You don’t have to make 100k a week to be able to market yourself. Here are 5 basic marketing ideas for small restaurants.
1. Social Media
This is one of the most powerful tools to market a business. It’s cost-effective, easy to do and can really help to spread the word about your business. In fact, the biggest investment you’ll need to make is your time. All you need to do is set up an Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account for your restaurant, then regularly post relevant content and you’ll see a huge increase in bums on seats.
Attract customers by sharing pictures of your menu items on social media but make sure they look good. Don’t just post for the sake of it.
Here’s a simple tip to get your social media marketing efforts rolling in full swing: Once you set up profiles for your business, encourage your personal friends and family members to ‘Like’ your page. By doing so, in essence, your friends will be telling their friends about your restaurant, and their friends will tell their friends and so on. From this, the more people who hear about your business, the more customers you will see in your restaurant.
Blogging is a very effective way to advertise your restaurant and stay on budget. You don’t have to spend hours on it; just a basic blog that features fresh, relevant and attractive content (pictures of your food, upcoming events, new menu items, etc.).
Promote your blog on your website and on your social media profiles.
3. Google Places
This mapping service allows Google users to easily find a business within their local area. It’s quick and easy to do, and it’s very budget friendly. Give people a feel for the type of experience they will have at your restaurant.
Set up Google Places and anyone in your local area who is looking for a place to eat will be able to instantly see your restaurant when they do a Google search.
4. Sponsor a charity event
The beneficiary of these events are the things the charity needs for their cause and you get exposure for helping out. This is one of the best ways for restaurants to give back to the community and to raise their profile with the residents.
Your local Chamber of Commerce often knows about all the local charity events. Ask if they need catering or some kind of food provided for any of the events. Instead of paying for marketing you pay for the cost of the food, but the only other cost is your time and staff working the event.
If you’re really small or just starting out, look for smaller events so you don’t overspend on the food costs and your time.
5. Partner With Other Local Business
The goal is to find complementary businesses that need food for an event or for something they’re doing. You can offer to provide the food in exchange for exposure to their audience.
Potential partners include:
• Radio Stations
• TV Stations
• Car Dealerships
• Sports Arenas
6. Local PR
Points #4 and #5 go hand in hand with this last point, which is to connect with the local press in your area. They have large audiences that will want to come to your restaurant once they know you exist.
If you’re doing something for charity or if you’re having an event, always reach out to the local radio, TV and newspaper outlets. Let them know what’s going on and offer to give them a story that will be interesting to their readers.
Once you have contacts at each of the outlets, keep their contact information on hand (phone numbers, emails, etc.), so you can easily get back in touch later on.
Try these out and see for yourself how powerful these points are!
For more tips, check out our Restaurant Marketing Guide