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If you’re starting a bar or restaurant, you’re probably in need of creative promotion ideas. As a restaurant manager, you’ll often wonder how to differentiate your business from others. 

As you write your restaurant business plan, outline ways to boost the restaurant profit margin. Don’t forget the creative restaurant promotion ideas that will attract your ideal customers, too. 

Before outlining tips for the restaurant industry, let’s discuss their importance in the first place.

Revolution OrderingWhy Is Restaurant Promotion So Important?

Restaurant promotion is a major driver of traffic. Various restaurant promotion campaigns can result in more customers dining at your eatery. 

Restaurants can thrive due to their location. However, you don’t want to rely on this all the time. Consumers are always looking for the next best place to be, so you want to ensure your restaurant is part of this conversation. 

Depending on the cuisine and niche market your business caters to, there are numerous restaurant promotion ideas to implement right now. So, let’s dive into the ten most effective restaurant marketing ideas

Restaurant Promotion Ideas

From fancy drink specials to restaurant tech, numerous tactics can bring in more customers. Continue reading to learn more about which restaurant promotion ideas we suggest. 

1. Restaurant Loyalty App

By rewarding customers, you’ll boost customer satisfaction in no time. Loyalty programs are a way to express gratitude while giving customers an incentive to return. 

A restaurant loyalty app that integrates with your POS system will be ideal for efficiency. Hospitality software can store customer data, which is vital for accuracy. 

A fast-food restaurant loyalty program will be similar to one for a casual dining setting. On the other hand, a loyalty program for an upscale eatery will be more exclusive. Regardless of what restaurant you manage, there are many ideas to select. 

Restaurant Loyalty Program Ideas 

Some of the most effective restaurant loyalty program ideas include:

  • An equivalent to punch cards, where customers can receive a discount after so many purchases. 
  • Perks on special occasions, such as the customer’s birthday.
  • Exclusive access to menus, wine tastings, and other benefits. 
  • VIP status for the most loyal customers that offer exclusive, premium discounts. 

2. Advertise A Menu QR Code

QR codes are ideal for simplifying basic restaurant operations. When customers need to look at the restaurant menus, all they have to do is scan a custom QR code to view food and drinks. 

You may be wondering how a QR code can be a tool for restaurant promotion ideas. In most cases, restaurant owners will use the code in advertising materials like flyers and stickers. 

Some business owners even claim that QR codes help reduce restaurant expenses since it costs more to constantly replace physical menus. With a QR code app, you can make as many changes as you’d like. 

Book a demo with SproutQR to start reaping the benefits of QR codes today! It’s simple, user-friendly, and will give your business a sleeker impression. 

3. Offer Multiple Payment Options

Payment processing options may not sound like the most creative restaurant promotion idea. However, they make your business inclusive to all customers. 

You won’t be excluding anyone if you allow people to pay for their food with cash, cards, or via mobile contactless payments. Display payment methods on the front window of your restaurant. For digital restaurant promotion efforts, you can also include this information at the end of social media captions or profile descriptions.

Onboarding a POS system that abides by PCI standards is vital for secure payments. It’ll also give your customers the peace of mind that their information is safe.

4. Become Available On Delivery Apps

Be available on mobile delivery apps to promote your restaurant to the masses. Though it might not seem like an obvious solution for sales, it’s vital in today’s economic landscape. 

Mobile food ordering allows eateries to expand the number of customers they can serve within a single shift. Just think about all of your potential customers who may not be in the position or mood to go out for a meal. By offering delivery, your restaurant can gain substantial traffic.

Studies show that people spend more time browsing mobile menus than in-house ones. Many argue that this statistic is because there isn’t a wait staff collecting the orders. With this in mind, consumers might also be browsing at available restaurants, too. And when they finally choose yours, there’s a chance for higher cart values. 

New technology in restaurants allows for easy and quick deliveries. Let your business be a convenient solution for your entire area.

5. Host Seasonal Events

Seasonal events are a way to draw large crowds. It’s also an effective strategy if you’re launching something new. 

For example, if you sell local beer brands, promote them at a Fourth of July celebration. Events from October through December are another way to get locals in the holiday spirit.

Restaurant and bar event ideas with themes generate awareness for many reasons. Some people feel loyal to events like the Super Bowl, whereas some prefer holiday parties. Regardless of your choice, make sure to make it an enjoyable and memorable experience for all.

6. Give Back to the Community

Charity events are a fun way to get the community together. They’re also an effective way to boost a brand’s reputation. 

From local hospitals to schools, there are probably more non-profits in your area than you might realize. These groups remain afloat on donations, so consider hosting an event in their honor. 

