reservation tool, you can provide customers with a convenient way to book a table at your restaurant.

        To enable online reservations, you can use the UpMenu reservation system. This feature allows your customers to view available tables, choose a date and time, and receive a reservation confirmation.

        Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of Table Reservation in UpMenu

        Offering online reservations can also help you manage your restaurant’s capacity and reduce wait times. By having a better understanding of your expected customer flow, you can optimize your staffing and seating arrangements to provide a better overall experience for your diners.

        13. Collect Customer Feedback

        Collecting customer feedback  is a critical marketing strategy for restaurants to improve their menu, service, and overall customer experience. By gathering customer feedback, you can better understand their preferences and identify areas for improvement.

        Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of Email Marketing Campaign

        One effective way to collect customer feedback is by using an online feedback system such as the one built-in with UpMenu. This system lets customers leave feedback and rate their experience directly on your website or mobile app. You can also use email surveys or social media polls to gather feedback from a wider audience.

        14. Offer Tableside Ordering

        Offering tableside ordering can enhance the dining experience for customers and increase efficiency for restaurants. Customers can browse the menu and place orders directly from tables using their own mobile phones. This reduces wait times and improves accuracy, resulting in a better overall experience. Additionally, tableside ordering can increase sales by offering customers suggestions and upselling opportunities.

        Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of use UpMenu tableside ordering feature

        Our tableside ordering system is user-friendly and easy to implement. You can provide your customers with a seamless ordering experience without additional investment in technology or staff training. Overall, implementing tableside ordering with UpMenu is an effective way for restaurants to increase efficiency, enhance the customer experience, and ultimately increase revenue.

        15. Use QR Code Menus

        Using QR code menus is an effective way for restaurants to enhance the dining experience and provide a touchless menu option for customers. By providing a QR code at the table, customers can scan it with their smartphone and access the online menu directly on their devices. This reduces contact with physical menus and eliminates the need for printing and sanitizing menus.

        Implementing QR code menus is an easy and cost-effective solution for restaurants. Using a menu management platform like UpMenu, you can create and update your menus online and generate a unique QR code for each table. You can also use this feature to track customer engagement with your menu and identify popular items.

        Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of UpMenu qr code menu

        16. Build Relationships with Restaurant CRM System

        Collect customer data and ordering history with a restaurant CRM system Building relationships with a restaurant CRM system is a valuable strategy for restaurants to improve customer retention and increase sales. By using a CRM platform like the one included in UpMenu’s restaurant management system, you can track customer behavior and preferences, personalize promotions and offers, and provide a better overall experience without any additional costs.

        Why does your restaurant need a CRM system?
        • No more dozens of spreadsheets to keep all the restaurant data.
        • Increase retention and loyalty by rewarding the most engaged customers.
        • Create personalized campaigns based on your restaurant data.
        • Track and measure the most important metrics for your business.
        • Analyze top-selling products to improve your menu offerings.

          Implementing a CRM system with UpMenu’s built-in features is an easy and cost-effective solution for restaurants. By tracking customer behavior and preferences, you can better understand your customers and provide them with a more personalized experience. This can include sending targeted promotions, offering rewards through a loyalty program, or simply remembering their preferences and providing excellent service. Thanks to the gathered data, inventing new restaurant marketing ideas is easier.

          Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of restaurant CRM data from UpMenu system

          17. Try Paid Online Advertising

          Paid advertising is an effective way for restaurants to increase visibility, drive traffic to their website, and ultimately increase sales. Using various online advertising platforms, you can target specific audiences and promote your restaurant to potential customers. In the following sections, we will explore two types of paid online advertising that can help your restaurant grow.

          Google Ads

          Google is the most powerful online advertising tool that can help restaurants increase visibility and drive traffic to their online ordering platforms. By creating targeted local online ads and bidding on relevant keywords, restaurants can display their campaigns on websites, search results, Google Maps, Gmail, and even on YouTube as video campaigns.  This provides a wide reach and potential for exposure to a broader audience. It also offers valuable data and insights on customer behavior and search trends, which can help your restaurant optimize advertising campaigns and increase sales. Overall, it’s an effective and data-driven way for restaurants to increase their revenue and online presence.
          You can expect high ROI (Return on Investment) as it is a highly targeted and cost-effective marketing channel. One of our clients increased restaurant revenue by 30% in just one month after implementing paid advertising as part of their strategy. The restaurant was able to reach a wider audience, drive more traffic to its website, and convert more leads into customers. By leveraging the power of Google, this restaurant was able to achieve a high ROI and grow its business. Restaurant Marketing Strategies - GoogleAds campaign results from one of UpMenu’s clients

