Being in the Food and Beverage industry almost 26 years, what I have discovered is that the success of the restaurant isn’t just the food served, its more than that. I am really passionate about my line of work, so much so I am constantly scouring the media for anything new related to the food and beverage industry. I am always searching for fresh strategies to promote my product as well as services. The internet provides you with tons of ideas and tips.
I started this Restaurant Promo Ideas blog in 2011 as a avenue to write out some of my ideas (tried as well as untried), hoping that it will help someone out there as other blogs have helped me in promoting my restaurant. Here’s a summary of my earlier post. Some might or might not be feasible to your outlet or business. Use whatever you feel is workable.
So you have a beautiful restaurant, the greatest chef, the best wine list and so on. You need to get the word out to bring the people in. You need some marketing ideas to let the people know what’s inside. And advertising on the normal media like magazines, newspapers and even brochures are not enough. Reason being is that almost everyone is doing the same things. You need to bring customers to your place by doing something different. Cause customers are the life and blood of any restaurant. If you removed the customers from your restaurant, then you are left with nothing. So how do you bring them in? In this blog are some of ideas that I have done and also some that I have seen to be successful. Read More
The World Wide Web is loaded with blogs giving you restaurant promotion ideas that you can use. Formerly if we needed creative ideas, we had to look through or purchase lots of magazines to see what others were doing. It was really time consuming and some of ideas cannot be used. Reason being you will be labeled a copycat, as the other restaurant in your area is doing the same thing. To me the World Wide Web is the greatest invention to men. You can get billions upon billions of information at your fingertips. Read More
Even if your restaurant have a chef as famous Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver, you still need to constantly come out with marketing campaigns to attract customers to your restaurant. Even those brands like Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and many other fast food chains constantly come out with marketing activities even though they are well-known. Any kid this days know who is Ronald McDonald is. Read more here
Another key point towards promoting your restaurant, is the customer service. Its how people like your outlet once they are in it. Your chef may be great, your decoration might be top class, your beverage list might extensive but if the front line is not customer friendly then people will not return. Worse of all they might give you bad reviews to anyone they meet. Nowadays bad reviews can reach more people with the help from the World Wide Web. This is the reason why you need to watch what people are saying about you. Read more here.
We had a lounge in the hotel where I worked, that was not doing too well. We hired a band during festive holidays but people still didn’t come. Furthermore the salary of the band was eating into my profits. I noticed that customers preferred watching live football matches on the big screen than listening to the band. So I stopped the band, invested in some dartboards, bought another big screen TV and converted the whole bar into a sports bar. Business was great on weekends when the hotel was full and there were live matches. Now I needed a way to get in business on the weekdays. I found out that there were quite a number of avid darters in our area. So I organized on a bi monthly basis small dart tournaments. Below are the steps I took. Read more here
There are numerous Websites or Software on the World Wide Web that can help you collect email addresses that you can use to email your latest food promotion or newsletters. But how do you get addresses from people that is already dinning in your restaurant or your function halls if they don`t have business cards. So naturally the organizers of the functions got on our mailing list. But the list was really small as we could only see a few people at one time. What we failed to see was that we had a large number of potential customers attending these functions. How to collect mailing address Read more here
If you look around, there are restaurant promotion ideas everywhere that you can use. One great media that I have mentioned my previous post Restaurant Promotion – Some Ideas from the Web is the World Wide Web. Another media that have helped me with some of my promotional ideas is what some people call “The Idiot Box“. For those that is not sure what I mean, its “The Television“. Read more here
Another great way to promote your restaurant is to be part of the community not another business but a friend or partner. Get to know what activities the local folks indulge in. If they are doing charitable events, join in. I don’t mean only financial support. You can lend a hand, stocking community food banks; revitalize neighborhood parks and many more. If you ask around, I am very sure there’s tons of a thing you can do for your community that doesn’t involve much money. You can even lend out your place for say a Blood Donation Exercise. Join in the festivities, e.g. St. Patrick’s Day Read more here
When I stay in hotels, I’ve noticed that most of the hotels give out a postcard or two in their rooms for their guest to mail to their friends. They normally put pictures of their buildings or their interiors on it. I feel that this is also a great promotional tool for a restaurant too.Read more here
A colleague gave me this idea when we were discussing how we can show our local regulars that we value their support. It was for one of our corporate gift that we give to our regulars during festivals. You can read about this in my previous post, Promoting your Restaurant through Great Customer Service. As a majority of our local regulars are Chinese Business Men who are farmers or traders by trade, we had to come out with an idea which they can use and appreciate it. So the normal corporate gift like pens, paperweights or even cardholders were out of the question. These people usually entertain their clients in our restaurants, we needed to come out with a unique corporate gift that will stand out. Read more here
Another great promotional tool that is often overlooked is your restaurant menu. Like I have mentioned in my Previous Post “Creating Great Customer Service Culture”, first impression counts. Remember that the entire menu will compliment the restaurant theme. If your menu is not appetizing to look at, people will have the same impression of your food. Most restaurants put fancy words to describe their food. But fancy words and fancy fonts to me can be a deterrent for people to order something different from what they know. Most people will not take a chance in ordering an item that they are not sure about or they might not like. Also avoid jargons or terms that only a few people can understand. I have seen some menus that are so beautiful like a works of art, a masterpiece but if your customers finds it hard to read then what’s the point. It’s like a beautifully painted house without any door, you can’t get in. Read more here
As mentioned in my previous post Promoting your Restaurant through Great Customer Service. During festivals we go around to visit our regulars, bringing gifts for them. This is to show them that we value their support. It also lets them know that we are still around. We try to give out something that represents our hotel, something different from the norm. This year we did two different giveaways. One for the local regulars and one for the room guest. Read more here