11 Foolproof Ways to Market Your Restaurant

11 Foolproof Ways to Market Your Restaurant

The restaurant industry can be incredibly competitive, making it difficult to catch the attention of your ideal customers. However, there are a couple of easy marketing tools you can easily implement to get people in your doors. 

Define Your Identity

Before you dive into marketing tactics, it is important to define who you are as a restaurant. Are you casual? Are you fine dining? What type of cuisine do you have? What drinks do you serve? Finding clarity in your identity is key to attracting your target audience. In marketing, it is important to consistently resonate with your target audience, which is impossible if you don’t know who you are. 

Visual Appeal

In any advertisement or content you release, the first thing people will notice is your visuals. If you do not have high-quality photos and videos of your food and beverages, people are not going to want to come in and try it. Oftentimes, people order things based on how they look, so make sure your images are both accurate and enticing. 

Keep it Fresh 

Keeping things fresh is key! Even if you obtain a large local following for your restaurant, people are going to get bored. To avoid this, spice up your offerings. Regularly update your menu, introduce nightly specials, or host seasonal events to keep your audience engaged and excited to visit your restaurant. 

Brand Your Team

People like to connect with people and are more likely to visit your restaurant if they are familiar with your team. Instead of always posting your food and drinks, mix it up and post about your employees. Putting faces behind your work will humanize your brand and build connections with your audience. 

Social Media

Maintain an active presence on social media platforms by sharing content multiple times a week. Instead of simply posting a dish with a basic caption, create a story of how that dish was created or what the cultural history behind it is. Post your employees, post your events, and post your customers. Show the whole story of what goes on in your restaurant, not just the food. 

Social Ads

Using social ads is an incredible way to increase the reach across your area. By using the geo-targeting feature on Facebook Ads Manager, you can select the exact area your target audience resides in. Plus, if you live in a touristy area, you will appear on their social media when they travel to your area. 


One of the most important things to prioritize as a restaurant is your Google, Yelp, and Trip Advisor reviews. People who travel to your area will look at these three sites when deciding where they want to go out to eat, so having positive reviews will entice them to visit you.

Responding to reviews is almost as important as the reviews themselves! This shows first-time viewers that you care about the feedback from your customers. For good reviews, thank the person for taking the time to leave a review and tell them you hope to see them again soon. For bad reviews, kindly explain your side of the situation without apologizing. Most people will exaggerate the situation or simply lie about what happened. Do not apologize to any bad review. Instead, provide an email address or phone number that they can call if they want to continue the conversation. 90% of the time people will not call or email you. 

Events Outside of Your Restaurant

Participate in local events to strengthen your ties and build connections in the community. For example, if a local charity is putting on a parade, have your restaurant provide a float; if there is a local music festival, have your restaurant attend as a food vendor; etc. By developing relationships within the community, you entice people to want to come in and support your restaurant. 

Events in Your Restaurant

Hosting in-house events at your restaurant is one of the best ways to get people in your doors. If you are a casual restaurant, partner with a local high school sports team for a fundraising night and donate a percentage of the proceeds to the team. For fine-dining restaurants, partner with a local charity or organization and host a fundraising wine dinner. 

If you have the space, host a cooking or cocktail-making night where people can buy tickets and attend with their friends. 

Email Marketing

Build a local customer base by collecting the email addresses of patrons who come into your restaurant. Consider offering an incentive such as a free appetizer or dessert when signing up for your email list. Make it easy for them by placing a QR code at each table with the offer and ensure that the servers point it out to each customer. 

Once you have an email list, send out one or two emails a month showcasing whatever specials, events, or other happenings are going on for the month at your restaurant. These emails will keep your restaurant fresh in people’s minds without blowing up their inboxes. 

Text Campaigns

Recently gaining popularity, text campaigns can be another way to reach your target audience. However, we recommend using these sparingly for special occasions or offers. Keep them short, fun, and lighthearted to keep your audience engaged. 

Successful restaurant marketing is a blend of creativity, consistency, and community engagement. By learning and understanding what works best for you and your restaurant, you can cultivate a loyal customer base and ensure long-term success for your restaurant.

Want to dig a little deeper into restaurant marketing? Listen to the full How To Market Your Restaurant Podcast episode! 

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