Just like any other business, new restaurant owners try to come up with ideas on how to promote their business to the people around their area of operation. So you got a few things figured out like people are hungry at least once a day, they like to socialize, they like to hangout in nice places with their friends and loved ones, therefore they'll definitely do that in a dining place sooner or later, right? There is truth in this analogy, in fact, you might even conduct feasibility studies to further support your assumptions before you open your restaurant. Well, not everything works as planned so you need to have a unique restaurant promotion ideas if you are to succeed.
Before you go about doing that though, first know a few rules about restaurant promotion. They are as follows:
- Know Your Customer Base – Don't just launch your restaurant marketing plan without knowing and clearly understanding your customers. Find out what their age groups are, your location versus their drive. When people are hungry is your place easily accessible to them if they want to grab some meals? Do you offer an affordable menu? You have to consider these things in order for your marketing campaign to succeed.
- Look at Your Business Challenges – Sometimes business challenges does not come from the outside, but rather from within your organization and staff. There may be times when they are idle at work and they're not doing it on purpose, but rather the situation creates such scenarios. You need to come up with a plan to avoid this from happening and you make use of their time in the most efficient way.
- Revenue or Press? – The aim of your unique restaurant promotion ideas should be to create more press than revenue. Why? Because the longterm benefits of more press coverage is that it will increase the chances of your business to make profits exponentially. Not to mention gain of ideal clients. So utilize all your resources including social media to get the word out about your new and flourishing business franchise.
- Know Your Margins – Make sure you've calculated the costs to create the food on your menu, so you can make bundled offers and discounts without breaking even or get lesser profits than the initial investment amount you have put in. You may have to hire a professional to help you do this.
Here are the 10 best unique restaurant promotion ideas:
1) Leverage a Bigger Event
If your restaurant is somewhere in the city, then there's a good chance that big events are held there all year round. This is a perfect opportunity to launch your unique restaurant promotion ideas and offer meal discounts if they'll attend the concert or big movie event nearby. By doing so you may see an increase in influx of customers by 7% at least, but it could be more. Even if it doesn't go up assuming your regular income is $ 10,000 per day, then you will have gotten a $ 700 extra for it! Or it could be $ 2,000 more, who knows? Like I said the opportunity for leveraging on a bigger event near you increases your chances to earn.
2) Charities & Celebrities
You can also invite a big name or a local celebrity and do a fundraiser for your local charity or fire station. Pick a celebrity whose fees are within your budget range and although you will donate the proceeds of the day's income, it wouldn't be so bad as you will fortify your restaurant business' reputation and get more customers as a result. It's a practical investment that's worth every penny you've put in.
Giving freebies and gifts on special occasions or holidays is also another way to market your restaurant business. Pick out a holiday or maybe a specific holiday declared by the town or city that you do business in like St. Patrick's Day or Christmas or the city's Foundation Day or something and offer discounts or giveaways to your patrons. You will definitely reel in more customers than usual and get a hefty profit out of it.
4) Loyalty Offerings
Offer a loyalty card to longtime customers and it will give them a reason to hang out in your restaurant. They might even bring with them their family and friends and encourage them to be loyal customers as well, so they could get loyalty cards also. This way you will make your customers your marketing agents and you won't even have to pay them for their work.
5) Bundling and Fixed Price Offerings
This is one of the best unique restaurant promotion ideas as it allows you to pair up your best-sellers and least salable items in your inventory. You'll be able to clear out most of the items that are not selling very well and at the same time your menu favorite gets the much attention that it needs. Make sure to give offers that does not go below the break-even margin or you'll suffer profit loss.
6) Get Them in the Doors
There may be items in your menu that don't sell well, because they need to be consumed by more than one customer. What you'll need to do is once again offer it on discount for a certain number of people who are willing to include it in their order. This restaurant marketing plan is called, "get them in the doors" strategy, where people are persuaded to buy this particular food on the menu and purchase more items along the way.
7) Down Time
In some cases, your restaurant business will experience slow nights and your staff and other utilities are not utilized properly and you may have to use them in some other way that will benefit your business. What you can do is make an offer with a limited window of opportunity, let's say, the promo will only be available between 5pm – 7pm each day. This will create a temporary surge of customers coming in and your staff will then be useful.
8) Community Events
Participating in community events will help your restaurant get press time to a lot of people and they'll become your patrons too! It could be anyone, someone who's house got burned down and is in need of extra cash besides their insurance coverage; a local football team that needs funding also; or it could be a youth organization looking to raise funds for their community project or something. Exposure is the key here and the more exposure your business gets, the better it is for you.
9) Buy in Bulk & Upsell
Ever went to a nice place and you find something really nice that you like to buy and purchase more of it? Well, this will be true for any business. Sooner or later someone somewhere will walk into your restaurant and find that your avocado shake is the best thing they've tried in the world! You can bet that they'll come back for more, so what you'll do is offer a discount for every 5 or 10 glasses that they'll purchase. Not only will you gain a repeat customer, but also get sales volume on items like you've never had before.
10) Launches & Openings
And last but not least is new menu launches and new store branch openings. Giving huge discounts or an eat-all-you-can offer will definitely give your business the kick-start it needs. Like all the other strategies on this list, this too will bring in new customers and will most likely make them your loyal patrons. It's important to first build a solid customer base before reaching out to more people.