There are many marketing tactics to get your customers to come to your restaurant. Some techniques work better for certain restaurants than others. Try some out and determine how it works for your restaurant. Experiment with different techniques, tweak it, and analyze your performance to determine the best technique for your restaurant.
The most common marketing techniques for restaurants include:
Coupons – Offer discounts and special deals for your customers. Coupons are a good way to get customers to try your restaurant. Putting an expiration date on the coupon gives your customers a sense of urgency to stop by your restaurant by a certain date.
Tip #1: If your customers attempt to use an expired coupon, it is a good idea to accept it anyway. They have made an effort to come to your restaurant, so refusing to accept the coupon can make a bad impression for your restaurant.
Tip #2: Don’t offer discounts to items on your menu or drive-thru. The point of coupons is to get customers to come to your restaurant. Once they are already there, there is no point in offering a discount if they are already in line to pay full price for your items. An exception is if you want to encourage them to buy more. For example, you could offer a “buy 2 get 1 free” special.
Packaging – Print your restaurant name and logo on anything you can think of, such as take-out containers, plastic bags, pizza boxes, etc. The key is to make sure it is noticeable. For example, printing your logo on napkins does not yield a lot of value, because napkins will be used and thrown away immediately. On the other hand, printing your logo on large plastic bags will be noticeable and people are more likely to reuse the bag.
Frequent reward card – To encourage loyal customers to eat more frequently at your restaurant, you can create frequent reward cards. For example, you can offer customers a free large coffee for every ten large coffees they purchase at your coffee shop. These cards are simple and easy to produce. You can put a stamp or a special punch-hole for every qualified purchase they make.
Cross promotion – A good strategy for getting new customers is to ask other businesses to pass out your restaurant’s coupons or brochures at their establishments. You should return the favor by promoting their companies as well. For example, if you operate a family restaurant that specializes in providing a fun atmosphere for kids, you can ask local day-care centers to promote your restaurant. In return, you can advertise their services at your restaurant.