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30 Restaurant Marketing Ideas That Actually Work

The pandemic has really forced us to say goodbye to our traditional business handling and marketing tactics. As a restaurant owner, you need a complete guide to stand firmly in this competitive post pandemic world.

In this article, we are going to share 30 practical, effective and different restaurant marketing ideas to help promote your restaurant.

If you are planning to raise your restaurant’s profit by 10%, 20%, 50%, or more, follow these tips that have proved their efficiency in 2021.

These 30 restaurant marketing tips might seem like huge efforts to you, but you can break them down into 2 to 3 per month and break those 3 into simple action plans that you can take weekly.

We really hope you take the time to implement all or most of these restaurant marketing strategies in 2021 because they are tried and proven ways by many restaurant owners to grow their restaurant business.

effective restaurant marketing ideas

Top restaurant marketing tips

You might ask yourself these valuable questions, such as:

  • How will potential customers find my restaurant or my website?
  • How can I reach even more customers for lower prices?
  • How am I going to keep faithful clients coming back for more?

If you want to find out the best answers to these questions and also get to know about the latest restaurant marketing techniques you can use in 2021, keep reading.

Top 30 Restaurant Marketing Strategies in 2021
1. Hire a photographer
2. Optimize your NAP
3. Consider social media engagement
4. Consider loyalty services
5: Use Email marketing
6. Build a strong profile on Yelp
7. Add reservation links to Google Business
8. Send birthday reminder e-mails
9. Connect with your audience via live chat
10. Use online reservation platforms
11. Work on Instagrammable presentation of dishes
12. Consider local online ads
13. Improve local discovery online, aka restaurant SEO
14. Have an excellent online menu
15. Retarget the ads
16. Go full-throttle with Instagram
17. Attend local events
18. Promote a competition or giveaway
19. Register on top review sites
20. Invite local influencers
21. Contact food bloggers
22. Hire a full-service agency
23. Analyze your sales data
24. Sign up for food delivery services
25. Regularly update promotions
26. Use local media
27. Enter food competition
28. Consider lunch specials that can create long-term customers
29. Try Facebook ads
30. Make videos on YouTube

social media content for restaurant marketing

Tip number 1: Hire a photographer

Dear restaurant owner, you definitely need to have professional food photos on the platforms you use for marketing.

Hire a skilled photographer and optimize your images. You should invest in specialist equipment and technical applications to help your restaurant images pop up and impress your clients with your pictures.

You have to follow industry expectations!

You can also use platforms like Dubai Photographers, to hire food photographers on a project basis.

food photography for restaurant marketing

Tip number 2: Optimize your NAP

What is NAP?
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number and it is not an acronym.
And why does it matter?

– To improve your exposure
– Attract new clients
– And also, it is essential for paid ads

One recommendation to perform high in local organic search results is to provide crucial details at the top of the webpage. Such as the business name and phone number.

Using this information on your page, when it comes to Google, makes your pages turn up for geo-targeted searches.

Tip number 3: Consider social media engagement

Having conversations with users on social media shouldn’t be overlooked when organizing and investing in how to turn up the publicity game for your restaurant.

According to trends, at least 87 percent of people who search online are affected by feedback and comments by other users on social media.

No matter what social media you want to submit your post on, one measure you can keep track of is interaction on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok.

Try to initiate conversations on social media, comment back on users’ posts, answer their questions and more.

 

social media engagement for cafes & restaurants

Tip number 4: Consider loyalty program services

If you have ever ordered something you didn’t actually need, just because you had some points to use or because you had a customer coupon … say ME. Well …. ME!!

If it is done right, loyalty programs will fuel repeat purchases.

A lot of shoppers are interested in winning points and getting food for free. There are also big grocery stores that employ this system which have drawn millions of clients due to their loyalty programs, such as:

  • Starbucks
  • Panera bread
  • Arby
  • Carrefour

Loyalty services will improve your restaurant marketing and promotional activities because they rely exclusively on clients who have already been to your restaurants.

You will also draw new consumers in if the rewards are personalized and worth it after a while.

Tip number 5: Use Email marketing

Email marketing is a cost-effective restaurant marketing idea to draw local consumers and raise sales for your restaurant.

Email campaigns and newsletters for restaurants allow you to meet loyal and new clients.
Email marketing provides restaurants:

  • The ability to remind their clients of new deals & promotions
  • A branding tool (if your messages are well written and appropriate)
  • The way to set you apart from other restaurants

Just ask your customers to fill in a form online (or on paper in restaurant), submitting their emails, to receive occasional promotions and news. Then keep them connected and interested by sending promotional discounts or somethin interesting like news about your restaurant’s new facilities.

