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Five Basic Approaches to Marketing Your Restaurant

Posted on 12 February 2010 by Agile Chef

Great menu and outstanding cuisine mean nothing if you’re not attracting customers to your restaurant in the first place. Every restaurant has competition, whether it’s the tiny café around the corner, the quick service chain down the street or the leftovers in the fridge at home, so it’s more important than ever to stand out as a great dining choice. Your establishment’s concept, menu, ambiance and location should harmonize to create a unique experience that separates your restaurant from everyone else.

To really set your restaurant apart from the rest, try adding the following strategies to your traditional (print, radio, TV) marketing efforts. They’re fairly easy to implement, and when executed properly, they can increase awareness of your restaurant and boost your bottom line.

Signage

To draw the attention of potential customers, make sure you have the largest sign that local ordinances will permit and give it a clear, compelling message.

Promotions

Distribute flyers and coupons periodically in and around your marketing area to make your presence known and get diners in the door. Keep them coming back by offering weeknight promotions like themed dinners or guided wine-and-cheese (beer) tastings.

Social Media

Take advantage of the many social media outlets online and create a Twitter account and Facebook fan or group profiles. Consider offering special discounts to customers who follow your tweets or become your Facebook fans.

Loyalty Programs

Give your patrons a reason to visit often! For example, offer a complimentary meal after they’ve bought ten meals at your restaurant or a free piece of merchandise on their fifth visit.

Contests

It sounds simple, but using a fishbowl to collect business cards for a weekly drawing provides you with valuable information about your customers. Keep track of the information you glean from their cards by adding it to the spreadsheet or database you use for your mailing lists.

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