Restaurant promotion is crucial, whether you’re already years into the industry or just starting out. It can boost your customer base, lure new customers to the door, and fill seats.
However, one thing more important than merely restaurant promotion is well-planned and executed promotions. Therefore, restaurant owners should be able to provide fresh, targeted restaurant promotion ideas with the right restaurant marketing strategy to run the promotion smoothly.
Ahead, we have compiled 14 must-try restaurant promotion ideas for driving sales and increasing awareness. Get ready to welcome new customers flooding your restaurant business with these ideas!
Restaurant Promotion Ideas to Attract More Customers
From happy hour specials to community events, there are countless ideas for restaurants to run promotions — you just need to use the right one for your business. Check out our curated ideas for restaurant promotions to attract more customers below!
Happy Hour Specials
Happy hour specials are a great way to draw attention to your restaurant and boost business on slower days.
Consider offering discounts on drinks or food items, or both. Make sure to advertise the specials everywhere for maximum impact. Remember that customers like variety and will return if you offer something different each time.
You can also combine happy hour specials with other promotions, such as trivia nights, karaoke, and live music, to create a dynamic atmosphere during the events. Offer fun activities that your customers can participate in while enjoying their beverages, snacks, and meals.
Don’t forget to promote the event through social media pages so people know what’s happening in advance. You can also make a live countdown on your social media platforms so that people can set reminders for themselves.
With creative happy hour specials and engaging food and beverage promotion ideas, you can turn your venue into the place everyone wants to be.
You can conduct loyalty programs by offering incentives such as discounts, free items, or special offers; you can encourage guests to come back and keep your restaurant top-of-mind.
There are several ways to conduct this promotion, including:
- Create a customer loyalty card that patrons can collect stamps on when they visit
- Offer special discounts for signing up or using a referral code system so people can share the savings with their friends and family
Whatever type of loyalty program you choose, make sure it’s easy to understand and easy to use, so customers will find it beneficial.
Well-executed loyalty programs can help your restaurant build more intimate relationships with customers while increasing sales in the process.
Upselling promotions allow customers to upgrade their purchase or receive additional services, usually at a discounted price. In fact, customers spend more money than they originally intended when there’s discounted price. This way, it allows your restaurant to boost profits.
Restaurants often use promotions to incentivize customers to upsell when they order online. Here are some ways to do this:
- Offer customers discounts on certain food items, discounted drinks with certain meals, or freebies like bottles of wine or free dessert
- Promote offers through online advertising platforms, social media posts, and online ordering portals to let customers know about the opportunity to upsell
- Use Instagram posts to give customers an enticing visual of the upsell options
- Offer exclusive discounts and upsell offers to loyal customers as an incentive for them to stay with your brand
- Give customers a discount if their order reaches a certain amount, motivating them to add extra items
If you plan to conduct this kind of promotion regularly, consider sending reminders to your patrons about the latest upsell options so that they won’t miss out.
Holidays are the perfect moments to increase sales — most people celebrate by ordering food! This promotion can enhance customer loyalty and spread holiday cheer.
Here are simple steps to create successful holiday promotions for your restaurant:
- Determine the promotion you want to offer — Depending on your goals and budget, choose a promotion that resonates with your target customers. For instance, choose between offering discounts, special menu items, or providing complimentary gifts.
- Create a timeline — Develop a timeline of when your promotion should start and end and the dates you need to complete related tasks.
- Publicize the promotion — Utilize all advertising channels, including email campaigns and social media posts, to make sure potential customers notice your promotions.
- Track performance — Assess the success of your promotion by measuring metrics such as the revenue generated, customer feedback, and items purchased.
You can implement this during famous holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Black Friday, Independence Day, Veteran’s Day, and more.
To enhance the promotion, adjust the theme to each holiday to stay relevant.
To add more variation to your restaurant’s promotions, try making each day of the week unique specials, such as a food or drink deal.
To help make each restaurant product promotion day memorable, use catchy phrases such as ‘FANTAstic Friday’ or ‘Wine Wednesday.’ This way, people will remember each promotion easier.
If you have slower days in a week, use this opportunity to offer an exclusive promotion for that specific day and bring in more customers, such as giving free desserts.
Create a Referral Program
Besides loyalty programs, referral programs are also an effective way to drive new customers to your restaurant. Referral programs refer to the opportunity for patrons to refer their friends and get something from your restaurant.
Usually, the advantages they get are discounts, cashback, or special menus. It encourages them to keep coming back and spreading the word.
This type of promotion helps spread brand awareness and loyalty while providing an incentive for others to join your customer base.
Offer Point-Based Rewards
This is a common promotion idea run by many restaurants in the industry. In fact, offering point-based rewards is beneficial for both restaurants and customers, attracting customers to come back for more.
Customers can earn points each time they make a purchase and use those points to get a reward like a coupon or discount. This encourages loyalty and rewards customers for their patronage.
