Taking food photograph by mobile smart phone, and sharing on social media, social network with notification icons

Marketing Solutions

Develop content your target audience enjoys or needs, based on their interests. The content can appeal to their personal or professional lives. It can be informative or entertaining, or both. It can spark their intellect or touch their hearts. However, you play it, choose a subject matter that makes sense—that engages the consumer and advances the brand. Also, consider localizing the content to the stations where it will air. Listeners’ ears are attracted to local references. Products that position themselves as part of the community earn loyalty and are remembered.

Email Newsletters

  • Remember, your restaurant newsletter doesn’t have to be weekly – in fact, users will probably appreciate a less flooded inbox if you simply send them a newsletter every month or so.
  • Use your email newsletter as a chance to celebrate your success, discuss new menu items, or share special discounts. Need some email newsletter templates or layouts? No problem!

Food Blogging

  • Starting your own blog is a great way to build community and engage with your customers. Blogs offer the chance to experiment with your restaurant’s voice and personality. 
  • Share your successes and struggles, funny stories, recipes, and anything else you think might interest your customers.
  • A blog can be a huge project, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your blog as simple or complex as you’d like. You don’t have to be constantly posting (quality over quantity)
  • It’s good to have your restaurant blog set up for when you have an announcement or news you want to get out to the world. 
  • When you’re a new restaurant, you may find it difficult to generate reviews and hype about your business. 
  • One great way to get reviews and press on the web is to invite food bloggers to your restaurant to give you a try, and consider offering a free meal or appetiser to get them in the door. 
  • Politely ask if they’d be willing to review your restaurant and share their experience online.
  • You can’t outright ask for a positive review, as that would be dishonest, but it’s fine to simply ask them for an objective restaurant review. 
  • Some bloggers might decline your offer, but the more you ask, the better your chances are of getting some positive feedback and generating more interest online.
  • Some food bloggers have big followings, and getting their attention can have a huge influence on your restaurant. Even just one write-up or mention from a major foodie can be huge for restaurant promotion efforts.
  • There is always one person who just loves to complain. Little things like their chair squeaking or the bar tender’s haircut – but it’s important that you validate their feedback.
  • It might be somebody’s fourth silly complaint for the month, but this is not an opportunity for you to give them a piece of your mind. Responding to their criticism in a meaningful and friendly way is a powerful tool for your reputation.
  • A good idea is to set up a Google Alert for your business name so you’ll be notified immediately when someone mentions your name on the internet.
  • Returning customers will always be your best customers, so by looking after them, you will see familiar faces filling tables consistently every night.
  • You may even wish to attract a complainer back in with a small offer. It also shows your other customers that you care a great deal about making it right. Which of course, you do. Doing the right thing will always keep your customers returning customers which provides you with the bulk of your income. Keep them!

Get an App

  • Partnering up with online food apps should definitely be a consideration as part of your restaurant marketing plan.
  •  Partnering with online apps encourages visitors to check out your restaurant through customer loyalty programs, which offer visitors a free purchase or discount for visiting a certain number of times.
  • You could also kick it old school and hand out punch cards. They aren’t quite as cool as apps, but they still show that you value customers and appreciate their loyalty!

Keep it fresh. If possible, content should change daily. No one listens to the same newscast or sportscast over again. Repeating content will suggest to listeners they may be hearing advertising and generate the same negative result.

High-quality Instagram Photos

  • If you’ve ever logged onto Instagram, you’ll understand that food porn is alive and well.
  • Arguably the very best way to promote your restaurant online is with high-quality, drool-inducing photos. 
  • Visual content is in high demand online these days, and having delicious-looking photos on your website and across various social media outlets is essential for drawing hungry eyes.
  • Consider hiring a pro to take some top-notch photographs, or try it DIY style with your smartphone. 
  • Be warned though – taking really great food photos can be tougher than it looks, as lighting is often a key factor. 
  • Learn more about snapping your own A+ food photos in this Gizmodo article. 
  • For most restaurants, local is the name of the game. Most folks are looking for good eats close to home, and you’ll get the most value out of your online marketing efforts by investing primarily in geo-targeted ads. Geo-targeting ads help you save money, ensuring that only users in certain cities or within a specific radius see your ads (eliminating non-relevant clicks, which can cost you big ad bucks).
  • Many online advertising services, from Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) to Facebook and Twitter, offer geo-targeting ad options (at no extra cost). Be sure to take advantage of these handy targeting features to get your best ads in front of your best customers.
  • Find A Venue Where Your Target Audience Will Have Specific Wants Or Needs.
  • Exclude Locations Where Your Target Audience Will Not Be.
  • Define A Radius By Distance Or Time Around Your Store Or An Area Of Interest.
  • One concern with specific targeting is the loss in volume of the audience. Even if you have an otherworldly 10% click-through rate, that’s just 10 click-throughs if only 100 people see your ad.
  • Use Location-Specific Keywords For Paid Search Ads.
  • Predict Your Audience By Geography.
  • Discover Location Intent By Search History.
  • Analyse Consumer Behaviour And Preference From Past Locations Visited.
  • Use Location-Specific Landing Pages To Provide Relevant Content.
  • Take Advantage Of Geographic Specific Events.
  • Having a strong Instagram presence is another semi-obvious (but too important to ignore) restaurant marketing tip. Use Instagram to promote your business’ best visual content.
  • Show off your storefront, get up close with your top dishes, and use this social media main stage as a place to play around with your brand identity. For example, an all-natural health food store might try snapping pics of people kayaking, cooking, farming, or other activities you think your fan base will enjoy.
  • Also, be sure to have some fun with hashtags – whether jumping on the hype of existing popular Twitter hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday or inventing your own, hashtags are a great way to have some fun with fans.
  • Instagram is a no-brainer for those in the food business – learn even more about Instagram marketing here.

