Creative Marketing Strategies to Attract New Customers to Your Restaurant

Creative Marketing Strategies to Attract New Customers to Your Restaurant

Amber Alvi

Your restaurant may serve the best food in town. But surviving in the cutthroat restaurant industry requires more than serving your customers the most happening cuisine.

Today's top restaurants use creative marketing strategies to build their brands from scratch. A killer marketing mix can help restaurants connect with their target market and interact with new and potential clients.

This post will present some of the most influential creative marketing strategies for attracting more customers to your restaurant.

Top Creative Marketing Strategies for Attracting New Customers to Your Restaurant

Let’s explore some of the most beneficial marketing strategies for food delivery businesses and restaurants.

Promote Your Restaurant on Social Media

Social media networks are all the rage these days. That means food delivery and restaurant businesses can benefit from the soaring popularity of these mediums to connect with their target audience. Some of the most popular social media platforms for promoting your restaurant include Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

How to Promote on TikTok

Did you know the TikTok hashtag #food reached over 300 billion mentions last year?

TikTok alone has a monthly user base of 1.2 billion people. TikTok restaurant marketing is just one of the solutions for growing your customer base. The short-video hosting platform allows entrepreneurs, small businesses, and restaurant brands to create content and post different videos. You can post various types of content, ranging from behind-the-scenes videos to sharing recipes and customer testimonials.

Here is how you can leverage TikTok for your restaurant promotion.

Make a TikTok business account and add your restaurant name, logo, and address in the bio. Here are some ideas for posting your restaurant’s TikTok videos.

  • Shoot a tour of your restaurant
  • Give a glimpse of your menu.
  • Record testimonials from happy clients. Ask them whether you can share their feedback on social media.
  •  Introduce a few of your employees and describe their duties.
  • Share the most popular recipes with your audience.

How to Promote on Instagram

Another popular social media platform for attracting customers is Instagram. According to research, people aged between 18-35 spend five whole days a year checking out food images on the platform. Nearly 30% of these users will avoid a restaurant if they don’t have an impressive Instagram profile.

That means it’s time to invest in restaurant Instagram marketing. Using the right hashtags, running contests, and offering discounts in exchange for Instagram reviews, can increase your reach and drive organic impressions.

Posting regular updates on Facebook and posting shareable content such as recipes can also help your restaurant business stand out. Also, post updates about recent additions to your menu or restaurant renovations and designs a hashtag campaign so your followers can tag more people.

Innovate Your Menu

Innovate your menu because, after all, the primary purpose of your restaurant is to serve delectable food to your customers. There are many small restaurant menu ideas such as creating original signature dishes and cocktail recipes for special occasions such as holidays. Don’t forget to focus on unique plating techniques to encourage visitors to take pictures of their meals and share them on social media.

Renovate Your Restaurant

Who doesn’t like a change? Research findings reveal that a remodeling job can drive more sales than advertising your restaurant. You can add a new bar, lounge, or party area to your infrastructure. Make sure you add comfortable furniture, beautiful wall art, and ambient lighting to make your restaurant ambience comfortable and inviting.

Offer Gift Cards to Your Most Loyal Customers

One of the most creative marketing strategies, giveaway gift cards, work wonders to retain your regular customers. Organize contests and raffles to offer giveaways to customers who often choose your restaurant for dining or celebrating their special events. This marketing tactic will increase the chances of a customer returning to your restaurant.

Invite Bloggers and Social Media Influencers

Established restaurants usually collaborate with a prominent celebrity who serves as the face of their restaurant brand. However, inviting social media influencers and bloggers to indulge in a dining experience can be more economical if you are starting a restaurant business.

These guests will post pictures of their meals on popular websites and social media platforms to share their reviews, promoting your brand.

Manage Reviews

Online reviews have unimaginable power. Today’s consumers are quick to post reviews, whether they are positive or negative. However, how a restaurant business manages these reviews can make or break its brand.

Acknowledge all reviews and provide individual replies to at least half of them to show the human side of your business. Thank the customers who enjoyed dining at your restaurant and apologize to unhappy guests. Identify the problems they faced and fix areas that need attention. Investigate negative feedback and clarify the circumstances that led to a mishap or confusion. Many restaurants hire a dedicated social media manager who handles all reviews and feedback professionally.