          Facebook Ads

          With Facebook advertising, restaurants can display their ads in user’s news feed, video, reels, and stories, providing a wide range of options for reaching their target audience. Also, restaurants can display their ads on Instagram as part of a Facebook ecosystem. Facebook ads offer plenty of possibilities for reaching potential customers. In total, restaurants can use 34 different types of ad formats, including image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and more. By using these different ad formats, restaurants can create engaging and visually appealing ads more likely to resonate with their target audience.

          18. Increase Website Visibility with Restaurant SEO

          Increasing website visibility with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an effective way to improve search rankings and drive more traffic to your site. Unlike Google Ads, SEO doesn’t require payment for each click on the ad. Instead, SEO improves the website’s ranking in local search results, increasing brand visibility and sales. 

          By optimizing website content with relevant keywords, improving website speed and navigation, and building quality backlinks, restaurants can improve their search rankings and attract more potential customers who are searching for food to order.

           Illustration how SEO works in search results

          Local SEO is a highly effective marketing strategy that can skyrocket sales for restaurants. One of our clients who tried SEO saw a 20% increase in website traffic and a 69% increase in revenue within three months of implementing a local SEO strategy. By optimizing its website for relevant keywords and improving its overall search engine ranking, the restaurant was able to attract more potential customers and increase sales. These results speak for themselves and demonstrate the powerful impact that local SEO can have on the restaurant business.

          Restaurant Marketing Strategies - SEO results from one of UpMenu’s clients

          19. Use Local Newspapers

          Using local newspapers is another great restaurant marketing strategy to promote events, specials, or new menu items. This strategy works particularly well to attract older customers to your restaurant. By advertising in local newspapers, restaurants can reach the local community nearby and increase brand awareness.

          Local newspapers offer both traditional offline marketing and online advertising options, as most newspapers also have websites where businesses can advertise. This means your restaurants can reach a wider audience and attract customers who may not have found you otherwise.

          Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of newspaper advertising

          20. Order a Broadcast on Local Radio Station

          Ordering a broadcast on a local radio station is a great way to reach a wider audience with your restaurant’s message. This type of marketing works well to reach people who spend more time driving a car and is particularly effective for restaurants located near busy roads or highways. By advertising on a local radio station, restaurants can increase brand awareness and attract new customers.

          Radio advertising offers a cost-effective way to reach potential customers, allowing restaurants to target a specific audience based on demographics and interests. This means that restaurants can create personalized messages that resonate with their target audience and increase the likelihood of driving traffic to their restaurant.

          Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Radio advertising

          21. Print Marketing Materials

          Printed materials are an easy and cheap way to promote your restaurant offerings and attract new customers. By creating stickers, leaflets, posters, and other printed materials, restaurants can increase their brand awareness and drive traffic to their restaurant. Traditional marketing methods like this still work well and can be particularly effective when combined with online marketing efforts.

          You can include printed materials with promo codes or information about new products in each order, increasing sales and customer retention. Collaborating with local bars or other businesses to display marketing materials like leaflets, cards, or posters can help restaurants reach a wider audience.

          Restaurant Marketing Strategies-leaflet

          22. Take Professional Food Photography

          Taking professional food photography is an essential restaurant marketing strategy for showcasing your menu and enticing customers to dine with you. High-quality images are important in attracting customers with appetizing dishes and can significantly increase the likelihood of customers visiting your restaurant.

          Food pictures can be used on restaurant websites, social media pages, and online and print marketing materials to showcase your restaurant’s offerings. By capturing mouth-watering images of your menu items, you can entice customers to dine with you and create a memorable dining experience.

          Restaurant Marketing Strategies-food-photography

          23. Combine Cross-Selling and Up-Selling Techniques

          Combining cross-selling and up-selling techniques can significantly increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction. Cross-selling involves offering complementary products or services to customers, while up-selling involves encouraging customers to upgrade to a higher-priced product or service. By combining these techniques, restaurants can maximize revenue while improving the customer experience.