You can coordinate an event where a certain amount of proceeds is given to the non-profit. If you should continue a partnership with any of them, seasonal events every quarter may perform well. 

7. Sponsor Local Non-Profits

Sponsorships are an effective way to promote your business to different people. Is there a local sports team you’d like to support or a non-profit that could benefit from a donation?

Consider sponsorships at local events for groups that you’re passionate about helping out. In some scenarios, you might even be able to serve food at sponsored events. Not only will this be a great way to promote your restaurant, but it will allow people to sample your top-selling menu items. 

One of the great aspects of sponsorships is that such relationships last long-term. Typically, sponsors sign a contract with the organization. The agreement will ensure the non-profit receives long-term assistance while the restaurant will have ongoing promotions. 

8. Implement Restaurant SEO Tactics 

A restaurant SEO strategy is ideal if you want to boost website traffic. Maybe you want to promote the way you brand your restaurant. Or, perhaps your restaurant also operates as a venue, so you want to book client calls. 

Adding SEO to your restaurant promotion plan will allow you to speak directly to your ideal customer base. Target keywords and proper structure will cause your web content to rank higher than the competition. 

9. Invest In Paid Advertisements 

When creating a digital advertisement, you can customize who will see it. As you can imagine, this concept makes paid ads an enormous traffic driver for any business. 

One of the first steps you should take toward a restaurant promotion strategy is building a website and creating social media accounts. Once you complete these tasks, you can run various types of ads online. 

Whether you launch Google Ads or boost posts on social media, ensure you’re targeting people who reside in your area.

On platforms like Facebook, you can target people in your area based on their phone’s location but who live elsewhere. This metric will alert you to people who may be traveling and are unaware of local eateries. 

Before launching digital ads, learn how to calculate social media ROI to track your results. Knowing this statistic will also help plan future campaigns. 

10. Create A Happy Hour Menu

Happy hour is one of the most profitable events a restaurant can host. From popular cocktails to original mixed drink recipes, consumers flock to happy hour to socialize with friends. 

To keep your menu interesting, change up the menu based on the season. For instance, you can offer refreshing summer cocktails during the warmer months, then switch to winter cocktail recipes during the holiday season. Plus, who doesn’t love a festive restaurant?

Liquor sales are a huge revenue source. Various types of alcohol have some of the highest markups compared to other inventory goods. So even when you discount drinks, your restaurant will still make a large profit. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Promotion Ideas

What Is the Best Way to Promote Your Restaurant?

Word-of-mouth marketing is the best form of promotion, so it’s important to generate reviews for your restaurant. Consider offering a discount for those who show one of the waiters their Google review.

If you offer this kind of restaurant promotion, keep one thing in mind. Mandate that the review is posted within the last seven days. By setting this rule, you’ll avoid customers who constantly get discounts for showing the same review multiple times. 

How Do I Promote My Menu?

High-quality imagery of dishes and the menu are great assets to use for restaurant promotion. Opt for photo-centric social media platforms to promote such material. Apps like Facebook and Instagram are ideal for sharing menus. 

Once you have a target audience, consider promoting your best-performing posts. You can do this by boosting an already-existing piece of content. Or, you can make a paid ad from scratch.

How Do Restaurants Attract Families?

Loyalty programs and bundled pricing are excellent offers to attract families. When families dine out, you can expect parties with a minimum of three people. Discounts for larger orders are a great way to show customer appreciation while reducing expenses.

Family-style dining is an area that consists of many creative restaurant promotion ideas. Several options to consider include:

  • Buy one entree and get another half-off. 
  • A discounted menu for kids and seniors.
  • A 10% discount for parties over five people.
  • A free dessert menu item on birthdays. 

Before launching a free restaurant promotion, always ensure that your restaurant is financially stable enough to do so. If not, such promotions may hurt you in the long run. 

It’s Time to Put Some Restaurant Promotion Ideas to Use

Now that you have ten fool-proof ideas to promote your restaurant, it’s time to elevate your marketing plan. Consider your options and implement one strategy at a time. 

By taking it slow in the beginning, you’ll be able to determine what works best for your restaurant. Every target audience is unique, so trial and error are critical for mapping out a long-term plan. 

Revolution Ordering is an off-premise, omni-channel, direct delivery-enabled ordering platform for individual, franchise, middle market and large multi-unit restaurant enterprises. Take advantage of cutting edge features including 360° order history, live order monitoring, and marketplace order insertion. Contact us for a demo now to see how our off-premise solutions can help grow the revenue and earnings of restaurants. Note that Revolution demos are a walkthrough of our software, not a source of business advice.