A quick search online shows no shortage of restaurant promotion ideas. But do they work? It is a shame to spend your hard earned money and time on a promotion strategy that is doomed from the outset. The following 3 promotion ideas have been tested to work for others and they will work for you too.
1. Build a Facebook fan page. Facebook is often the most visited site on the Internet (it floats back and forth between first and second with Google). Facebook allows you to create a page where you can collect a following and promote your ideas and your restaurant.
The way to promote your restaurant using Facebook is to create some kind of contest that people will want to join and want to share with their friends. Consider ‘free ribs for a year’ if you are a rib joint. That’s something that people in your community can really get into and share with their friends. The key is that visitors to your Facebook page can only enter the contest after they ‘like’ your page. This gives you an immediate surge of traffic to your page and to your restaurant and a long term asset as you can continue to promote your restaurant to all of your new Facebook fans.
2. Form a strategic alliance. With this restaurant promotion idea the key is to find a business in your community that has a similar clientele to yours but is not a directly competing business. For example, if you are a high-end restaurant you might consider partnering with a local luxury car dealer.
You could arrange to have the car dealer hand out a $50 gift certificate to your restaurant with every qualified test drive. Chances are the person who test drives the car won’t come alone and they’ll spend well over $200 at your restaurant. The key is not what you make on the first meal but keeping these clients for life. And there’s no need to stop at the luxury car dealer – why not add jewellers, dentists and more. The possibilities are endless.
3. Create and mail a customer newsletter. People want to feel like they belong at your restaurant and regular communication is key to fostering that sense of belonging and to increasing return visits. The key to creating a newsletter is to make it interesting (personal is best), consistent (once a month works well) and have it contain a call to action. The newsletter should reflect the personality of the restaurant and present a special offer the reader if they take action and call to make reservations right away. Regular communication sprinkled with special offers is a great way to promote your restaurant.
There you have 3 restaurant promotion ideas that really work. The key of course is actually doing something with them and putting them to work for you and your restaurant.