Lauren Platero

11 Effective Upscale Restaurant Marketing Ideas to Use In 2023

An upscale restaurant is a luxurious and profitable business model within the restaurant industry. If a business establishes a luxury dining room and has a highly skilled team of various types of chefs, it’s evident that it’s an upscale restaurant. 

Regardless of how ornate an eatery is, restaurant marketing strategies are essential. In fact, many restaurant marketing ideas act as the first impression for many consumers. If you’re the business owner or restaurant manager of an upscale restaurant, you’ll want to ensure that the customer experience is as spectacular as possible. 

Before we jump into restaurant marketing tips for an upscale restaurant, let’s dive into what makes up this category of eateries. 

Upscale Restaurant

An upscale restaurant is an establishment that offers high end meals at a high price point.  Upscale restaurants often include the best wine pairings, tasting menus, multi-course dinners, and more. The quality of the ingredients combined with stellar customer service sets upscale restaurants far apart from more casual dining experiences. 

Upscale Restaurant Examples 

There are numerous business styles that fall into the category of upscale restaurants. To name a handful, you can feel confident that the following are upscale restaurants:

  • Michelin star restaurants
  • Gourmet restaurants
  • Wine pairing menus 
  • Chef’s tasting or prix fixe menu

Critically acclaimed restaurants with positive customer reviews and high prices are sure to be upscale. If they’re lacking in any of these categories, there’s likely much room for improvement. 

Upscale Restaurant Marketing Ideas and Tips

Effective marketing tips are vital for an upscale restaurant. In order to be successful and attract customers, you need to market your food and beverages properly. Here are ten upscale restaurant marketing ideas and tips to boost awareness and profitability:

1. Advertise the Restaurant’s Accolades 

Does your restaurant currently carry any awards, titles, or other accolades? If so, advertise them across your entire brand and to the public. Maybe your business has been ranked as one of the best restaurants in the region. Or, perhaps there’s a particular dish that attracts new customers. 

Regardless of how many acknowledgements you can promote, never keep them a secret. Plus, showcasing that you’ve earned achievements in the restaurant space will put your business on the radar for other critics and organizations with ranking systems. 

2. Seek PR Opportunities

If you want your upscale restaurant to gain attention from major food critics, such as the Michelin Star Guide, seek PR initiatives. We recommend networking with local journalists and news outlets that cover local or regional dining spots. 

If you’d like to take your efforts one step further, consider working with a PR firm. A skilled team of agents can help any business secure opportunities for interviews, press releases, blogs, and more.

3. Be Environmentally Conscious

There is a demand for eco-friendly restaurants and sustainable restaurants more than ever. In fact, the Michelin star guide even gives out green stars to restaurants that are environmentally conscious. Imagine earning prestigious recognition by helping to save the planet? It’d be a win-win for everybody. 

4. Stock the Wine Cellar Wisely 

Not only do upscale restaurants have a superb wine selection, but they have a pairing for every course. From a wine pairings for salmon to steak wine pairing, it’s no surprise if you receive a sample with dessert, too. Ensure that your liquor storage space is kept fully stocked and organized with a bar inventory app like BinWise. Want to learn more? Book a demo today! 

5. Collaborate With Hotels and Casinos 

If your upscale restaurant is on the same grounds as a hotel or casino, consider a collaboration. Many casino food options are upscale, as they’re located within a resort. With this in mind, there’s a likelihood that a restaurant and other business models within the hospitality industry can cross-pollinate marketing efforts. 

6. Reward Loyal Customers 

It’s not every day that you see an upscale restaurant launching a restaurant loyalty program. However, business can still maintain a luxurious brand by offering perks and rewards that tailor to an upscale image. Are you located in a hotel? Allow customers to redeem points on a room. Or, maybe host private events with sought-after entertainment acts. The options for a customer rewards program are endless. 

7. Host Special Events 

Hosting exclusive and fancy events at an upscale restaurant will do wonders for its reputation. When it becomes a go-to destination for locals and tourists alike, it’ll have the potential to be a fine dining landmark. Research restaurant and bar event ideas for inspiration. 

8. Cater Private Events 

If you’re considering whether or not to implement event management tactics, here’s your sign to go for it. Catering private events is a way to enhance the perception of luxury at your restaurant. So, offer the option to cater formal events like weddings and reunions. Knowing how to get more catering orders will increase profits and expose your brand to the masses. 

9. Promote the Image You WIsh to Maintain 

Restaurant promotions can take on a number of appearances. If you operate an upscale restaurant, ensure that your branding is sleek, professional, catchy, and classy. Creative marketing professionals have a knack for portraying an image for the public to perceive. Carefully consider how you want potential customers to view your restaurant’s brand. Then choose styles, color schemes, fonts, and a tone of voice that nurtures this idea. 

10. Get Social 

If you want to market your upscale restaurant to your ideal customer profile, establish a high quality social media presence. Not only do you have full control over your brand’s image, but you can communicate directly with your customers. Just make sure that the team member managing the platforms understands how to calculate the social media ROI to routinely check if your current strategy works. 

11. Premium Pricing 

Premium pricing is the strategic move made by many high end restaurants. It revolves around the idea that if a product or service costs more than competing products on the market, then it must be of better quality. For these reasons, consumer data states that people are more inclined to pay a higher price for a better product. With this in mind, try increasing the price of your menu items–it might cause customers to view your business as more upscale. 

Frequently Asked Questions About An Upscale Restaurant

It can be a little confusing to decipher an upscale restaurant from a fine dining one. However, the marketing ideas and tips that apply to one can be used across the entire upscale category. 

We gathered a variety of answers to frequently asked questions about upscale restaurants. Read on to learn more about them before developing your marketing strategy. 

What Does Upscale Mean for a Restaurant? 

The term “upscale” in the restaurant industry refers to dishes made with high quality ingredients, higher prices, and a classy ambiance. There is a wide variety of restaurants that make up the upscale culinary scene. The most popular types of upscale restaurants are fine dining and gourmet establishments.

What Is the Difference Between Upscale and Fine Dining? 

The differences between upscale and fine dining restaurants are the quality and prices. Think about it this way–”upscale” is a restaurant category, and fine dining businesses are ranked at the top. Fine dining restaurants often serve better dishes than regular upscale establishments. It’s also important to point out that prices are much higher in fine dining restaurants. 

What Are the Three Types of Restaurants? 

The three types of restaurants are:

  1. Quick service restaurant
  2. Fast casual restaurant
  3. Full service restaurant

What Is the Highest Quality Restaurant? 

The highest quality restaurants are those with three MIchelin stars. Michelin recognizes the finest restaurants in the world based on a rigorous rating system. If an establishment just has as little as one Michelin star, customers will certainly have a spectacular experience. At the moment, two of the highest quality restaurants in the world include Noma and Geranium. 

What Is Upscale Food Called? 

A few terms commonly associated with upscale food include:

  • Gourmet 
  • Haute cuisine 
  • Culinary delicacies