If you manage or own a restaurant you probably know that customers are more enticed by fun restaurant promotion ideas. It is good to attract new customers but even more important is keeping the old ones returning. In the food industry, customer loyalty is critical.

If you are looking to promote your restaurant, you want to boost sales and profit margins. To grow sales you have to sell more and to sell more you need more customers. This requires a strong and diverse marketing campaign. While social media is great for building long-term client relationships, there are several other restaurant promotions you might want to consider.

The best way to drive sales is through repeat customers. Statistics by Small Business Trends show that customer retention is a high priority. The report indicates that 65% of business success is owed to existing customers. The study further explains that the probability of selling to new prospects is between 5% and 20%. On the other hand, the likelihood of an existing customer purchasing again is 60% to 70%.

Top 10 Restaurant Promotion Ideas  

Maintaining loyal customers is not an easy task. If you apply proven tips shared in this post, the challenge will be easier to tackle.  Here’s a list of top 10 restaurant promotions to add to your marketing plan.

1. Google+ Account

A Google+ account is fundamental to any restaurant business today. Like a Yelp account, Google+ provides the details of your service. Google’s Knowledge Graph collects a huge amount of information from this account. Wouldn’t you want your business to appear in prime search results?

Fortunately, setting a Google+ account doesn’t cost a dime. Go ahead and set up Google alerts to inform you when the name of your restaurant is featured on the internet. That way, you can see who is talking about your brand.

2. Happy Hour

Happy hour is one of the classic restaurant promotions where you offer free/discounted meals and drinks in a certain time frame. It is the easiest way to attract the 9-to-5 working class on Fridays. If your free treats are delicious enough to get the crowds to stay for dinner, likely, most of the patrons will remember your restaurant even weeks later. Any time they are considering a perfect dinner place, they’ll flock to your restaurant. (You can also include the happy hour during off-peak seasons.)

3. Blog

Nowadays, blogging is an essential promotional tool. A website allows you to personalize your brand and voice. With a blog, you're free to share your journey as a restaurateur by creating exciting stories and recipes to show the readers that you are an expert in the foodservice industry.   

You can keep your blog as complex or as simple as you wish. Focus on quality rather than quantity. It is good to spread the word when opening new places. Make sure all your new menus are featured in the blog.

4. Loyalty Program

restaurant promotions

Have you partnered with popular foodie apps? These platforms encourage visitors to come to your place through customer rewards programs. In a loyalty program, you’ll be offering special discounts to those who return a particular number of times.

Alternatively, hand out some punch cards to show how much you value your customers. Appreciate their loyalty and offer a free brunch or dinner once in a while. Such incentives will keep them coming back. Also, have your guests familiarize themselves with your restaurant loyalty technology.

5. Discounted Side Dishes

Since side dishes aren’t eaten by themselves, you can heavily discount their prices. These are soups, snacks, and salads. People like huge discounts and they will be tempted to buy other things to go along with the sides. This promotion works to get customers in the doors. A menu item offered free or discounted can usually convince someone to make their first purchase. It can also push them to buy more (like the main course).

6. Flyers

Don’t hesitate to physically invite people in. Not sure where to start? How about distributing flyers to colleges, hospitals, nearby markets, and neighborhoods? Tell them that you are hosting an upcoming event.

Find athletic coaches and ask them to bring their teams after games. Let them know about the exciting promos and treats awaiting them. In the flyers, give tips on vegan diets and low-fat dishes if you offer them.

7. Giveaways and Contests

Building solid relationships with guests requires you to provide them with a valuable product. What are you doing to keep them interested in your restaurant? Giveaways and contests are wonderful ways to provide value. Besides rewarding your followers, these incentives encourage them to continue following you.

Consider running these giveaways on your social media. Having more followers on your Facebook page increases the probability of getting more orders. If you have free items to give away, have your followers qualify first. Here are the quick steps they can use:

  • Follow your business on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

  • Like your posts or comment

  • Tag a specific number of friends and share posts

Try this tactic for a month and see your social media engagement skyrocket.

8. Food Blogger Outreach

Is your restaurant new in town? It can be challenging to generate reviews. If you want to succeed in getting customer reviews, invite food bloggers and give them free meals. Request positive reviews and honest feedback.

Not every food blogger can accept your offer, but don’t give up if you want to generate more online interest. If a blogger is an influencer in the restaurant industry, their contribution will have a great impact on your business.

9. Restaurant Promotions around Local Events

A big event is just around the corner. What are your marketing plans? This is an opportunity to increase awareness of your brand for a larger audience. The people attending the occasion should know about your foods and drinks.

A local event can be anything from a sporting event to a concert to a music festival. It can help you drive foot traffic. Consider offering specials discounts to ticket holders to a local football game. Alternatively, give them a certain percentage off any order before the event starts.

10. Appealing Photography

Attractive foodie photos are characterized by high-quality images. You have to make them live and palatial. Visual content is in high demand, so your blog and social media must feature delicious-looking photos.

You want to draw hungry eyes to your food joint. If you are active on Pinterest and Instagram, create gorgeous aesthetics in your feeds. Spectacular images convey your story and expertise while capturing attention.

Marketing to Your Target Audience

Before you implement the above campaign strategies, first identify your target consumers. Running promotions without a proper plan can waste your resources and time. You can ask an expert to figure things out for you, but you will have an easier time if you understand the latest methods to encourage repeat visits.

Choose your favorite events and holidays and think of ways your customers would celebrate. If you want people to like and share your content, offer discounts occasionally. Make use of viable restaurant promotions that will increase your profits. If you get stuck, Synuma experts can enlighten you on the latest franchising tips to boost client engagement!