London is host to an astonishing variety of restaurants, all looking for exciting and innovative ways in which to attract new customers and keep loyal, existing ones visiting.
When your menu is popular and your punters already like the ambience of your restaurant, it can be difficult to find new ways to keep ahead of the numbers game. This is why paying close attention to your restaurant marketing strategies and coming up with fresh and new restaurant marketing ideas is so important.
Although word of mouth is worth its weight in fillet steak, it’s often active restaurant promotion that can bring you to the top of the lists and give your restaurant the required edge over your competitors. We have 12 top restaurant marketing ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
Local restaurant marketing ideas
- Build local partnerships
Take a walk around your area and pop in to talk to some fellow business owners. The chances are that you have some shared customers and will be able to work together to attract new ones.
Top tip: offer mutual discounts or joint loyalty rewards
- Attract new customers with a discount on local delivery
Trying a new restaurant is sometimes easier if you can taste their food at home first. Offering a short-term discount for delivery can help you find a whole new bank of potential customers.
Top tip: include marketing and restaurant information in your delivery pack
- Create a loyalty program
When the question, ‘Where shall we eat?’ comes up, you naturally want your restaurant to be the favourite option. What better way to ensure that it is than by encouraging your regulars with a rewards program?
Top tip: go digital with a mobile loyalty solution
Event marketing ideas for your restaurant
- Celebrate key sporting events
Sporting events are a social occasion for many people, so why not take advantage of this and offer sport-related menus alongside event coverage.
Top tip: sport-related t-shirts for the staff will add to the entertainment
- Offer themed dinner party evenings
With a few tweaks to the décor and menu, your restaurant can become a hub for film aficionados, local cuisine fanatics or even murder mystery fiends.
Top tip: take lots of photos for online promotion
- Create a set of regular weekly events
Weekly events such as ‘Wednesday Steak Night’ and ‘Buffet Tuesday’ are a great way to encourage diners through the door on days that would usually be very quiet.
Top tip: make sure your regular menu is on display to encourage return visits
Creative restaurant promotion ideas
- Life-size food
We aren’t suggesting here that you expect your customers to chomp their way through burgers as big as they are but a fabricated version of one of your most popular menu items can attract a lot of attention and has plenty of photo potential.
Top tip: combine this with a catchy hashtag to encourage social sharing
- Run a digital story competition
Story telling is a great way to get people to engage with each other and, if they are doing that on your social pages, is great for you. The limited character count of social media posts adds an extra element to the challenge.
Top tip: require the mention of one of your menu items within the story to really get people talking
- Develop a restaurant character
Football teams and fast food restaurants do this really well but you don’t have to limit your character to a member of staff dressed in a costume. Include your dinosaur, meerkat or anteater in your print and digital design work and make sure you give him or her a quirky name.
Top tip: develop a children’s game app to keep younger customers visiting
Digital marketing ideas for your restaurant
- Meaningful conversations
The world of social media is changing and, as numbers make way for meaningful discussion in the algorithm stakes, this presents great opportunities for restaurants that are prepared to engage online with their customers.
Top tip: encourage and respond to online conversations
- Register your restaurant with Google My Business
Your regular customers know your location but you are going to miss out on a valuable restaurant marketing strategy if you haven’t claimed your business on Google My Business.
Top tip: check your profile regularly and keep opening times etc. updated
- Entertain a team of influencers
Inviting a group of influencers, who correspond with your target audience, to enjoy your restaurant is a sure fire way of getting your name known in the online world.
Top tip: make the most of any content generated by your influencers by sharing multiple times
Although restaurant marketing ideas are important, even the most innovative restaurant marketing strategies will only be successful if your menus, service and quality remain top notch and stand out above those of your competitors.
At IMS of Smithfield we supply quality halal meat products to some of the most popular hotels and restaurants in London. We offer a great combination of quality bespoke meats and competitive pricing and would be more than happy to talk to you today and give advice on all meat products. For more information, please get in touch with us on 020 7383 3080.