10 Restaurant Promotion Ideas to Attract More Customers
Before outlining tips for the restaurant industry, let’s discuss their importance in the first place.
Key Takeaway: Restaurant promotions (whether events, online campaigns, or word-of-mouth mentions) support sustainable sales better with integrated online ordering platforms.
Why Is Restaurant Promotion So Important?
Successful restaurant promotion campaigns and marketing initiatives can become a major driver of traffic and enhance customer acquisition. With a multitude of techniques ranging from free food offers to special event promotions, restaurant promotion can effectively increase customer footfall in your establishment.
While location can be a boon for restaurants, this advantage only goes so far as your customer is willing to travel. In a world where consumers are constantly searching for their next favorite dining spot, your restaurant marketing strategies should ensure your eatery stays relevant and is part of this dynamic conversation.
Promotional strategies vary greatly based on your cuisine and niche market. From local SEO tactics to exciting social media campaigns, there's a plethora of effective restaurant promotion ideas ready for immediate implementation. So, let's dive into our top ten recommendations for restaurant marketing.
Restaurant Promotion Ideas
1. Restaurant Loyalty App
A restaurant loyalty app that integrates with your POS system will be ideal for efficiency. Hospitality software can store customer data, which is vital for accuracy.
A fast-food restaurant loyalty program will be similar to one for a casual dining setting. On the other hand, a loyalty program for an upscale eatery will be more exclusive. Regardless of what restaurant you manage, there are many ideas to select.
Restaurant Loyalty Program Ideas
- Consider adopting a custom loyalty program system that provides customers with a discount or bonus points promotions after a certain number of purchases.
- Celebrate your customers with birthday meal rewards or other perks on special occasions.
- Give exclusive access to menu items, special tasting events, or new item launches as part of your membership perks.
- For loyal customers, offer VIP status for premium discounts and exclusive, personal incentives.
2. Advertise A Menu QR Code
You may be wondering how a QR code can be a tool for restaurant promotion ideas. In most cases, restaurant owners will use the code in advertising materials like flyers and stickers.
Some business owners even claim that QR codes help reduce restaurant expenses since it costs more to constantly replace physical menus. With a QR code app, you can make as many changes as you’d like.
3. Offer Multiple Payment Options
Payment processing options may not sound like the most creative idea. However, they make your business inclusive to all customers.
You won’t be excluding anyone if you allow people to pay for their food with cash, cards, or via mobile contactless payments. Display payment methods on the front window of your restaurant. For digital efforts, you can also include this information at the end of social media captions or profile descriptions.
Onboarding a POS system that abides by PCI standards is vital for secure payments. It’ll also give your customers the peace of mind that their information is safe.
4. Expand Reach with Delivery Apps
Adding online ordering through POS integration as part of your strategy can be a game-changer. It may not appear as an obvious solution to increase restaurant sales, but in today's digital-first landscape, it's a vital move for broadening your customer base.
Mobile food ordering allows eateries to expand the number of customers they can serve within a single shift. Just think about all of your potential customers who may not be in the position or mood to go out for a meal. By offering delivery, your restaurant can gain substantial traffic.
Studies show that people spend more time browsing mobile menus than in-house ones. Many argue that this statistic is because there isn’t a wait staff collecting the orders. With this in mind, consumers might also be browsing at available restaurants, too. And when they finally choose yours, there’s a chance for higher cart values.
New technology in restaurants allows for easy and quick deliveries. Let your business be a convenient solution for your entire area.
5. Host Seasonal Events
Seasonal events are a way to draw large crowds. It’s also an effective strategy if you’re launching something new.
For example, if you sell local beer brands, promote them at a Fourth of July celebration. Events from October through December are another way to get locals in the holiday spirit.
Restaurant and bar event ideas with themes generate awareness for many reasons. Some people feel loyal to events like the Super Bowl, whereas some prefer holiday parties. Regardless of your choice, make sure to make it an enjoyable and memorable experience for all.
6. Give Back to the Community
Charity events are a fun way to get the community together. They’re also an effective way to boost a brand’s reputation.
