Trying to come up with some quick ways to engage with your customers? Try these quick five unique restaurant promotion ideas:
1. Engage Local Food Bloggers
Promoting your restaurant doesn’t happen alone. Utilizing the community and important local influencers can help a restaurant get ahead of the game. Some of the most experienced individuals in the restaurant industry are local food bloggers. According to TechnoratiMedia, blogs are the third most influential digital resource people use when making purchases, just behind retail and brand sites. Before reaching out to a food blogger, do the research to find the best fit for your restaurant. You also want to make sure that you are comfortable teaming up with this individual for fun and engaging marketing content. You can brainstorm ideas with the food blogger – maybe giving them exclusive insight into a new menu item or an upcoming food festival that you are going to be a part of – anything that will excite their readers.
2. Use Reviews To Motivate Potential Customers
Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing. According to a Nielsen study, 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than they do advertising. Customers are also more confident when they read reviews on a product. Take the time to set up a process that will encourage customers to review your restaurant. While you might be cringing at the thought of this idea (merely for the fact that you might receive bad reviews), it is important to put the decision-making process into the hands of your customers. Consider having a landing page on your restaurant’s website that pops up, asking a visitor to review the restaurant (with a receipt as proof), to receive 20% off their next order. Not only will this encourage a customer to write about their experience for others, it will also increase the amount of reviews your restaurant has as a result. Having lots of positive reviews can bring in new customers. On the flip side, negative reviews do exist, but it shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. It’s always important that brands remember to always be open to constructive criticism, and accept it as an opportunity to improve.
3. Partner with Like-Minded Businesses and Cross-Promote Each Other
Find a local business that you want to support and shares your restaurant’s demographic to team up with. This partnership could add trust, value, and growth to your restaurant simply by creating a friendship with another business owner. For example, you might have a local brewery that doesn’t provide food but has amazing beer. Work with the brewery owner to create a special brew-for-two deal from you to them, and a BOGO (buy one beer, get one meal 10% off) for you. Customers will pick up on the idea pretty quickly that you and the brewery owner are working together. The expectancy of the relationship could grow into something bigger down the road, if successful. It is a powerful and inexpensive approach to generate more sales and expand the marketing efforts of your restaurant.
4. Promote User-Generated Content
According to the Nielsen Consumer Trust Index, 92% of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than they trust traditional advertising.
Keeping this statistic in mind, you should come up with a fun and creative way to take content that is created by your customers and promote it. You can have a ton of fun coming up with an innovative way to engage your customers. Do you need a name for a new menu item? Run a “Name that sandwich!” contest. Are you willing to give away $50 worth of food? Encourage customers to post funny photos, tagging your restaurant, and pick the funniest photo as the winner. Running familiar engagement events such as contests and giving away prizes like gift cards can increased traffic through social media, local newspapers, and word of mouth.
5. Leverage a Popular Event
Restaurants promote new menu items and/or special deals around the holidays to entice customers to buy a specific specialty item. Is it fall? Look out for any and all pumpkin-flavored food. Did it begin snowing? Say hello to peppermint everything! There are other ways to get creative around a special event. If your city has a big football game coming up, you could run a special deal where customers can bring in their game day ticket if the team wins. Will Phil see his shadow, and are we going to have 6 more weeks of winter? Post the question online and have customers vote to get 20% off their next order. Utilize an event that appeals to many customers for it to make the greatest impact for your restaurant.