Restaurant Marketing Ideas: How Restaurant Owners Can Market Their Business

Aug 17, 2022 | Advertising & Marketing

Are you a restaurant owner who is looking for ways to market your business? Well, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most effective ways to market your restaurant. We’ll also provide tips on how to make the most of your restaurant marketing efforts. So, whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking for new ideas, read on for helpful advice from the experts!

How To Market A Restaurant

A restaurant by the sea

This article is split into three sections:

  • Basics for marketing a restaurant
  • Restaurant marketing ideas
  • Restaurant marketing strategies

These three sections will help you understand how to market a restaurant and give you ideas for marketing your own business.

Basics For Marketing A Restaurant

A dinner table

Below, we list some fundamental tips for marketing a restaurant. These tips will help you get started and ensure that your restaurant marketing strategy is effective.

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1. Develop Your Restaurant’s Brand Identity

Your brand identity is how your restaurant is perceived by customers. It includes factors like your name, logo, and tagline. Your brand identity should be unique and memorable. It should also be consistent across all of your marketing materials. Most restaurants have a well-defined brand identity. Here are some examples:

  • Olive Garden: family and comfort
  • Taco Bell: humor and wit
  • Panera: health and freshness
  • Cheesecake Factory: indulgence and extravagance

Understanding your target audience is the first step toward successfully marketing to them. Then, segment that group into individual buyer personas with interests and lifestyles you can satisfy. Create a theme and vibe that suits all of your persona’s personalities, then make sure it’s reflected in all of your content and actions.

2. Get A Website

A dinner table with some upside down glass cups

A website is one of the most important marketing tools for any business, and restaurants are no exception. Your website is often the first point of contact between you and potential customers. So it’s important to make a good impression!

Your restaurant website should be designed with your brand identity in mind. It should be visually appealing and easy to navigate. Most importantly, it should include all the information that potential customers might be looking for, such as your menu, hours of operation, and contact information.

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3. Establish Your Mission Statement And Core Values

Your mission statement is a brief description of what your restaurant does and why you do it. It should be clear, concise, and memorable.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What does my restaurant do?
  • How does it do it?
  • For whom does it do it?
  • What are the benefits of my services?

After you have answers to these questions, try to condense them into one or two sentences. This will be the beginning of your mission statement. Finally, revise and edit until you have a strong, concise statement that accurately reflects your restaurant.

Your mission statement should guide all of your marketing decisions. It should inform everything from the messaging on your website to the design of your logo. Keep it in mind as you develop your marketing strategy!

Asides from your mission statement, your core values are what your business stands for. They also guide your day-to-day decisions and help you build a strong culture within your restaurant.

Your core values might include things like:

  • Providing outstanding customer service
  • Offering high-quality, healthy food
  • Creating fun and welcoming environment

If you’re not sure what your restaurant’s core values are, sit down with your team and brainstorm. What qualities do you want to be known for? How do you want your customers to feel when they visit your restaurant?

4. Create A Social Media Presence

A chef cooking some meals

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal. It’s a great way to connect with potential and current customers, build brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when using social media for marketing:

Choose the right platform: Not all social media platforms are created equal. Different platforms serve different purposes. For example, Instagram is great for sharing visual content, while Twitter is perfect for timely updates and customer service. Think about which platforms make the most sense for your business, and focus your efforts there.

Post frequently: Consistency is key when it comes to social media. If you only post sporadically, people will forget about you. Try to post new content every day or two.

Engage with your audience: Social media is a two-way street. It’s not enough to just post your own content; you should also be engaging with other users. Like and comment on other people’s posts, answer questions and join conversations.

5. Create A Google My Business Listing

Google My Business is a free listing service provided by Google. It allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google Search and Maps.

Creating a GMB listing is quick and easy. Just go to and follow the instructions. Be sure to include as much information as possible, such as your hours, website, and contact information. You can also upload photos and post updates about your business.