From local hospitals to schools, there are probably more non-profits in your area than you might realize. These groups remain afloat on donations, so consider hosting an event in their honor.
You can coordinate an event where a certain amount of proceeds is given to the non-profit. If you should continue a partnership with any of them, seasonal events every quarter may perform well.
7. Sponsor Local Non-Profits
Sponsorships are an effective way to promote your business to different people. Is there a local sports team you’d like to support or a non-profit that could benefit from a donation?
Consider sponsorships at local events for groups that you’re passionate about helping out. In some scenarios, you might even be able to serve food at sponsored events. Not only will this be a great way to promote your restaurant, but it will allow people to sample your top-selling menu items.
One of the great aspects of sponsorships is that such relationships last long-term. Typically, sponsors sign a contract with the organization. The agreement will ensure the non-profit receives long-term assistance while the restaurant will have ongoing promotions.
8. Implement Restaurant SEO Tactics
A restaurant SEO strategy is ideal if you want to boost website traffic. Maybe you want to promote the way you brand your restaurant. Or, perhaps your restaurant also operates as a venue, so you want to book client calls.
Adding SEO to your restaurant promotion plan will allow you to speak directly to your ideal customer base. Target keywords and proper structure will cause your web content to rank higher than the competition.
9. Invest in Paid Advertisements
When creating a digital advertisement, you can customize who will see it. As you can imagine, this concept makes paid ads an enormous traffic driver for any business.
One of the first steps you should take toward a restaurant promotion strategy is building a website and creating social media accounts. Once you complete these tasks, you can run various types of ads online.
Whether you launch Google Ads or boost posts on social media, ensure you’re targeting people who reside in your area.
On platforms like Facebook, you can target people in your area based on their phone’s location but who live elsewhere. This metric will alert you to people who may be traveling and are unaware of local eateries.
Before launching digital ads, learn how to calculate social media ROI to track your results. Knowing this statistic will also help plan future campaigns.
10. Create Happy Hour Menus
Happy hour is one of the most profitable events a restaurant can host. (And, its menu design is a careful art.) From popular cocktails to original mixed drink recipes, consumers flock to happy hour to socialize with friends.
Liquor sales are a huge revenue source. Various types of alcohol have some of the highest markups compared to other inventory goods. So even when you discount drinks, your restaurant will still make a large profit.
Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Promotion Ideas
Did you know experts say word-of-mouth marketing is the most influential form of promotion for restaurants? A study by the National Restaurant Association found 77% of diners visit a restaurant based on recommendations.
Grasp the influence of restaurant promotion with custom loyalty programs, perks, events, posts, and more that increase restaurant sales and word-of-mouth. Get the answers here, and get people talking about your brand.
What is the best way to promote your restaurant?
Word-of-mouth marketing is the best form of promotion, so it’s important to include customer surveys and generate reviews for your restaurant. Consider offering a discount for those who show one of the waiters their Google review.
If you offer this kind of restaurant promotion, keep one thing in mind. Mandate that the review is posted within the last seven days. By setting this rule, you’ll avoid customers who constantly get discounts for showing the same review multiple times.
How do I promote my restaurant menu?
High-quality images of dishes and great menu design ideas are assets in restaurant promotion. Choose photo-centric social media platforms to promote such material.
Apps like Facebook and Instagram are ideal for sharing hot menus like new sustainable menus from favorite brands. Once you have a target audience, promote your best-performing posts. You can do this by boosting an already-existing piece of content. Or, you can make a paid ad from scratch.
How do restaurants attract families?
Loyalty programs and bundled pricing are excellent offers to attract families. When families dine out, you can expect parties with a minimum of three people. Discounts for larger orders are a great way to show customer appreciation while reducing expenses.
Family-style dining is an area that consists of many creative restaurant promotion ideas. Several options to consider include:
- Buy one entree and get another half-off.
- A discounted menu for kids and seniors.
- A 10% discount for parties over five people.
- A free dessert menu item on birthdays.
Before launching a strategy, always ensure that your restaurant is financially stable enough to do so. If not, such promotions may hurt you in the long run.