How to Market your Menu

How to Market your New Menu



Menu-front-page-150x150So you have created your restaurant menu, now you have to market it. You have to let people out there know about your menu and your chef. You need to create a buzz and you need to keep advertising even though you have been long in the market. You might think that you are already well known but with all the new products flooding the market these days, customers might miss you out. That’s why big brands like KFC, McDonalds and other fast food chains spend millions on advertisements yearly. Eventhough people know them. Below are some ways that I use to promote my menu. Hope its of some help.

1. Advertise your menu

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The first and important thing you have to do is to advertise in the mainstream media that you have a new menu.You may need to fork out some money but this will help to create awareness to your restaurant. As mentioned earlier even big restaurants do it.These will include advertisements in newspapers, flyers, banners and brochures. You can also seek help from your staff to help you hand out the flyers around town. My staff was happy to do it for me. If you have a higher budget you can advertise on the radio or tv. Make sure you write something interesting or use an eye catching pictures. Try to go away from the norm, otherwise people will pass it by cause its just another advertisement.

2. Invite the local media to taste your new menu

You can advertise in the newspaper or magazines as mentioned above. You can also go a step further by inviting some reporters to sample your menu. It is always well worth considering inviting the media to your restaurant. To do this you must be really sure that you are ready. You wouldn’t want to make a fool of yourself to the people who is going to write about you. You need to put your best foot forward. I suggest you run your menu for one month to work out any hiccups that might occur before calling the press. When you are ready, then only call the press. If you are inviting only a few media people then call up some friends to dine at your place, so the place will look good not like a haunted restaurant.

3. Invite your local bloggers.
These days it’s not only the professional food critics that people listen to for advice. Consumers search the internet on information on your place. A recent survey that was done by the hotel I work of how people got to know about our hotel was 45% said that they knew about us from the internet, 40 % was from friends and 4% from the newspaper and magazines. These will show you the power of the internet. Bloggers have their own set of followers and these followers listen to them. Look around at websites of local bloggers. A good way to start is to search for blogs about your competitors, follow them and see what they write. Whether it suits your style. Also note how many folllowers they have. But a word of caution most bloggers write the truth because they have a reputation to uphold to their followers. If your item is not good, don’t feature it or you might get some nasty reviews. Once you get a positive review, you can share it with your customers, post it on your site and on your blog and Twitter and Facebook pages.

4. Pictures sell.
In my former hotel where I worked, we created menus with pictures in it. After printing the menus, I used the pictures and created posters of individual food items. Each food item had a catchy tag line like “Sinful Pleasures” for desserts, “What a Hunk of Beef “ for beef burgers and “Get Curried Away” for curry dishes. We noticed that customers is more likely to order a dish when he or she sees a picture. So when we needed to clear a slow moving item, we just put a poster of the item. But you need to take mouthwatering shots of your food. Search the net for ideas on mouthwatering images. Follow suit.

5. Upload on your Facebook, Twitter or othe social sites.
Nowadays most business are using the social media like Facebook or Twitter to promote their company or products. If you don’t have a Facebook sites its best to create one. Its really easy. You must put important information under the Info tab which includes your restaurant’s location, directions, hours of operation and Web address. You can even put your menu in your facebook site. You also need to let your customers know that you have a Facebook site that they can be friends with. This is done by giving out cards with your Facebook address out to everyone. Apart from that you need to also keep your site updated and attractive. Here is when you can get more creative, with the help of the pictures. You can upload the pictures on your site every two days. Do this after you have uploaded your menu. You can feature not just pictures of your dishes, but also the recipe or a video of the chef demostrating how to cook the dish. You can also feature interviews with your customers. Constantly add interesting things, not only trying to sell your product. If you have interesting article on your Facebook page, people will be interested to be friends with.

6.Email
Even though emailing out newsletters or product update is nothing new within the internet world, it is still a great way to build awareness of your new menu to existing and new customers. You won’t have to worry about spamming if your customers give you their email address. Normally when someone has given you their email, they are already interested in your place. This gives you a chance to entice them with special offers or highlight to them your new menu. I have wrote in my post “Restaurant Promo Ideas #6- Collect Mailing Address ” on ways to get email address from your customers.

7. Create Videos
The use of videos in marketing is still largely underestimated. There is a huge audience on sites like YouTube. Imagine nowadays an aspiring singer can land a huge contract by just a music video on You Tube. But video marketing can also be used as a restaurant marketing tool. You can post your Chef in action, a tutorial on how to set a table or prepare a cocktail. Don’t forget to add your link at the bottom. If you video is good and it might go viral and then alot of people will know about your restaurant.

These are some of the ways of promoting your menu. If you located at a busy intersection you can hand out sample of your food for people walking by. Do dropby for more Restaurant Promo Ideas.