In addition, point-based rewards give customers something extra without having to increase prices, making it a win-win situation.
Menu Specials and Limited Time Offers
Customers love trying out something new, and having a special item every week or month keeps them eager to return.
This also promotes return visits, as customers will want to ensure they don’t miss out on their favourite items when they’re gone.
In addition, this type of promotion often involves discounts that help bring in more customers.
You can implement the offer for a certain duration, such as for three days or a week, to persuade potential customers to try out your menus before they run out of time. Remember to spread out the words daily on every platform that you have.
You can customize offers based on their data and order history to create variations. Here are some examples of personalizing offers for customers:
- Send birthday coupons or discounts for their favorite meal
- Provide a discount or invitation to a prix fixe menu for guests who have previously had multi-course meals.
- Identify guests who often purchase bottles of wine and extend them an invitation to an exclusive wine-pairing dinner
These tailored offers allow you to give your customers an offer that they feel is just for them and will make them feel valued by your restaurant.
This way, you’ll bond more with customers, resulting in repeat orders and higher revenues.
To be able to steal people’s hearts in the area, try conducting community events for locals. Community events can draw customers to the restaurant and boost business. Some examples of local events include:
- Hosting a cooking class,
- Special tasting event,
- Wine pairing, or even
- An outdoor movie night
All those events are ways to engage your customers in a fun and unique experiences that create lasting memories of your restaurant.
Furthermore, promoting these events through local media or social media can help you reach potential new customers as well as create more visibility for your restaurant, both in local areas and more.
Food Blogger or Influencer Events
Another great tip for a restaurant promotion is to reach out to local food bloggers and influencers in your area! Invite them to come to try your restaurant, offering free or discounted food in exchange for them to share their experience on their platforms.
This clever tactic can bring much-needed attention to a newly opened restaurant, as food lovers and social media users most likely turn into customers after seeing how amazing the food is.
Such an investment can be worth the cost, with potential new customers coming in from all over your eatery through these passionate food bloggers or influencers.
However, you have to ensure that the KOL you chose is relevant to your restaurant’s theme and aims. Also, the collab should fit your budget.
Bundling and Fixed Price Offerings
Many in the industry use bundling and fixed offerings, including restaurants. By putting together several items or services into one offer, customers will perceive more value in their purchases.
Not only that, but they also allow restaurants to give discounts on bundled items compared to the individual cost of each item included in the bundle.
For example, a restaurant may bundle entrées and drinks together at a fixed price, with the total being less than it would be if the customers purchased each item separately. This encourages customers to buy more while still getting good value out of their purchases.
Buy in Bulk and Upsell
If you want to attract customers to spend more at your restaurant, encourage them to buy in bulk and upsell by offering discounts and special deals on larger orders.
For example, customers can receive a 10% discount if they buy three or more items of a similar type on the menu. This encourages customers to purchase more than one item, increasing the potential for higher sales overall.
In addition, restaurants can use upselling techniques such as offering a larger version of the same dish for an additional fee or suggesting add-ons like sides or drinks to accompany an entree.
These marketing strategies for a restaurant help to boost sales while giving customers a better value for their money.
Industry Night Happy Hour
Offering discounts specifically targeted at the restaurant community is a great way to promote restaurants. Hosting an industry night on Monday or Tuesday, when many other restaurants are closed, can help generate buzz.
During this night, offer discounted and complimentary items such as half-price beers or $2 crab cakes to draw customers in.
Furthermore, you can also host a late-night happy hour for those who work in the industry and may not be able to make it out for an early evening event.
This can help to build a sense of community among workers within the restaurant industry and give them an additional incentive to come out and support their favourite local spots.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I increase foot traffic to my restaurant?
You can start doing this by actively engaging with the local communities and leveraging creative promotional marketing strategies for restaurants. Start by reaching out to local businesses, organizations, schools, clubs and other groups in the area to spread the word about your restaurant offerings.
What are some ways to promote my restaurant during slow periods?
Wondering how to promote food during slow periods? Try to conduct creative promotions, such as offering discounts, running a limited-time menu, partnering with local businesses to offer discounts, or even hosting events or promotions to add an element of fun and interest for customers.
How can I effectively use social media to promote my restaurant?
How can I use email marketing to promote my restaurant?
From creating an email list from existing customers and potential customers to using engaging content in emails, there are various ways of using email marketing.
You can also offer discounts for signing up for emails, aiming for quality over quantity when engaging with existing customers, and including calls to action that direct customers to an online ordering website, survey, or feedback request.
In conclusion, all of these best restaurant promotion tips and fun restaurant promotion ideas are great ways to increase awareness and drive sales. However, it’s important to remember that every business is different, so be sure to tailor your promotions to what will work best for you and your customers.
Try out a few of these restaurant promo ideas and see which ones have the biggest impact on your business. To boost your restaurant’s visibility even more, you can use the help of SEO for Restaurants for tailored SEO strategies and excellent services.