Top Restaurant Guerrilla Marketing Ideas and Examples

Top Restaurant Guerrilla Marketing Ideas and Examples

Muhammad Abdullah

When we delve into the origin of the term ‘Guerilla Marketing,’ we discover that it comes from a book by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara in 1960. His book ‘Guerrilla Warfare’ describes several forms of combat between regular armies and guerilla bands.

However, in the mid-1980s, Jay Conrad Levinson, an American advertising executive and marketing expert, invented guerilla marketing techniques. He transformed how small businesses viewed self-promotion in much the same way as guerilla warfare, revolutionizing how people viewed war and conflict.

Before Levinson coined the term, businesses frequently relied on costly marketing initiatives. Levinson argued in favor of using brains over brawn since smaller businesses found it challenging to compete in such conditions.

Guerrilla marketing employs unusual methods, typically at a low cost, to market a company's products, name, or services without active promotion. These guerrilla marketing strategies are different from traditional marketing strategies.

What is Restaurant Guerilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing for restaurants is an affordable and innovative marketing technique to attract customers.

We sometimes refer to these techniques as ‘gorilla marketing.’ Guerilla marketing strategies specifically effective for restaurants or other food-related enterprises are called "restaurant guerilla marketing.” Most food businesses benefit from these techniques; however, every restaurant owner should conduct an analysis specific to their industry.

The best part about this type of marketing is that marketers who run restaurant guerilla campaigns spend less money on advertising. If restaurants can conduct these campaigns properly, they can increase their customer base drastically.

Benefits of Guerilla Marketing for Restaurants

Before we highlight some of the best restaurant guerilla marketing ideas and examples, here are some benefits that restaurants can achieve.


Guerrilla marketing is particularly beneficial for small, family-run businesses. You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars into a guerrilla marketing campaign. But while it is affordable to deploy, guerrilla marketing success requires creativity and unconventional thinking. You need some serious brainpower and dedication.

Makes Your Restaurant Stand Out

Not every restaurant may apply guerrilla marketing techniques, which means you can be a trailblazer. Whether you make people laugh, shock them, or connect with them on a deeper level, you will deliver something unique.

Long-term Results

Since most guerilla marketing ideas are hard to forget, they linger in the online and offline world for years. That implies these techniques do not just bring you more business once launched but also help you earn profits in the future.

Huge Viral Potential

Bold marketing campaigns can increase your chances of going viral because unique ideas quickly catch everyone’s attention. People enjoy sharing campaigns and retweeting content that appeal to them and offer something special to the market.

Restaurant Guerilla Marketing Ideas

Now that you know how much guerilla marketing ideas can benefit your restaurant business, here are some of the best guerilla marketing ideas that you can experiment with to earn more profits.

Graffiti Artwork

Graffiti art is expressive painting, writing, or drawing through symbols to convey ideas. Most people who indulge in fine dining are appreciative of unconventional artwork. Using graffiti artwork to promote your pub, bar, or local eatery in popular public spaces is fabulous.

Don’t forget to get the necessary approvals from local authorities before using graffiti art in public places. However, restaurants can also use billboards to promote their business.

You can partner with a local street artist or hire a professional graffiti artist to market your recent campaign.

In the past, McDonald’s and Domino’s have experimented with unique Graffiti ideas to promote their brand.

Hang up Banners on Popular Places

Another great way of guerilla marketing is designing appealing banners and hanging them on public places. A banner can be a fabulous marketing tool to communicate your branding message.

More people will spot these promotional messages when you strategically place banners in popular places. They will be more likely to visit your restaurant, especially if an attractive offer is advertised on the banner.

Since you can place these banners for months or even years, you continue to get long-term benefits from this guerilla marketing technique. But remember, you will have to pay for placing these banners on essential places.

Banners work great for roadside restaurants because most people walking along the road may immediately try out your restaurant after spotting a banner.

Food Delivery Packaging Ideas

Use your food delivery packaging to promote your business if you don’t have multi-thousand-dollar budgets for newspaper print ads or billboards. The purpose of food delivery packaging is not just to protect the food from contamination or leakage. Unique food packaging design ideas can leave a strong impression on your customers.

Regardless of the type of packaging you choose for your delivery orders, make sure the boxes, paper bags, and cutlery have your logo and restaurant name.

It is an effective restaurant guerilla marketing strategy to help customers remember your name, tagline, logo, or menu.

For example, popular restaurants print their menu and special offers on their delivery packages to attract customers. For example, the famous Nobu restaurant, owned by Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert DeNiro, which is renowned for its fusion cuisine, offers a beautiful delivery bag. This delivery package resembles a gift bag with its gold hot-stamped logo and a hand-tied rope handle.