Having a GMB listing is important because it makes your business more visible on Google. When potential customers search for restaurants in your area, your listing will appear in the results.

Restaurant Marketing Ideas

A bunch of meals on a table

We’ve gone over the fundamentals of restaurant marketing; now, let’s get into some specific ideas you can use to market your business.

1. Show Off Your Staff

Your staff is one of your restaurant’s biggest assets. They’re the ones who create the dining experience for your customers, so it’s important to show them off!

One way to do this is by featuring them on your website and social media platforms. Write short biographies for each member of your team, and include photos. This will help potential customers get to know the people behind your business and make them feel more connected to your brand.

2. Earn Positive Reviews

Requesting reviews from your customers is a great way to generate positive word-of-mouth marketing. You can do this by sending follow-up emails or text messages after they dine at your restaurant. Just be sure to make it easy for them to leave a review by including links to your listing on Google, Yelp, and other platforms.

You should also respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. This shows that you’re listening to your customers and care about their feedback.

3. Source Local Ingredients

A tasty dinner dish with some cutlery and glass cups

Using local ingredients can help you show off your commitment to quality and sustainability. It also helps you build relationships with other businesses in your community. Make sure to mention on your menu or website when you’re using local ingredients. You could even feature a different local business each week on your social media platforms.

4. Support Local Causes

One way to show that you’re invested in your community is by supporting local causes. This could be anything from hosting a fundraiser for a local charity to partnering with a local sports team. When customers see that you’re giving back, they’ll be more likely to support your business.

5. Run Social Media Contests

A waiter prepping a dinner table

Social media contests are an excellent way to engage with your audience and generate excitement about your brand. They’re also relatively easy to set up and run.

There are a few things to keep in mind when running a social media contest:

Make sure the prize is relevant to your business: The prize you offer should be something that your target audience would be interested in. For example, if you’re a restaurant specializing in healthy food, you could give away a free meal everyday, for a week.

Keep the contest simple: The simpler the contest, the more likely people are to enter. Avoid making it too complicated or time-consuming.

Promote the contest: Make sure to promote the contest on your website and social media platforms. You could also put up flyers in your restaurant or send out email blasts to your customers.

6. Run Holiday-Themed Events

Holidays are an excellent opportunity to run themed events and promotions. There are various ways to run holiday-themed events. Some of them include:

Offer Holiday Catering Promotions: Offering catering options this holiday season will take the stress out of customers’ plans. A curated holiday menu will let them customize your offerings to better suit their party size and flavor preferences.

Host a Virtual Holiday Party: This year, make the holidays festive without overcrowding your bar or restaurant by live streaming or video chat grouping holiday trivia, a New Year’s Eve countdown watch party, or other fun events like a virtual ugly Christmas sweater competition. To get people excited, promote your event as soon as possible!

Promote Restaurant Gift Card Sales: Gift cards make great stocking stuffers, Secret Santa gifts, and more. You can increase restaurant gift card sales by offering a bonus with your purchase. For example, for every $50 gift card purchased, the customer gets a $10 bonus card to use at a later date.

Add Holiday Specials to Your Restaurant Menu: Adding holiday specials to your restaurant menu is a great way to bring in customers during the slower winter months. Some ideas for holiday specials include a Thanksgiving feast, Christmas cookies, and Hanukkah latkes..

7. Share Positive Press Releases

A fancy restaurant setting

Any time your restaurant gets mentioned in the news, make sure to share it on your social media platforms and website. This is a great way to build brand awareness and show potential customers that you’re a reputable business.

8. Offer Discounts And Promotions

Promotions and discounts are always popular with customers, but they can also be a great marketing tool. They’re a great way to drive traffic to your restaurant, build customer loyalty, and increase sales.

When developing a promotional strategy for your restaurant business, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Think about your goals: What do you hope to achieve with your promotion? More customers? Higher sales? Something else? Keep your goals in mind as you develop your promotion.

