Build a comprehensive marketing plan by personalizing the following these 23 restaurant marketing strategies to increase your revenue and expand your market by keeping your ideas fresh, relevant and personalized.
People expect to connect to Wi-Fi when they enter a business. Instead of handing out your public Wi-Fi password, ask for something in return, such as:
A well-designed sign-on splash page enables guests to get online quickly yet provides restaurant owners with a key piece of data.
Once someone signs onto your wireless network, set it up to automatically trigger an action, such as an email or a text message.
Wi-Fi marketing ideas include messages that:
All major social media channels support video, and with good reason, since the online video platform Brightcove finds “76% of consumers report they’ve purchased a product or service after viewing a video.”
Try announcing a new menu item, promotion or team member with an Instagram Reel or TikTok video. Another fun restaurant marketing strategy is to share your secrets for pulling together a dinner party using premade side dishes from your eatery.
Don’t forget to add a call to action in your video content, telling fans how to get your latest promotion or sign up for tasty tips.
Along with crave-worthy images, Instagram offers interactive features designed to increase customer engagement.
Insert Instagram Stickers into an Instagram Reel or Story to improve your social media presence and connect with Instagrammers.
Stickers that work for restaurants include:
Share Facebook-only coupons, host a live food tasting event or encourage your favorite customers to post user-generated content through a public, closed or secret Facebook group.
Facebook groups feel more personal and exclusive than business pages. Plus, groups are a great way to engage with loyal guests and test new promotions on a smaller scale.
You can run a contest or giveaway on all social channels, including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. They’re simple, affordable and one of the most effective restaurant marketing tactics.
Your restaurant website is an excellent place to share social proof. Doing so can build your restaurant’s reputation and improve your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
While it’s possible to integrate reviews from specific sites, such as TripAdvisor, you also can share testimonials you’ve collected. Increase credibility by getting customer consent to share their name or photo alongside their testimonial or review.
Social media marketing for restaurants often focuses on Instagram or Facebook. But witty yet relevant tweets can help your business stand out.
Mix up your posts by posting promotional tweets, sharing local news and retweeting guests or other community members.
Mobile-responsive websites aren’t a nice-to-have: They’re a must-have. MGH, a restaurant marketing firm, reports that 36% of U.S. diners “have been discouraged from ordering food from a restaurant because its website wasn’t mobile-friendly.”
Moreover, accessible websites ensure that people of all abilities can access and view your restaurant’s online place of business. Use the tools below to evaluate your site:
Consumers use reviews to make a decision. Responses from business owners show they pay attention and listen to their customers. Find out which review sites your guests frequent and develop a plan for reading and responding to reviews regularly.
Popular restaurant review channels include TripAdvisor, Yelp, Uber Eats, Grubhub, OpenTable and Foursquare.
Frequently asked questions improve your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts while helping customers. Although your website likely provides answers already, a frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) page puts all the information in one spot.
Common questions for restaurant FAQ pages include:
Website banners typically display across the top or bottom of your website. This is another easy way to market your promotions or draw attention to a unique feature, such as delivery or catering.
Additionally, creating or updating a banner doesn’t require special web developer skills, making it a great do-it-yourself restaurant marketing idea.
The best way to promote your restaurant is by endearing your business to your community.
A community page on your restaurant website may include:
Use your point-of-sale (POS) system or a third party to survey guests about their restaurant experience. Doing so can give you an idea about how customers feel about your restaurant’s cleanliness, speed of service and food quality.
Often, third-party survey providers will turn the data into easy-to-read reports showing your restaurant’s rating across various categories.
If your scores are something to be proud of, highlight the statistic on your website, emails and social media channels.
Item placement, dish or drink names and descriptions affect what people order, making menu engineering essential to your bottom line. But they’re also your primary marketing tool.
You may send to-go menus with new delivery orders, post your menu online and share it with third-party delivery providers. It needs to appeal to your clientele and be easy to scan.
Note that many food suppliers and vendors offer free or low-cost menu engineering services to help restaurant owners optimize their menus.
Your Google My Business profile is an excellent way to improve search engine rankings, answer important questions and share your latest promotions.
According to BrightLocal, “The average local business receives 1,260 views each month – 943 on Search and 317 on Maps.” Take advantage of Google My Business (GMB) by:
The best way to advertise your restaurant is by retargeting online customers on social media. When a hungry customer checks out your website or searches for the best wings near them, a retargeting campaign serves up an ad once they log into Facebook.
Get the most from your retargeting efforts by designing ads for specific searches. For instance, users scoping out your website before noon may appreciate an ad about your 20-minute lunch specials or — depending on your audience — details about your 3 p.m. happy hour.
People are drawn to screens. Of course, you may already have televisions in your restaurant or use tablets at your tables. But adding a digital display is an inexpensive way to increase sales.
Gain traction with your restaurant advertising ideas using a mix of enticing images, captions and videos to:
The marketing strategy of a restaurant business extends to on-premise sales. Therefore, every marketing promotion should be tied to a landing page on your website.
Adding a quick response (QR) code is an optional and easy way to increase the effectiveness of your restaurant marketing campaign.
For instance, let’s say your restaurant introduces new seasonal drinks and promotes them on a table tent with a QR code. Guests scan the code with their smartphones and immediately land on your seasonal drink page. From there, high-quality photos and brief, compelling descriptions attract attention. Next, pair it with a TikTok-style video of the beverage being poured, made or served and top it off with a coupon for an upcoming marketing campaign.
Presto, you have a winning marketing plan in place.
Need to offload some chicken to make room in your cooler? Perhaps you want to attract customers during slower hours or days of the week. An occasional flash sale email with a captivating subject line, stunning photo and great deal may be just what’s needed.
Limited time offers play on the fear of missing out (FOMO) by offering something that feels too good to pass up.
The best way to promote your restaurant is by segmenting your email list. Furthermore, it helps with your email retargeting campaigns.
Start with basic information, such as age ranges or income levels. Then dive into behavioral data, which may include:
One of the more nuanced restaurant marketing strategies, upselling is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It’s putting an idea in your guests’ minds without explicitly telling them what to do.
It can be simple, like starting the conversation by saying, “Would you like to start with an ice-cold beer or our homemade raspberry lemonade?” It also can be automatic by following up every order that comes with fries with “Do you want a side of cheese sauce?”
Along with training, consider running competitions now and then. For example, use your POS data to confirm who sold the highest number of desserts or cocktails per shift.
Many loyalty programs provide a freebie for birthdays. But this is a good time to remind guests why your restaurant is an excellent place for a birthday party.
Consider sending a link to your event reservation page, sharing your favorite catering or delivery recommendations or using a photo of a recent celebration.
If your loyalty program isn’t collecting cellphone numbers and marketing to guests on their smartphones, then you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity.
Text-based or short message service (SMS) programs can:
Get results with your restaurant marketing strategies by keeping your ideas fresh, relevant and personalized.
A consistent, multichannel approach helps restaurateurs expand their market while delighting guests. Plus, every idea generates data used to improve your next campaign.
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