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Best Restaurant Contest Ideas to Gain Local Customers

If you use Facebook or Instagram, then you’ve most likely seen or even participated in some interesting restaurant contest ideas.

Giveaways and contests are a quick way to increase the number of local customers who like or follow your page. The more followers and loyal customers you have to your brand, the more business your restaurant will get. Other promotional ideas and restaurant marketing hacks will also increase your restaurant’s sales, but these restaurant contest ideas are a fun way to gain local customers.

5 Restaurant Contest Ideas To Gain More Local Customers:

New Menu Items

Use your most popular social media pages to open up a dialogue and conversation about a new menu item.

Ask your followers a question about what they would like to see on the menu that currently doesn’t exist. Adding new items is a great way to add diversity without getting rid of what’s working. For example, maybe you specialize in making specialty tacos and you want ideas for a new menu item. Post a question like: “Time to switch things up! We’re looking for some fresh taco ideas. Do you have a taco idea you’d really enjoy? Let us know! Post your idea in the comments, and if it looks like an item that fits our menu, we’ll name the taco after you!”

When the contest is over, you can announce the winner and the new menu item while also individually messaging everyone who participated. Doing this will increase engagement and brand awareness.

Like to Win

This is an easy one!

Choose a week where you encourage your following to like your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page to win a free dinner with a few friends (or prize of your choice).

Accounts that hold Instagram contests grow their followers 70% faster over three months, on average, than accounts that don’t. Make the prize large and set an end date to the contest to keep the giveaway focused while driving a sense of urgency. You can give smaller prizes away to multiple people so your followers feel like they have a good chance of winning. Use all of your social media channels to promote and advertise the contest to maximize participation.

Gift Card Giveaways

This contest is a little different than the previous one, in that you aren’t giving away a one-time only prize.

You can do gift card giveaways more often and at a smaller price point. For example, find the day of the week where your customers interact with your brand the most and use this to your advantage by giving away $10-$20 to the person who offers the best caption to a yummy photo of your food.

By giving a gift card, you are also rewarding someone with YOUR business, and this could lead to return customers in the future.

Tag a Friend, Instagram

Instagram is the place to find food.

It’s very rare that you scroll through your feed without seeing photo of food within a few seconds. As Instagram continues to grow, Instagram contests continue to rise rapidly in popularity. One contest that’s simple to create and easy to get participation is a “tag a friend” contest. Encourage customers to take photos of your food and tag 3 friends for the chance to win a free meal.

You can run this contest weekly or monthly to keep engagement levels up. It’s also important to stay consistent and commit to the contest so customers continue to enter and promote the contest in hopes of winning.

Instagram contests generate 65x more comments and 3.5x more likes than regular posts. So, these contests can help create a deeper relationship with local customers while also boosting your brand’s visibility.

Fun Facts

Everyone loves a little fun fact.

Post a question (customers will be able to easily answer because… Google) that directly appeals to your followers. Try not to make the question too tricky so customers don’t immediately get discouraged and don’t participate. Keep the question fun, lighthearted, and different each week. Then offer a small prize to whoever answers the question correctly first.

Activate Your Restaurant On NetWaiter

To attract more local customers and keep them informed about any contests you’re currently running, you can use NetWaiter’s marketing platform and network for free. Search for, and activate, your restaurant for free here:

NetWaiter Team

Author NetWaiter Team

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