Start Charitable Program or Arrange Local Events

Arranging local events is another low-budget marketing idea that helps you acquire new customers. Hosting successful charity or marketing events will give you more exposure, boost your sales, and help you play your part. For instance, Pizza Hut has a solid connection with students of all ages. The company offered $500,000 in grants to educators in 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pizza Hut also started a food donation program 1992 to donate surplus items and ingredients the store didn’t need.

You can start with small ideas if you are a startup or a small restaurant business. You can arrange cooking competitions, charity events, flash mobs, or local meetups. Make sure your staff is wearing branded clothing that has your restaurant logo. Share your business cards and create restaurant banners and signboards so people can easily recognize your business.

Flyers Distribution

Restaurants can print bulk flyers to use as promotional material for launching new dishes and making important announcements. Distributing flyers directly in public can be an excellent and affordable marketing technique.

Most business owners don’t realize that flyers still work as an effective guerilla marketing technique. But when you design them, make sure you keep the design appealing. Include all information that you want to communicate to your potential customers.

Many famous restaurants like KFC, Pizza Hut, and McDonald’s design eye-catching flyers to promote regular and special offers.

Give Special Offers on a Special Day

Offer something special to your customers on special occasions. That way, more guests will plan to hang out at your café or restaurant in advance. Market these offers before important events such as Christmas or New Year’s to attract more customers without spending thousands of dollars on advertising.

Utilize the other guerilla marketing techniques we mentioned above to promote these offers. For example, if you are offering discounted food options on the 1st of January, start promoting this offer from December through flyers, banners, and graffiti ads.

Popular offers include ‘Buy 1 & Get 1 Free,’ ‘50% off on all delivery orders,’ or ‘Free dessert with two main courses,’ etc.

Celebrity Endorsement for Branding

One of the most influential restaurant guerrilla marketing strategies in other forms of marketing today is celebrity endorsement. That’s because most potential customers may already be on social media. Collaborating with these influencers, including food bloggers or sous chefs, can allow you to capture their audiences.

Be ready to receive unlimited exposure from the fan-following of these celebrities. Don’t forget to organize a meet-up with these famous personalities so more people can visit your restaurant.

In the past, restaurants like McDonald’s have signed endorsement deals with famous celebrities like Justin Timberlake.

When these celebrities visit your restaurant, make sure you go live on social media. In addition, share photos and videos and tag them whenever you post something about them on your social media. That’s one of the best restaurants TikTok ideas for marketing.

Snapchat Restaurant Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, Snapchat may be used to promote a business. That means the popular app is for more than just sharing personal photos with friends. Using Snapchat in restaurants may create a whole new market, bringing in new clients while promoting your small restaurant menu ideas.

Make sure to include a filter in your Snapchat restaurant marketing game plan. This filter is a graphic overlay that the app’s users can add to their videos and photos to display an event or a place they visit. Many Snapchat users browse geofiltered snaps to get a feel of the restaurant before they visit it.

Using Automated Food Ordering System

Once you implement the restaurant guerilla marketing ideas we mentioned in our post, your restaurant will gain more popularity and recognition. Consequently, your customer base will increase, and you will need smart and efficient systems to manage this growing user base.

An automated digital food ordering system enables customers to place orders from any location anytime, as long as they have internet. Restaurants can accept the orders and prepare them to deliver them on time.

This approach for ordering food can be used for guerilla restaurant marketing. Most online food ordering systems also incorporate a scanner for QR codes so that customers can place an order without contacting the restaurant. It is the simplest and most practical way to order food for busy and on-the-go customers. It can also help you conduct survey polls to ask important restaurant questions.


What is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla marketing refers to a marketing/advertising strategy that employs unconventional tactics to attract customers. We can use it as an alternative to traditional marketing, such as tv, print commercials, direct mail, etc.

Why Should Restaurants Consider Guerrilla Marketing?

Today’s restaurants should opt for guerrilla marketing because it can be an affordable way to promote their business. By implementing guerilla marketing techniques, startups, and emerging restaurants can save time, resources, and money. The key is to develop creative ideas that can grasp their audience’s attention.

What are Some Guerrilla Marketing Ideas for Restaurants?

Some popular guerrilla marketing ideas for restaurants include creative food delivery packaging ideas, Snapchat restaurant marketing, conducting polls for asking important restaurant survey questions, distributing flyers, and putting up banners, etc.

What are Some Examples of Successful Guerrilla Marketing Campaigns?  

Many famous restaurants, cafes, bars, and other food-related businesses have experimented with guerilla marketing campaigns. For example, Domino's launched ‘Paving for Pizza’ in 208, repairing potholes in towns across the U.S. They filled potholes and stamped them with Domino's logo. In 2019, McDonald's initiated a campaign in Canada featuring billboards with minimal branding, creating curiosity and buzz around the restaurant.

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