          For example, a restaurant might cross-sell by suggesting a side dish to go along with a customer’s order or by recommending a dessert to finish off their meal. Additionally, restaurants might up-sell by suggesting a premium dish or wine to customers or by offering larger portion sizes.

          Most popular and effective cross & up-selling examples
          • If you sell burgers, offer to each of them an option to get an extended set with fries and drink
          • If you sell pizza, encourage customers to order a bigger size for a little higher price
          • Offer additional positions such desserts, drinks, and snacks before proceeding checkout

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of Cross-selling and up-selling in restaurant

            24. Use the Power of Influencer Marketing

            Influencer marketing has become a powerful opportunity for restaurants to reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness. By partnering with social media influencers with a large following, restaurants can leverage the influencer’s credibility and popularity to promote their offerings and attract new customers.

            Influencer marketing can take many forms, from sponsored posts and reviews to hosting events and collaborations. By carefully selecting the right influencer to work with and crafting a targeted marketing campaign, restaurants can increase their online visibility and ultimately drive more traffic to their restaurant.

            List of most popular food influencers

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of influencer marketing

            25. Create a Blog Based on Your Food Niche

            Start a blog to showcase your restaurant’s expertise and attract food enthusiasts. Writing about your restaurant, food, and ingredients can help you tell the story of your culinary approach and build a loyal following of customers who appreciate your unique perspective.

            A restaurant blog can cover various topics, from recipes and cooking tips to industry trends and local food events. Invite food bloggers to bring a fresh perspective and expand your content’s reach by introducing it to their audience. This can help you attract new customers and establish a loyal following among their followers.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of food blog

            26. Respond Promptly to Reviews

            Responding to reviews shows customers that you value their feedback and are committed to providing excellent service. Positive reviews and well-handled negative feedback can build your restaurant’s reputation and encourage more customers to try your food.

            When responding to reviews, it’s important to be polite and professional, addressing any concerns or feedback that the customer has provided. 

            27. Recently Update Your Menu

            Keeping your menu fresh, and up-to-date is key in a restaurant marketing plan for keeping customers interested and returning for more. Updating your menu can showcase new offerings and highlight your restaurant’s unique culinary approach.

            With UpMenu, menu management has never been easier. You can change photos, descriptions, and items in minutes, ensuring that your menu is always up-to-date and reflecting your restaurant’s latest offerings. This flexibility lets you respond quickly to customer feedback and adjust your menu based on their preferences.

             Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of managing menu in UpMenu system

             28. Offer New Dishes

            Offering new dishes is an effective restaurant marketing strategy for keeping your menu fresh and exciting, and attracting new customers. By introducing new dishes, you can showcase your restaurant’s culinary creativity and give customers a reason to come back and try something new.

            Offering new dishes is also an opportunity to leverage social media and other marketing channels to promote your restaurant. By posting mouth-watering photos of your new dishes on social media or sending email newsletters to your customer base, you can generate buzz and encourage customers to try your new offerings.

            29. Engage with Local Community Events

            Engaging with local community events is one of the most effective restaurant marketing ideas for building your restaurant’s brand and connecting with potential customers. You can showcase your restaurant’s offerings and demonstrate your commitment to the local community by participating in local events.

            There are many ways to engage with local events, including sponsoring events, participating in food festivals, or catering to local gatherings. By connecting with other businesses and community organizations, you can tap into their networks and reach new customers who may not have heard of your restaurant before.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of restaurant engaging with local community

            30. Organize Charity Events

            Creating charity events can be effective restaurant marketing for giving back to your community and building goodwill. By hosting events that benefit a local charity or cause, you can demonstrate your restaurant’s commitment to positively impacting the community.

            Organizing charity events is also a win-win marketing strategy. You’re raising funds to help people in need and attracting new customers to your restaurant. Customers are more likely to support businesses they perceive as socially responsible, and organizing charity events is an effective way to show that your restaurant is committed to making a positive impact beyond just serving great food.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of restaurant charity event

            31. Show off Your Restaurant Activities

            Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your restaurant’s activities, you can give customers a sense of what it’s like to dine at your restaurant and create a more personal connection with your brand.

            On social media, you can share photos and videos of your restaurant’s kitchen, staff, and funny moments to give customers a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of your business. This can help you build a loyal following of customers who feel connected to your restaurant on a more personal level.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of showing of restaurant activities

            32. Create Challenges and Contests for Customers

            A creative and engaging restaurant marketing ideas are to create challenges and contests for customers. By offering interactive experiences, you can generate buzz and excitement around your brand, as well as encourage customers to share their experiences with their social media followers.

