The main goal of restaurant marketing is to attract more diners, but there’s no silver bullet to successful promotion. You need to be very creative, leveraging any ideas from loyalty programs to offering discounts. At Synuma, we partner with industry professionals to give you some of the most creative marketing ideas for restaurants.

No doubt, a restaurant owner faces cut-throat competition. If you don’t invest your time in building a brand, the competitors are likely to outdo your business. This guide will walk you through creative restaurant marketing ideas. You'll learn how to turn those ideas into a comprehensive campaign plan.

Seven Ways to Effectively Market Your Restaurant

1. Know Your Customer

Knowing your customers is the key to building brand awareness. You need to define your audience. Are you targeting families, the older generation, the millennials, or the Gen Z? This is a crucial step as it allows you to create the most appropriate web content. For instance, the lingo you can use for Gen Z is different than the language which appeals to families with kids. Millennials, for instance, have their own way of pronouncing certain words, and they appreciate humor.

Knowing your target audience goes beyond the basic demographics.  You need to understand their tastes, purchasing power, and habits. Figure out what they love about your restaurant. Perhaps you are targeting the married lot with kids. You might want to include papers and crayons in the packages to keep the children entertained.

2. Build a Strong Brand

Today, diners are turning to the internet to discover new places for eating out. After making reservations and enjoying the service, they submit reviews and feedback. What does this tell you? It means that successful restaurants can be found online. Do you have a website for your restaurant?

Nailing your branding helps to expand the customer base. That is how you are going to survive in the competitive foodservice industry. With a strong brand, you can generate buzz and drive traffic to your website. It also enables you to put menu items at a premium price without losing customers. A strong brand keeps you in high demand even when your services seem a bit expensive. To nail your brand, your service can take one of these personalities:

  • Competent

  • Sincere

  • Rugged

  • Exciting

  • Sophisticated

Suppose you choose a sophisticated brand. A good start would be classical soundtracks or jazz. For an exciting brand to entice the younger generation, have the latest pop music played instead. You can add unique fine-dining elements featuring artisanal ingredients and gourmet food.

Whichever brand personality you choose, ensure that everything is consistent. The menu, décor, and entertainment should be complementary. Sending mixed signals can confuse clients about your branding.

3. Work on Local SEO

Some creative marketing ideas for restaurants may not be good for search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Ideally, your restaurant will show up whenever potential customers search it locally. Your aim is to rank in the top 3 Google map spots. To receive the most traffic, here are other things to do:

  • Optimize Google My Business

  • Keep the contact details consistent across social media platforms

  • Update your blog regularly

  • Garner good reviews

4. Include Geo-Targeted Keywords

creative marketing ideas restaurants

Ads with geo-targeted keywords have a higher probability of earning you the right customers. You don’t need to rely so much on Google AdWords. Effective targeting is sufficient. Keep in mind that digital marketing platforms encourage geo-targeting. You can choose the state you want to aim the ad. There’s no need to focus on people who are not likely to visit your restaurant. If you have a restaurant in Florida, you don’t need to target Washington DC.

5. Send Email Newsletters

Email marketing is one of the best creative marketing ideas for restaurants. They maintain close relationships with consumers. When you send an email newsletter, you can easily reach the target audience and derive a higher ROI.

Effective email newsletters compel subscribers to become your customers. They do so through relevant offers accompanied by educational content. Just make sure you have included an attractive deal like a free meal or discount to convert leads into sales.

6. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices

Nowadays, people use their mobile phones to check out restaurants before they go out. Therefore, a mobile-friendly website is extremely important. Make sure that your menu is easy to navigate. Also, indicate the address and contact numbers clearly.

7. Use Display Menu Boards

Life-size menu displays provide a unique advertisement for special offers. Consider them when advertising the special of the week. They are great conversational pieces, often handcrafted and beautifully painted. Include food photos to generate a buzz if you have a grand opening. Spread the word around your locality using the fabricated food items in a digital photo booth.

It pays to make stops at places with the most traffic. Let the public interact with your menu and the restaurant crew. In the process, you might want to give out free samples, business cards, t-shirts, coupons, etc.

Putting It All Together

Restaurant promotions rely on your business concept, goals, and target audience. As you incorporate different advertising techniques, post your activities on social media. The most obvious signs of a successful campaign are positive reviews and new customers.

One of the best attributes of these creative marketing ideas for restaurants is flexibility. Some schemes will work while others may not. Don't get stuck with a strategy that’s doomed to fail. Try our software today!