 

Restaurant Promo Ideas #15:- Halloween Specials

Halloween Theme Party


Halloween like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day is another festival that is currently being commerlized by businesses especially those related to Food and Beverage. Instead of doing it on the Halloween day like most establishments, we held our ipromotion for a week and on the Halloween’s Day we made it really grand. As with most of my promotions in this blog, below is a simple account on how we organised our Halloween Week. Hope if it will be of some help for your establishment.

Halloween Cocktails

First of all we needed to have cocktails. A word of advise when creating cocktails for promotions, avoid using heavy juices, cream or milk. Reason being these heavy juices will make your customers full, therefore they will avoid ordering another one. Also don’t make too strong, as customers will be too drunk to order another. You can search the World Wide Web for cocktail ideas. What I normally do when searching for ideas for a promotions is to go to any site even ones that talks about how to organise Hallooween parties at home. Some of the ideas can be used or modified to suit your establishment. A great site that I happen to come across is www.endlesssimmer.com. Just click here to view it www.endlesssimmer.com.There’s one interesting cocktail called the Brain Hemmorage.
You don’t even have to purchase expensive garnishes, you can create some with simple things around. Just buy cookie cutter shaped like a ghost or skeleton. Cut thin slices of honeydew melon or other fruit that doesn’t break easily that is white or cream in colour. Use the cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Create dark red cocktails and float a ghostly garnish on top of it. The www.endlesssimmer.com website have a granish that is created from lychee, black olives and some red food colouring to make eye balls. Its really gross and simple to do.

Halloween Decorations

There is alot of Hallooween decorations for home websites that you can use. Just choose your theme. You don’t have to do the normally ghostly house, just do something different. As our Pub had a Pirate Theme, we chose the Theme from the Flying Dutchman of the Pirates of the Carribean Series. The entrance was shaped like a scene from a ghostly pirate cave. Staff was dressed in Ghostly Pirate Costumes. We even played ghostly piped organ music. Just think what’s your theme is and search the web. You can even go a step furtherby offering a discount to anyone that comes dressed as the theme. Try this website for some ideas http://tlc.howstuffworks.com.

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Halloween Games
To add more fun to your promotion just add some fun games. Listed below are sites where you can find some interesting pub games to try. If you have an adult pub (what I mean is if your clientele are mainly adults not families), then add some games for couples to make it fun. We had a couple game where we tied a large sausage in the middle and hung it up. Each couple had to start eating at each end. the couple that finished the sausage is the winner. Another was the toilet seat toss. We put a road cone on the dance floor measured the distance and gave three toilet seat for the guest to throw into the cone. the winner is the one with the highest number of toilet seats around the cone.
Or you can also watch sme game show like a gameshow using household items “A Minute to Win It”. You can search the show on YouTube. I found it to be really interesting and simple to organise.

Halloween Flyers
I my last post Free Restaurant Templates, I found a website that has a great Halloween poster. The website is called http://www.menutemplates.org. They have a eent menu templates that you can redesign to suit your promotion. You can also add anyone that comes dressed as in a Halloween Costume will get drinks at a special price.

Theme Parties are fun to do. It also will create a buzz on the social networks when guest post their pictures or write something in their blog on the fun they had in your place. Do drop by often for more Restaurant Promo Ideas.

Restaurant Marketing Ideas


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. Try not to use the same methods always; even Sun Tzu mentioned this in his Art of War manual around 512 BC. It goes like this “Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.” Chapter VI. WEAK POINTS AND STRONG. Verse 28. Below is a continuation from my first marketing idea post.

Restaurant Idea #3. Discount Summon Flyers

Every year for the Ramadan, we do a daily buffet to celebrate the breaking of fast. One year our Hotel Manager said he wanted something different than the norm. So we decorated the coffeehouse to look like a traditional Malay Village with a buffet of local traditional dishes. As usual I search the web for ideas on ways to attract customers to our Ramadan break fast buffet. I found a blog where someone posted a crazy idea done by another restaurant, which was a flyer that looked like a police summon. That’s what is so great about the web, its loaded with information. So I created flyers to look like Police Summons. (It was not exactly the same). The summons gave the bearer a 20% discount on a single bill upon presentation of the flyer. Make sure you check with your local enforcement whether you can use this idea. As for us we did it with a road safety campaign as everyone goes back to their hometown for the Eid ul-Fitr festival. The police normally did road blocks to distribute flyers on road safety. So we were also there giving out this flyers together with their safety campaign leaflets. We also gave out mini hampers with dates and goodies in it for every ten cars that were stopped. With this we saw a 20% increase in the revenue for the buffet. Sometimes we received calls making reservations where the caller jokingly said that they were summoned.

Going the Extra Mile :-Simple way of stopping wobbly restaurant tables

In my restaurant I hate seeing pieces of serviettes, paper or coasters placed under my restaurant tables, to stop it from wobbling. If you are like me, try this simple and cheap method. Slice wine corks and place them below the legs of wobbling table. Your table won’t be wobbly, won’t have unsightly paper sticking out from under it and your guest will be happy to enjoy their meal. Keep some on standby. Customer satisfaction is another good way to market your restaurant.

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