            Examples

            Challenges:

            • Eat 10 burgers in less than 30 minutes and don’t pay for it.
            • Eat the world’s most spicy pizza and earn $1000.
            • Beat a record of 12 eaten pizzas and eat an entire month for free.

            Contests:

            • Gift Card Giveaway.
            • Like, Follow, and Tag to Win.
            • Leave a Review to Win.

            Challenges and contests can come in many forms, such as food-eating or photo contests. By aligning the challenge with your restaurant’s values and branding, you can create a unique and memorable experience for your customers. Not only does this generate buzz around your restaurant, but it also creates a personal connection with your audience. It can lead to increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of restaurant that offerings challenges

            33. Expand Brand Awareness with Food Truck

            An innovative way to expand a restaurant’s brand identity is to use a food truck as one of the marketing strategies. A food truck allows you to bring your restaurant to different locations, reaching new customers and expanding your brand beyond your physical location.

            Food trucks have become increasingly popular, providing customers with a unique dining experience. By taking your restaurant on the road, you can tap into new markets and attract customers who may not have visited your restaurant.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example food truck

            34. Build Strategic Partnerships

            Tap into existing networks and reach new customers who may not have heard of your restaurant by collaborating with other businesses. Strategic partnerships can take many forms, from collaborating with local hotels or attractions to offering special promotions with other businesses. 

            By creating mutually beneficial partnerships that align with your restaurant’s brand and values, you can create a unique and memorable experience for your customers while expanding your business’s reach.

             Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Partnership

            35. Offer Catering Services

            Offering catering services is a lucrative and effective option for expanding your business and reaching new customers. By offering catering services, you can tap into new markets such as corporate events, weddings, and other private parties.

            Catering services allow you to showcase your restaurant’s menu and offerings in a new and unique way while providing customers with a convenient and hassle-free catering experience. By offering customized menus and tailored packages, you can create a unique and memorable dining experience for your customers and leave a lasting impression.

             Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Catering

            36. Use Video Marketing

            Using video marketing can be one of the best restaurant marketing ideas for engaging customers and showcasing your restaurant’s offerings. Video marketing allows you to create visually appealing and informative content that can be shared across various platforms, including social media and your restaurant’s website.

            Creating videos showcasing your restaurant’s menu, atmosphere, and unique offerings can increase repeat customers and attract new ones. Video marketing also allows you to demonstrate your restaurant’s values and personality, creating a personal connection with your audience and leaving a lasting impression.

            37. Create Interactive Experiences

            Offering interactive experiences can be a great way to engage customers, provide a memorable dining experience, and build customer loyalty. By offering interactive experiences such as cooking classes, wine tastings, or themed events, you can give customers a unique and personalized experience that aligns with your restaurant’s values and personality.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Restaurant interactive experiences

            38. Implement Contactless Payments & Delivery

            Offering contactless payments and delivery is a great way to provide customers with a safe and convenient dining experience, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic. Customers are increasingly concerned about minimizing contact and reducing the risk of transmission, and by providing contactless options, you can help alleviate those concerns.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Contactless delivery

            39. Offer Private Dining Experiences

            Offering private dining experiences is an excellent strategy for creating a unique and personalized dining experience for your customers. By offering private dining options, you can provide customers with a sense of exclusivity and intimacy while offering them a chance to enjoy a customized menu and atmosphere.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Private dinning

            40. Start Selling Gift Cards (Gift Vouchers)

            Selling gift cards or gift vouchers is a smart restaurant marketing that can help increase revenue and encourage repeat business. With gift cards, customers can purchase them as gifts for friends and family, or use them for their own future visits. This provides a convenient and flexible way for customers to enjoy your restaurant’s offerings while incentivizing them to return.

            Selling gift cards can be done through various channels, such as in-store or through your restaurant’s website or mobile app. You can also sell vouchers through UpMenu’s ordering system, making it easy for customers to purchase and redeem them through your online platform.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of gift card

            41. Offer Delivery and Takeout

            Delivery and takeout are essential parts of the restaurant’s operations. It can help your restaurant reach a wider audience and generate more revenue. With the ongoing pandemic and changing consumer preferences, delivery and takeout have become increasingly popular among customers who want the convenience of enjoying their favorite meals at home. 

