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34 Unique Ways to Market Your Restaurant

Today, we’re exploring 34 unique techniques and tactics to market your restaurant. A great read for restaurant owners, restaurant operators, and marketers. 

How do you make your restaurant stand out from the crowd? Superior food, excellent customer service, and…some great marketing! No matter your restaurant size or your budget, we’ve compiled 34 simple and effective techniques to market your restaurant.

We’ll explore 5 different areas of marketing opportunities for your restaurant:

  • Your restaurant’s website
  • Your restaurant’s menu
  • Your restaurant’s digital marketing strategies
  • Your restaurant’s social media channels
  • Your restaurant’s place within your local community

Your Website

Your restaurant’s best marketing tool can get a an upgrade with these simple tactics.

  • Make sure your pertinent information is up to date, including address, hours, and contact.
  • Offer online ordering: 37% of consumers are motivated to order directly from operators to support restaurants, according to a new study by Restaurant Dive.
  • Make your call-to-action obvious: use buttons or banners for takeout, delivery, or making reservations.
  • Make sure your menu is easy to read (font, color, graphics) and easy to locate.
  • To ensure your restaurant pops up in local online searches (i.e. “best burgers, Albany”) make sure your menu is typed out in HTML text, not uploaded as a PDF.
  • Add links to your social media streams, so customers can easily find real time updates on your hours and menu, as well as mouthwatering food photos and positive reviews.
  • Upgrade your food photos. Delicious photos can entice orderers to try something new. (Check out our best food photography tips for restaurant owners here.)
  • Make sure your website is mobile friendly80% of customers have searched for a restaurant on their smartphone.
  • Need help quickly making a website for your restaurant? Dash can help.

Your Menu

Make your menu work harder for your restaurant by trying one of these techniques.

  • Learn your margins on every menu item. Bundle items together that can be advertised as a special (i.e. a drink, a sandwich, and a dessert) and that can earn you a great profit margin.
  • Offer fun specials for kids! New data found that “married couples with kids spent more on food orders in 2020 than any other type of household.”
  • Drop the dollar sign. Studies have discovered customers spend more when restaurant menus do not include the $.
  • Provide the story of your restaurant on the back of your menu. Customers love to learn the history of a business and will feel more connected to your brand. 
  • Promote new or special items with pop out boxes or banners. Fun design elements will draw the eye to your most popular or most expensive items.

Your Digital Marketing 

Try these free digital marketing tactics to boost the reputation of your restaurant.

  • Capture customer email addresses at the end of a meal or during checkout. Emails provide the best, most consistent way to reach your established customer base. 
  • Send out a monthly e-newsletter and share an exciting new menu items, charity tie-ins, or promos each month. An e-newsletter keeps your restaurant top of mind.
  • Make sure your restaurant is available to rate and review on the top platforms, including: Google My Business, Yelp, OpenTable, Facebook, Zomato, and TripAdvisor. 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to a Brand24 survey.
  • Take the time to monitor review sites and thank customers for their positive reviews. Customers will appreciate your positivity and be more inclined to return to your restaurant.
  • Offer digital gift cards: 56% of customers say they want gift cards for their favorite restaurants according to FSR Magazine. Customers can also send these to friends, family, or co-workers as a great gift.
  • Set up Google Alerts for your restaurant so you know who’s talking about your restaurant online. Reach out to positive reviewers in the press or on social media to thank them for visiting your restaurant.
  • Reach out to local food bloggers to see if they would like to review your restaurant.

Your Social Media

Utilize the power of social media to share your delicious food, positive reviews, and show your customers some appreciation.

  • Make sure all social channels reflect your most current information, including address, contact information, hours, and menu. Note any special updates like new outdoor dining offerings, changes about where to park, etc.
  • Make your bio link the link to your online ordering page. 
  • Create posts that share knowledge, tips, or techniques: explain unique ingredients, kitchen secrets (i.e. “this is how we get our hummus so creamy and smooth”), or food and drink pairings.
  • Re-post and share photos of your food or happy customers on your own social accounts. 42% of U.S. diners say they have interacted with restaurants on at least one social media platform, and 66% said they are more likely to visit or order food from the restaurant according to QSR Magazine.
  • Re-post or share positive reviews of your restaurant in your own posts or your stories. 
  • If you have a limited-time menu item, be sure to share photos (and the ticking clock) on all your channels.
  • Share photos and write ups of events (i.e. a fundraiser night) the next day.
  • Show off your staff working hard! Customers love to know the people behind their favorite drinks, menu items, and desserts. Show your staff some love and your customers will as well.

Your Community

The ultimate win-win: become more involved in your community and advertise your restaurant at the same time.

  • Offer specials or promos to members of your community like firefighters, teachers, or nurses on a certain day of the week.
  • Plan a promotion around a local event like a graduation, festival, concert, or special day. 
  • Donate a portion of proceeds to a local charity one night a month. Advertise your connection to the chosen charity on your website, social channels, menu, and in-house.
  • Become known as the go-to restaurant for community events like sports team gatherings or Girl Scout fundraiser nights. 
  • Volunteer as a staff at community events. Wear matching T-shirts or hats with your restaurant’s logo for free advertising.
  • Create a digital loyalty program to build repeat customers. Did you know 45% of diners will select a restaurant if they are a part of its loyalty program?

Now, we want to hear from you. What are the unique ways you market your restaurant?