Create an offer that’s irresistible: Your promotional offer should be something that your customers can’t resist. It should be something that they actually want. Something like “20% off your purchase” or “Buy one get one free.”

Make sure it’s easy to redeem: You don’t want your customers to have to jump through hoops to redeem your offer. Make sure it’s something they can easily do.

9. Develop A Loyalty Program

A woman eating salads

Loyalty programs are a great way to encourage customers to keep coming back. There are a few different ways you can structure a loyalty program, but the most common is to give customers rewards points for every purchase they make. These points can then be redeemed for discounts or freebies.

Another option is to offer a tiered loyalty program, where loyal customers earn different levels of rewards based on how often they visit your restaurant. This can help encourage customers to visit more often in order to reach the higher tiers.

Restaurant Marketing Strategy

A restaurant bar

Now, let’s talk about various marketing channels and strategies that restaurants can use to market their business.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In the restaurant industry, around 30% of searches convert into paying customers immediately. This is why one of the most important things you can do is to make sure your restaurant is easily found online. This can be done through search engine optimization (SEO).

There are a few things you can do to optimize your website for SEO:

Choose the right keywords: When people search for restaurants online, they’ll typically use keywords such as “restaurants near me,” “best restaurants,” and so on. Make sure to include these keywords on your website and in your content.

Create quality content: In order for your website to rank high in search results, you need to have high-quality content. This means well-written and informative articles, mouth-watering photos, and videos.

Build backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. The more backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank in search results. You can get backlinks by guest blogging, being featured in articles, and so on.

Optimize for local SEO: If you want more local customers, you need to add local SEO to your restaurant marketing plan. Optimizing for local SEO means including your city and state in your keywords, having a Google My Business listing, and so forth.

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2. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)

A cafe with people working on their laptops

If you want to drive traffic to your website quickly, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a good option. With PPC, you essentially buy Bing or Google ads that will be displayed when people search for certain keywords. When someone clicks on your ad, they’ll be taken to your website.

PPC can be an effective way to market your restaurant, but it can also be expensive. You’ll need to bid on keywords, and you’ll be charged every time someone clicks on your ad.

3. Social Media Marketing

Social media is a great way to connect with potential and current customers. It’s a platform where you can share your brand story, promote your products and services, and build relationships.

When it comes to social media marketing, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Choose a platform that aligns with your demographic: For example, if you’re trying to reach Millennials, Instagram would be a good choice. If you’re trying to reach Baby Boomers, Facebook would be a better choice.

Post quality content: It’s important to post high-quality content on social media. This means well-written posts, mouth-watering photos, and engaging videos.

Be consistent: The key to social media success is consistency. You need to be posting regularly in order to build a following and keep your followers engaged.

4. Email Marketing

A very busy restaurant

Email marketing is an excellent way to stay in touch with your customers and promote your restaurant. Here are a few tips that will help you achieve email marketing success:

Segment your list: Don’t just send the same email to everyone on your list. Segment your list so that you can send more targeted emails. For example, you might segment your list by customers who visit often, customers who haven’t visited in a while, and so on.

Personalize your emails: Personalized emails are more likely to be opened and read than generic ones. Include the customer’s name in the subject line and the body of the email.

Include a call-to-action: Every email should have a call-to-action (CTA). This is something that you want the customer to do, such as visit your restaurant, make a reservation, or sign up for your loyalty program.

5. Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail marketing is another great way to promote your restaurant. With direct mail, you can send postcards, coupons, flyers, and so on to your customers.

Like email marketing, it’s important to segment your list when you’re doing direct mail marketing. You should also personalize your materials and include a call to action.

What’s Next?

A busy restaurant cafe

Now that you know some restaurant marketing ideas, it’s time to put them into action. Start by choosing one or two ideas and start implementing them into your marketing campaign. Then, track your results and see what works best for your business.


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