Your Guide To Creating Restaurant Advertisements and Promotions

Young guys and girls pointing fingers

So you want to promote your restaurant but aren’t sure where to go started? Don’t worry! We have written this guide to help you get started! By the end of this article you will have a good grasp on how to advertise and market your restaurant.

There are many methods to promoting your restaurant so we will help you figure out how to choose the right ones! You may have to go through some trial and error before you figure out the perfect marketing mix, but that’s okay. Progress is the key, and the following tips will show you how to keep moving forward.

Restaurant Mktg32The Keys To Success in Restaurant Advertising
Take some of the guesswork out of what and where to advertise with these helpful restaurant advertising tips:

-Show off your Food!-
Restaurants are all about the food. Even if your restaurant itself isn’t the best decorated, if you have good food you will have customers waiting to be served. So show off plenty of pictures of mouth-watering items off of your menu!

– Stick To Your Brand Values-
You should play up the strengths of your brand through your advertising! If you have the best apple pie in town, tell people about it. And never lie or try to sell things you can’t do. Thus, if you are a small restaurant with a small wine selection, don’t advertise based on your wine.

– Be Different-
You have to stand out because the market is becoming more crowded and chains are dominating even local markets these days. Every advertisement should be unique to your restaurant and its strengths. Don’t copy other advertisements, instead figure out what made them so great in the first place.

– Focus On Your Customer Segment-
Young guys and girls pointing fingersYou should pick a certain segment of the market, say young professionals, and you should focus your efforts on them. Advertise on the radio stations they listen to and buy social media ad space targeting their demographic. And once you have conquered one demographic, you can start to expand to related demographics. This of it this way, if you already have a solid base of young professionals, you can expand to college students, but you probably shouldn’t target retirees.

– Have fun, be happy!-
You should try to make people laugh, smile, or otherwise get a good feeling from your ad. You should also try to convey the message that your restaurant is a fun place to be and that the staff is always happy to serve the customer.

– Get Down To Specifics-
Don’t use vague ads that leave people wondering who you are or what your restaurant sells. Get straight to the point, keep the message simple, and make sure that after people see your ad they know what your restaurant is all about. Also, stick to one promotion per ad, whether that be a happy hour or the free dessert that comes with dinner.

– Head to the Web-
The Internet is it. Yes, you should continue with print advertising, traditional mailers, and billboard space, but at the end of the day the Internet will get you the most bang for the buck. So make sure you invest some resources in online advertising.

The Different Mediums To Spread Your Message
There are numerous different channels and methods for spreading the message or promotion you are trying to convey! In the following section we will go over some of the most important ones.

-Word of Mouth Advertising-
Simply put, restaurant’s word-of-mouth promotion is the most effective way to build your brand and attract business. People trust their friends more than anyone else, including experts, so when a friend tells another friend about a great place to eat, they are likely to listen. And now, with social media “word of mouth” is being digitized!

– Online Advertising-
We’ve already told you once, but this is so important we are going to tell you again. The Internet is the next great marketing fronter. Whether it be through buying banner ad on a local news site, ad space on Facebook, or launching a special “app” for smartphones, Internet advertising is now one of the most cost effective forms of marketing available.

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– Traditional Print advertising-
Sure, print advertising is on the way out the door but it still has some advantages. For example, it’s harder to throw out a flyer than to delete an email. Besides with fewer restaurants and businesses using print advertising there’s more room to get your message across.

– TV & Radio Commercials-
TV and Radio commercials are still highly effective, even if they are often more expensive than Internet ads. Buying air time can be pricey but if you have the cash and a good commercial, the costs can be worth it. Also, you can post your commercial online and hope that it attracts some attention.

-Viral Marketing-
In some ways viral marketing is the “holy grail” of all marketing methods. Difficult to pull off and prone to failure, viral campaigns are basically hyper fast word-of-mouth campaigns that spread your message at “light speed” through social media networks marketing and the Internet. You have to come up with an extremely unique commercial, video, meme, or image for this to work and you might try 100 times and never get anything to go “viral.”

Promotions For Your Restaurant
So you have a good idea of how you want to advertise your restaurant’s promotions but aren’t quite sure yet what promotions to offer? Like just about everything else in marketing there are a lot of options! Read on to find out about some of the most effective types of promotions.

-Using Discounts and Coupons-
Perhaps the easiest and most common type of promotion, offering coupons and discounts simply means charging customers less money for their food. For example, every Tuesday you could offer “Two Dollar Off Tuesdays” or on Sundays you can have a 10 percent off coupon. You shouldn’t overuse discounts, however, because they can damage your brand value and encourage people to believe that your products are only worth it when a  coupon or discount is available.

-Giveaways, Raffles, and Other Contests-
You can host the occasional raffle or other type of contest in which you give away prizes. Prizes can range from gift certificates for your restaurant to shirts and clothing branded with your company name. When people sign up for the contest, you can ask them for their email address and if they would like to receive future promotions from you.

– Reward Programs-
Restaurant’s loyalty programs are a great way to reward your best customers. In short, you give frequent customers a discount, free item off of the menu, or other type of reward in exchange for their repeat business!

– Discount Time Periods and Happy Hours-
While happy hours are most often associated with bars, any restaurant can have their own discounted time period. For example, perhaps your restaurant is usually quite slow from 2pm to 5pm? You could offer any customers who dines within this time a 10% discount or a free soft drink with any purchased meal.

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