            By offering delivery service or takeout options, you can tap into this growing restaurant industry market and provide customers with a convenient way to enjoy your offerings. 

            Most popular delivery services
            • Stuart
            • MealShift
            • Shippr
            • Uber Eats
            • DoorDash
            • GrubHub

            42. Create Newsletter

            Keep customers informed about your restaurant’s offerings and events. Newsletters allow you to reach customers directly in their inboxes, providing exclusive content, promotions, and updates that can’t be found anywhere else.

            Newsletters can cover various topics, from new menu items and seasonal promotions to upcoming events and community initiatives. By providing customers with valuable and relevant content, you can strengthen your relationship with them and encourage repeat business.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example restaurant newsletter

            43. Get Listed on Third-Party Delivery Services

            Getting listed on third-party delivery services is a popular strategy that can help you reach a wider audience and attract new customers. By using online food delivery apps like UberEats, DoorDash, and Grubhub, you can expand your online reach and provide customers with a convenient way to order from your restaurant.

            However, it’s important to note that this solution may have some downsides, such as high commissions and less control over the ordering and delivery process. Despite these potential drawbacks, getting listed on third-party delivery services can effectively attract new customers and increase revenue.

            3rd-party ordering service
            Commission
            UberEats15%-30%

            GrubHub15%-25%
            DoorDash15%-40%

            Learn more about high fees in our article about UberEats commissions.

            44. Create Virtual Restaurant (Ghost Kitchen)

            Creating a virtual restaurant or ghost kitchen is an innovative way that can help you expand your menu offerings and reach new customers. Unlike a traditional restaurant, a virtual restaurant operates on a delivery-only basis, which means you can offer a wider range of menu items without the costs of a physical storefront.

            With a virtual restaurant, you can also test new brands or concepts without the high expenses of opening a new physical location. This allows you to experiment with new ideas and reach new customers without taking on the risks and costs of a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant.

            Learn more about how to start a ghost kitchen.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example ghost kitchen

            45. Build a Franchise

            Franchising your restaurant can provide a number of benefits, such as increased brand recognition, access to new markets, and the ability to generate revenue from franchise fees and royalties. Additionally, franchising allows you to delegate some operational responsibilities to franchisees, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Example of restaurant franchise

            46. Turn on Online Payments

            Online payments have become popular in the restaurant industry, offering benefits such as convenience, security, loyalty programs, mobile payments, and data collection.

            These benefits can be used as a marketing strategy to attract new customers, especially younger ones, increase loyalty, and differentiate your restaurant from competitors. By emphasizing the advantages of your online payment system, you can create a powerful marketing tool that helps achieve your business goals.

            Restaurant Marketing Strategies - Online payments configuration in UpMenu

            47. More Restaurant Marketing Ideas (Bonus List)

            • Highlight Local Ingredients: Many customers value locally sourced ingredients and environmentally friendly practices. Highlighting these aspects of the restaurant on the menu and social media can attract these customers.
            • Provide Exceptional Customer Service: Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and providing exceptional customer service can lead to positive reviews and repeat business.
            • Create a Referral Program: A referral program can incentivize current customers to refer their friends and family to the restaurant, helping to increase word-of-mouth marketing.
            • Create a Signature Dish: Creating a signature dish that is unique and memorable can help create buzz and attract new customers.
            • Participate in Restaurant Week: Participating in Restaurant Week or other food-focused events can help restaurants attract new customers and drive business during slower periods.
            • Encourage User-Generated Content: Encouraging customers to share photos and reviews of their experience at the restaurant on social media can help generate buzz and attract new customers.
            • Collaborate with Local Farms: Collaborating with local farms and featuring seasonal ingredients on the menu can help attract customers who value fresh, local ingredients.

            Key Takeaways

              • Build a strong brand identity.
              • Embrace technology and digital tools.
              • Engage with your customers and respond promptly to reviews.
              • Offer unique and memorable experiences.
              • Adapt to changing consumer trends.
              • Leverage the power of social media.
              • Implement effective SEO strategies.
              • Use paid advertising to expand your reach.
              • Collaborate with local businesses and community organizations.

              Focusing on these key areas, you can create a comprehensive and effective marketing strategy that will help you attract new customers, build brand loyalty, and grow your business.

              Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

              It’s important because it helps restaurants to reach their target audience, build brand awareness, and ultimately drive more revenue. With the increasing competition in the restaurant industry, having an effective marketing plan in place can make a significant difference in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

              Marketing strategies can help restaurants to differentiate themselves from their competitors, showcase their unique offerings, and create a strong brand identity. Additionally, with the rise of digital tools and platforms, restaurants can reach their target audience more easily and effectively than ever.

              The 5 suggestive selling techniques for restaurants include:

              1. Upselling: Encouraging customers to order additional items or upgrades, such as a larger size, extra toppings, or a dessert.
              2. Cross-selling: Suggest complementary items that pair well with the customer’s current order, such as a drink or appetizer.
              3. Menu optimization: Highlighting menu items that are popular or profitable for the restaurant or creating signature dishes that showcase the restaurant’s unique offerings.
              4. Daily specials: Featuring daily specials or limited-time offers that create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to try something new.
              5. Personal recommendations: Providing personalized recommendations based on the customer’s preferences or previous orders, such as suggesting a vegetarian option or a dish with spicy flavors.

              These techniques can help increase the average order value, encourage repeat business, and enhance the customer experience.

              1. Product: The menu items and services the restaurant offers, including the quality, variety, and presentation.
              2. Price: The pricing strategy for menu items, including the overall affordability and value perception.
              3. Place: The physical location and ambiance of the restaurant, including the decor, seating arrangements, and overall atmosphere.
              4. Promotion: The marketing and advertising activities used to promote the restaurant, including online and offline channels.
              5. People: The staff and employees of the restaurant, including their skills, training, and customer service.
              6. Process: The processes and procedures used to deliver the products and services to customers, including the ordering and payment processes, as well as the speed and efficiency of service.
              7. Physical Evidence: The tangible elements that customers interact with, including the restaurant’s branding, signage, menus, and other marketing materials.

              There are several strategies that restaurants can use to attract customers:

              • Offer promotions and discounts: Providing special deals or discounts can entice customers to visit your restaurant.
              • Implement an effective online presence: Having a user-friendly website, active social media accounts, and being listed on relevant online directories.
              • Focus on customer experience: This involves creating a welcoming atmosphere, providing great service, and ensuring the quality of your food.
              • Host events or themed nights: This can create a fun and exciting atmosphere and give customers a reason to visit.
              • Use targeted advertising: This can include local advertising, social media ads, and Google Ads.
              • Partner with other businesses: This can include partnering with local hotels, event venues, or other complementary businesses to attract more customers.
              • Offer catering services: This can help expand your customer base and increase revenue.

              By using these strategies, restaurants can attract new customers and build a loyal customer base.

              • Offer high-quality food and service: The quality of your food and service is critical to the success of your restaurant. Make sure that your dishes are consistently delicious and that your staff provides excellent service to customers.
              • Create a unique experience: Differentiate your restaurant from others by creating a unique atmosphere or theme that customers will remember and want to return to.
              • Build an online presence: A strong online presence is essential in today’s digital age. Ensure your website is up to date and that you’re active on social media platforms to engage with customers.
              • Implement effective marketing strategies: Use marketing strategies such as email marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and Google Ads to reach a wider audience.
              • Monitor your finances: Keep a close eye on your finances to ensure your restaurant is profitable. Analyze your costs, monitor inventory, and adjust your menu and pricing as necessary.
              • Train and retain your staff: Invest in your staff by providing ongoing training and opportunities for career advancement. This will help you retain quality employees who can contribute to the long-term success of your restaurant.
              • Listen to customer feedback: Actively seek feedback from customers and use it to improve your restaurant. This will show that you value their opinions and care about their dining experience.

              Restaurants can create a marketing mix using the 7 P’s framework: product, price, promotion, place, people, process, and physical evidence. By strategically evaluating these elements, restaurants can create a cohesive and effective marketing plan that attracts and retains customers. 

              It’s important to consider factors such as the quality and variety of the food, pricing strategy, advertising and promotions, location and atmosphere, staff and customer service, operational processes, and the overall appearance and ambiance of the restaurant.

              Dominik Bartoszek

              Dominik Bartoszek

              8+ years Digital Marketer driven by data & AI. Helping restaurants grow more through online orders.

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