The competition in the restaurant industry can be overwhelming; It’s not enough to have an amazing location and fantastic cuisine…now you have to know the marketing tips and tricks get people through the door and coming back for more. You need creative restaurant promotions that sell you and your food.
This post will show you strategies to attract new customers, get them to buy more, and how to retain them. Whether your restaurant has been in existence for years or weeks, I’ll guide you through a few restaurant marketing ideas you can use today.
1. Attract and impress new customers to your restaurant
No matter how many years your restaurant has been, first impressions can either bring more customers to your restaurant or send them running. Your old customers may overlook certain lapses, but your new ones will not. Give extra effort to make them “fall in love” with your restaurant.
Create a personal connection with your customers
Before they even walk through the door customers are looking and researching new places to go on a date, have a family dinner, or even order their favorite dish. Don’t wait for them to find your menu or a yelp review, use your website and design to let your target customer know your restaurant is the place for them. People are very visual if your logo, social media, and other graphics don’t fit the ambiance they are looking for you can lose them before they ever reach your door.
Have a fun social media presence
There are traditional marketing tactics you can use to publicize your restaurant; however, it will cost you. Social media, on the other hand, is one of the more low-cost restaurant marketing ideas and it’s another great chance to connect with customers. Be creative, let social media followers vote on a dish, name a new drink, or win a prize for posting fun photos of your restaurant. In the long run having a social media presence attracts new customers both in and outside your local audience.
True Story: Last year a friend’s niece visited New York to celebrate her 16th Birthday. While there she insisted on visiting Black Tap Craft Burger and Beer. When they asked how did she find the place since she’d never been to NY, she replied: “I saw their shakes on Instagram”. So, they waited 50 mins outside in the February NY cold so her niece could get her visit to Black Tap. All because she saw them on Instagram.
Take advantage of the Seasons
Use creative restaurant promotions to highlight seasonal specials, local events, even people – promote food that is in the season. For instance, let your theme in February speak romance. Let people look forward to coming to your restaurant during the festive seasons or flip the romance a host an event for singles. These events will pull in new customers because they are looking for something that makes an average day a little more special.
2. Restaurant marketing ideas to get customers to buy more when the visit
After attracting people to your restaurant, what next? How do you get them to buy more from you?
Provide take-home options
Take-home option is one of the fastest ways to boost restaurant sales. Most people are too busy to think about lunch or dinner. Offering to help them out will attract a good number of people to your restaurant especially when you have excellent chefs. You will be their “go-to-restaurant” whenever they need something delicious and fast to take home.
Live music and sports
Adding a live music to your restaurant can make people spend more time in your restaurant. The longer people stay in your restaurant, the more they buy from you. You can also show live sports, people rather watch live games in public places than sit alone in their homes. Make it even more fun, adopt a local team and offer specials when they score, you’ll become the go-to place to watch the games.
Create first-timer package
Giving coupons to first-timers is a fast way to make them come back to your restaurant. You can also give souvenirs with your restaurant’s name and address inscribed on it. People cherish gifts, no matter how little it is and they show them to friends too.
3. How to retain customers
Your restaurant marketing doesn’t stop at getting them in the door. Once you’ve got them, you want to keep them coming back and get them to bring a few friends. These ideas will help keep your restaurant on diners go to list.
Introduce customer loyalty package;
There are so many ways to get the loyalty of your customers. One of the simplest ways is through membership cards. Have your customers bring the card each time they buy from you, so they can aim at earning a gift from your restaurant.
Hint: Free drinks are a great gift for loyal customers although it is cheap, your customers will feel special and appreciated.
Give back and open up to the community;
People love to support businesses that support them, you’ll attract more people when they know you are giving back to the community. Partner with local groups to give a percentage of your profit to charity. Super-size this strategy by inviting people to your restaurant after their community service project. Who isn’t hungry after a hard day work? Let your restaurant could be the go-to meet-up place after these events to dine and unwind.
These marketing ideas will boost your restaurant sales and keep them coming through the door and to help you out you can download my free editable menus to help you create the perfect special look for these creative restaurant promotions and events.