Restaurant marketing Ideas to Boost Customers and sales

Restaurant marketing Ideas to Boost Customers and sales

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.

Restaurant marketing Ideas to Boost Customers and sales

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.

Growing Your Online Home – Part 1. Your Website. Your Home.

Growing Your Online Home – Part 1. Your Website. Your Home.

Now let’s face it. A lot, and I mean a lot of business is done online nowadays. I heard somewhere that 72% of millennials research and shop online before they visit a location. So think about that for a minute. If the future is researching online, shouldn’t every business including yours be represented there, especially restaurants who are by nature part of the social world? The answer is yes you should.

Your website. Your home

So with that said, as a business, you need to have a home online. A central online place where visitors can go when they visit you, without distractions. You need a place to convince customers to come to you instead of going to Joe Schmo down the street. A website is your online home and its role is to be an extension of your restaurant’s physical location or you as a sole entrepreneur. It should be a place where a customer can order from you right there or provide information on how they can get to you when they want to visit. Not having an online space is literally like leaving money on the table.

A website should be a place where customers feel like they are welcomed. It should be a place that greets them with open arms and provides them with the information they might be looking for or entice them to want to visit you. A website should not just occupy space. It should not have just an image that leads to nowhere or content that has not been updated in years. As my previous creative director used to say, “put some love into it”. Pay attention to the details as you would for your physical restaurant. Ask yourself, if you would be ok with having your physical restaurant set up halfway before your customers come in? Definitely not. This is how you should think about your website’s content i.e. text, images, menu items, blog posts etc.

Getting the best out of a website

In order to get the best out of your restaurant’s online space, don’t just have anyone create your website for you. Don’t let one of those advertising companies that use the same template for every type of business create one for you and definitely do not think of creating it yourself unless you are also skilled in the world of web design. The website should have the necessary features help the online and mobile viewer have a sense of ease when viewing it. Your designer should know the design style and fonts that work the best, the necessary features for a responsive (mobile-friendly) website, understand hierarchy and content placement to lead your customers to the place you intend them to go and above all understand what makes a good restaurant website.

Once you get a website up, you should not stop there. Stay committed to the online extension of your restaurant and make sure to continuously give it what it needs to allow your website to do the work for you while you sleep.

So what do you do after your website goes live to keep it from getting stale? Look out for my next post on the subject where I will be providing you with a list of strategies that can help you keep up your website and get it continuously bringing in customers and revenue.

4 Ways Restaurant Owners Can Increase Productivity

4 Ways Restaurant Owners Can Increase Productivity

As a restaurant owner, it is your goal to have your restaurant run smoothly and efficiently. One of the worst situations is to provide a terrible experience to customers and your employees because hey, they are your bread and butter! I have gathered a few productivity tips for restaurant owners out there. These tips are definitely something to think about when running a restaurant.

1. Integrated Online Ordering

Think about this scenario. Your employee receives a phone order at rush hour. The customer places the order and as your employee is about the run the card, the customer decides that they no longer want the 3 fried rice orders they just ordered. They want something else.  Geez. Now, your employee starts the order all over again. What a waste of time! Having an integrated online ordering system in your website cuts down on the back and forth and countless hours spent on the phone because your customers can place their order online by themselves. How cool is that?

2. Invest in Employee Training

Even though training can be pretty expensive, it is a great investment. I once heard on a podcast that “training provides a company full of leaders” and it is very true. In the restaurant industry, it is much less of a hassle to hire from within so you will be making a great investment molding employees for any management role that comes along. Training whether online or in person provides employees with better hospitality tools and individual growth so it really is a great investment. Do make sure to evaluate your training program to see what works and what doesn’t. A great resource I stumbled across for online training was They provide short online courses on hospitality from experts.  Try it out!

3. Motivate and Empower Employees

Just a few minutes of a pep talk before a shift gives employees a great start to the day and keeps them efficient, knowledgeable and cheerful to guests throughout the day.

4. Show That You Care

Plain and simple – it goes a long way.

Well, that’s all I have today. Let me know some of the things you do in your restaurant to provide your employees and guests the awesome experiences.

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