Tip number 6: Build a strong profile on Yelp

We suggest you consider Yelp. It is a remarkable channel for restaurant marketing.

According to Statista, 31 million mobile visitor numbers have used Yelp via app in the 1st quarter of 2021.
Yelp also had 41.56 million unique visitors via desktop in 2020.

 

 

 

It can be a big help for you in your industry. Make a profile on Yelp and start driving its users to your restaurant.

Tip number 7: Add reservation links to your Google My Business

Are you obsessed with your ratings on Yelp?

The truth is that as Google dominates online food searches more and more, even more than Yelp. So although Yelp is pretty useful for promoting your restaurant, you must also take your Google My Business account and profile seriously.

Complete your profile and also add reservation links from your website to it, to make their journey to your restaurant, easier and faster.

restaurant reservation link on google my account

Tip number 8: Send birthday reminder e-mails

As Mark Manson mentioned in his book, we have the feeling and thinking brain and the driver is our feeling brain.

So, we warn you to take emotions seriously. Make your customers feel special and important.

Birthday is the single most crucial dining day for people. These days want to be caught by restaurants as the group size is typically significant and the overall spending is high.

So send a personal email to your customers to tell them happy birthday. Also include a discount for their special day, to impress them even more.

Tip number 9: Connect with your audience via live chat

Have you ever seen a little live chat show up from the corner of your computer on a website?

Getting your live chat run by your host stand or reservation team allows users easy entry as well as a human connection to your restaurant.

Potential diners can ask questions about your menu and restaurant straight from the chat box, and you can catch those all-important bookings.

It is another way for diners to communicate and it’s certainly something your rivals don’t do but to stand out, use it.

connect with your customers via live chat

Tip number 10: Use online reservation platforms

For subtle restaurant marketing online, booking sites are almost a necessity.
They give you access to millions of people who look for places to eat every month.

These internet platforms include portals and applications that provide online booking resources for clients. The simplicity and ease of booking discovery are irresistible to individuals.
So, consider tapping them as part of your plan.

online reservation platforms for restaurant marketing

Tip number 11: Work on instagrammable presentation of dishes

In the realm of restaurant ads, “instagrammable dessert” is a very recent term. The basic concept is that plating and presenting a dish invites individuals to take pictures and post them online, especially on Instagram where hashtags such as #foodporn are prevalent.

We’re talking about millions of images. It is a super-strong restaurant marketing technique to make instagrammable dishes because it leverages content created by users to spread the word about your restaurant rather than wasting ad dollars.

social media content creation for restaurant marketing

Tip number 12: Consider local online ads

The overwhelming majority of your clients will be local unless your restaurants are located on remote Islands.

Of course, this suggests that you want to focus your spending on local ads to your immediate community online.

Online advertising sites provide you with the opportunity to geo-target your ads.
You use your city or zip code on the ad platform and tell the machine to track only users in your local area.

local online ads to promote food businesses

Tip number 13: Improve local discovery online, aka restaurant SEO

People look for stuff like “Italian restaurants close to me” every day thousands of times.
For these kinds of local searches online, a modern restaurant marketing strategy must include local SEO. Which is basically the process of optimizing your website and content yo show up for related search terms in close areas. This is a major restaurant marketing tip that should not be ignored at any cost.

how to improve local SEO for restaurant marketing

Tip number 14: Have an excellent online menu

Your menu is the item on your website that is most stared at and can be part of your marketing campaign.

Getting an online menu that is easy to read and well designed, lets users pull the trigger to make a reservation.
A couple of tips for menus online:

  • Don’t bury the menu on a sub-page. It should be on the home page or easy to access
  • Make sure that it is mobile-friendly
  • Use a font that is easily accessible digitally for individuals
  • Don’t use a mad styling for cursive text
online menu for restaurant marketing

seoTip number 15: Ad Retargeting

Retargeting is an advertisement system in a nutshell that displays advertising to users who have viewed your website before but haven’t made a purchase or a desirable action.
These are generally online bookings for restaurants or a phone call.

Online Ads Retargeting is a way to follow up on those customers who don’t convert. Retargeting is usually available on all major platforms, especially with Google Ads.

Please take a little bit of tuning but it is an effective ad channel once set up.

Tip number 16: Go full-throttle with Instagram

Instagram is now one of the titans in the industry while Facebook has historically been the king of social media marketing.

To advertise your restaurant, upload photos and connect with potential customers. Many restaurant owners turn to Instagram.

It can be an excellent tool to communicate with modern customers. Many Instagram users are looking for food hashtags and eateries in their city.

Number 17: Attend local events

Take a look at your calendar and start planning for traditional, religious, and even international events for your clients.
An excellent way to develop yourself as a leader in your neighborhood is to attend local activities.