Send Out an Email Newsletter

Your restaurant newsletter may feature the latest information on forthcoming events, discount coupons, giveaway contests, and client testimonials. You don’t have to issue a newsletter every week. Instead, issue it once or twice a month and encourage visitors to subscribe to the newsletter for a free dessert or a discount.

Convert your Facebook Business Page into a Community

Again, ignoring social media is a death sentence to your restaurant business. A Facebook page alone will not leverage the social media giant’s power. Turning it into a community by encouraging brainstorming unique hashtags and encouraging reviews can attract more users, promoting your restaurant.

Here are a few tips to follow:

  • Fill out all details and consider your Facebook business page as a listing. That’s because the social media platform now serves as a business directory.
  • Post fresh content. Share information about any upcoming events, customer testimonials, or special offers.
  • Respond to feedback, inspire discussions, and engage with your followers on Facebook. 
  •  Change your cover photos occasionally. For example, post pictures of the restaurant's décor or your latest offerings.

Loyalty programs

By adopting an online ordering system, you can keep track of your most loyal customers. Online ordering software allows customers to fill out forms at checkout to improve restaurant customer experience. In addition, restaurants can reward repeat customers with points or discounts.

Implement Email Marketing

Although social media marketing is the primary focus of most digital marketing campaigns, email marketing is one of the most creative marketing strategies to attract new customers. However, it only works best when you implement it right.

First, restaurant businesses must build an email list of previous and potential clients. You can achieve this goal by asking new customers to provide their email addresses for confirming their orders.

The next phase is to send targeted emails to your subscribers. Email marketing can target a small fraction of people who don’t use social media but stay connected to others and businesses through email.

Get an Online Ordering System

After the pandemic, more customers are ordering food and items online. Restaurants and food delivery businesses can profit from this trend by switching to an online takeout ordering system or partnering with meal delivery services.

This strategy proves to be among the best creative marketing strategies for capturing more leads and increasing ROI. Most people who prefer ordering food instead of going to a restaurant will choose you, provided you deliver quality food on time, every time. Since most meal delivery apps charge a commission on each order, adopting an online ordering system to avoid paying commissions can be more profitable in the long run.


What is The Best Way to Promote a Restaurant?

There is no one cookie-cutter solution to market a restaurant because the marketing mix that will offer the best result varies according to the location, target audience, menu price, etc. Nonetheless, some of the most effective creative marketing strategies for promoting a restaurant include leveraging social media, automating ordering systems, investing in paid promotion, and implementing an email marketing campaign.

How Can Social Media Be Used To Promote A Restaurant?

Here are a few ways to get the most out of your social media channels for promoting your restaurant.

  •  Post appealing pictures of the restaurant’s food on Instagram and other social media accounts.
  • Create a hashtag that customers can use when they are posting any reviews.
  • Focus on targeted advertising to reach potential customers.
  •  Run social media campaigns, such as contests and free giveaways, to boost customer engagement.
  • Respond to customer feedback on social media to build relationships.
  • Collaborate with social media influencers to capture newer audiences.
  • Use social media to announce promotions and special events.
  • Encourage customers to post reviews and share their experiences on their social media accounts.

What Role Does Online Advertising Play in Restaurant Marketing?

Online advertising plays a crucial role in restaurant marketing by allowing restaurants to reach more consumers, target specific audiences, boost brand visibility, and measure the effectiveness of campaigns. In addition, restaurants can use online advertising to promote their unique offerings to maximize ROI.

What are some restaurant promotion ideas for holidays and special occasions?

Here are some proven ideas.

  • Create new recipes for promoting holiday-themed dishes and cocktails
  • Organize a holiday-themed contest or event.
  • Launch a limited-time holiday menu.
  • Offer exclusive discounts to loyalty program members.
  •  Offer free delivery (limited) for special occasions.
  • Offer special holiday deals and discounts.
  • Team up with a local business for special promotions.

How Can Customer Reviews Be Used to Promote a Restaurant?

Restaurants can share customer reviews on their websites, social media, and third-party sites. Positive thoughts help a restaurant business attract more customers as it builds credibility. Additionally, restaurants can use reviews to create promotional material such as email newsletters and flyers. Finally, reviews can help you reach out to a celebrity or an influencer to endorse your restaurant.

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