Tip number 18: Promote a competition or giveaway

Nothing has shoppers more excited than a free giveaway or rivalry.
Building a creative giveaway can be the best way to advertise your business and offer a lucky client a free meal if you want to attract attention to your brand.

Tip number 19: Register on top review sites

Although it can be nerve-wracking to collect feedback, it is best to report your restaurant on the top review sites like Yelp, Zomato, OpenTable, Zagat, and TripAdvisor.

You will ensure that the review site has the necessary contact information and menus by registering your restaurant.

To lift your restaurant’s profile up, you can also upload your photos and content. Also reply to customer reviews.

Keep in your mind, you can’t please them all! Your restaurant will undoubtedly get some negative reviews online.
Although many restaurant owners prefer to disregard these posts and expect that potential constructive comments can wash them up, you should use negative customer reviews to your benefit.

Tip number 20: Invite local influencers to your restaurant

Influencers have been one of digital marketing’s hottest phenomena. Social media influencers influence from their fans and other social media consumers around the world and within their culture. Therefore they could be a great way to create trust about your restaurant.
They can help you take a considerable number of clients immediately. Find a few suitable influencers and get in touch with them to discuss their conditions for promoting your restaurant.

If you’re new to influencer marketing, read our complete influencer marketing guide to learn its tips and tricks.

Tip number 21: Contact food bloggers

Food blogging has flourished as an individual industry in recent years.

Invite a series of notable food bloggers in your town to taste your food and give their own honest opinion on the tastes and environment.

contact food bloggers for restaurant marketing

Tip number 22: Hire a full-service internet marketing agency

If you want to move your restaurant promotion activities to the next step, it might be a great solution to employ a full-service digital marketing agency.

Restaurant digital marketing agencies will assist you with the production of marketing strategies to target the most optimal consumer segments.

Tip number 23: Analyze your sales data

You must be able to reach the right audience if you wish to implement effective restaurant marketing strategies.
There is no point in marketing your restaurant to customers who are not interested in your food. 

You will get a better view of your famous foods and the sort of clients you represent by reviewing your sales results.

Tip number 24: Sign up for food delivery services

Third-party food ordering systems have grown in popularity over the past few years.
Restaurants used to need an in-house distribution squad to submit orders to go.

But, you can now use Ubereats, Deliveroo, and a lot of other third-party providers that provide their delivery runners.

Tip number 25: Regularly update promotions

A perfect way to get consumers in the doors is discounted rotating menus and other attention-grabbing programs that being said their effect can be minimized if you don’t periodically refresh your deal or deals.
You will guarantee there is still something different for your clients to appreciate by continually reviewing your ads.

Tip number 26: Use local media

If you’re looking for innovative restaurant marketing outlets, there are other local media platforms that you can approach.

Radio is also a precious channel for reaching local consumers. You don’t have to spend money outside the radio boundaries of your community on ads to viewers.

Tip number 27: Enter food competitions

Food contests will be a perfect way for the company to be advertised. Join with your favorite menu items in a local competition if you want to earn recognition and possibly win a prize.

If there is no prize, some of the best free restaurant marketing ideas you might find could be your name written on the winner’s list.

Tip number 28: Consider lunch specials that can create long-term customers

Many restaurants fail to attract food traffic during the day only because they’re busy at night, which doesn’t guarantee you’re going to be packed at lunch.

Some restaurants deliver lunchtime offers that provide discounted food or multi-course deals for this purpose.

Tip number 29: Try Facebook ads

Facebook has always been considered the social media king. Mark Zuckerberg and his fellow administrators managed to create one of the planet’s most robust marketing networks.

Use Facebook ads to promote your restaurant among its audience. 

Tip number 30: Make videos on YouTube

As you know, we live on a planet where virtual things play the main role to grab attention.

So, if you want to attract audiences to your YouTube channel and then your restaurant, you need to talk with them through photos and videos. So consider video marketing for your restaurant.

Some ideas for making videos:

  • Present Tutorial videos about some foods that you serve in your restaurant
  • Present explanations about foods and acknowledge audiences about the story of meals
  • Present eye-catching videos about your clients’ opinion

You can share your videos on other platforms such as social media as well. (make sure that they have good qualities.)

make youtube video to promote your restaurant business

Conclusion

In this competitive world, if you want to survive or even to be on the top lists that consumers get back to you, you need to be special in something!

Take care of your niche
Be creative with the recipes
Treat your customers in the modernist ways

And try to follow the most effective restaurant marketing strategies we suggested here to grow your business and gain more customers day in and day out.

We’ll also be very pleased to help you implement the best marketing strategies for your restaurant at DAAVIN.

Leave us a comment below and let us know your own restaurant marketing tips and tricks.