Be mindful of the balance between product messaging and real content. Honest, solid information will set up the product message much better than a disguised effort to make a self-serving advertisement sound like an editorial. Content should not be commercial-sounding. Overly produced or too much brand sell tells listeners they are hearing an ad and they will tune it out. Think native advertising, not advertorials. Remember, content needs to be of real value if it’s going to be accepted.

Local Newspaper

  • Another major restaurant marketing tip – when you’re mentioned in a news outlet or magazine, be sure to show off your good publicity on your website and via social media. Fans will spread the word, and newcomers will be encouraged to visit in person when they see trusted sources celebrating your restaurant.
  • We’re not exactly talking charity here, but those people down the street, working in those offices or mowing their lawns in the surrounding suburbs – they’re your customers. They just don’t know it yet.
  • Engage them with a special Tuesday discount for locals, or provide vouchers to the local little league.
  • Get involved in the local social media conversations and be seen helping out where you can. Did somebody’s car gets broken into? Offer them a hot meal.
  • How many new customers do you think you could get by being seen as a pillar of the community?
  • How often would your regular customers tell their colleagues, family, and friends that their restaurant is the local best in the area? Invest your time in your community and they will repay you with full tables.
  • This is a great way of engaging in your community, networking with local businesses, and even hosting events at your restaurant.
  • You should also be able to get a link on their website which Google will love to see.
  • Again, this is about becoming a part of the fabric of your community, and in turn, being the favoured restaurant of your community. This will make you a much busier restaurant and give you more revenue
  • Despite the huge changes in technology in recent years, it’s likely that your local newspapers and radio stations are still going strong.
  • Therefore this is one of those restaurant marketing ideas and trends that are important to keep you relevant in your community.
  • Place an ad with an attractive offer, give vouchers to the radio station as prizes, or if you’re brave, invite somebody to review your restaurant.
  • It’s All About The Target Audience
  • Local Magazines Are A Better Print Option
  • Any Ad Not Spurring Extreme Emotion Isn’t Worth It
  • If It’s Relevant To The Target, Leverage It
  • Yes, When Combined With Online Opportunities
  • Certain Types Of Ads Work Better In Print
  • A Deciding Factor Is a Liability
  • It’s Time To Move On
  • The Medium Should Fit The Message
  • It Depends On Your Target Audience
  • There Is Opportunity If An Omnichannel Solution Is Offered
  • It Is Not Worth The ROI
  • It’s All About Balance And Engagement
  • What Can’t Be Tracked Can’t Be Measured
  • Where There Are Eyeballs, There Are Ad Opportunities

Take the title sponsorship of content. Title sponsorships tell consumers the sponsor is providing the content and taking ownership of it, not simply buying it from someone else and lending its name to it. Title sponsorships will lead to better recall of the brand, as well as of the connection between the content and what it is you want to communicate about your brand.

Local Schools

  • Run a back-to-school program.
  • Is the local school doing a production? Why not offer a discount for ticket holders for dinner after the show? 
  • Create fun and entertainment and be unique.
  • If there is a local parade, there’ll be a crowd; entice them in with a themed drink or meal to celebrate to occasion. 
  • Ensure ease of access.
  • If you spent a little time each week checking your local Facebook events page, how many local events do you think you could take advantage of?
  • We’re betting at least a few events, and over 200 extra customers a week that need food and refreshment.
  • In the past, you would have had to hire an expensive restaurant marketing agency. Traditional restaurant marketing companies are just that though – traditional. But as you’ve probably noticed, the trend in this list is the internet allowing things to be possible that weren’t before. Hire someone who knows social media.
  • Get schools or classes to challenge each other with fundraiser events.
  • Get the teachers to cook the food and the student council to act as waitrons. Students will bring their parents to join in the fun.

Promote the content on-air and extend it online. Content should be promoted continuously by the radio station with the appropriate brand and call-to-action language. Content should also be repurposed on-brand digital and social properties as well as on station digital and social assets. This will extend the content’s reach to all platforms on which radio listeners engage.


  • Support local radio stations
  • The instore radio station of chain stores
  • Leverage endorsements of menu items
  • Create a jingle
  • Competitions
  • Promote specials
  • Host events
  • Do live broadcasts
  • Read customer testimonials
  • Introduce employees
  • Real people testimonials
  • Customise content do not just become generic
  • Ensure your add is first and not in a que of a few
  • Choose the market you are speaking to
  • Analyse the demographics well

Set Up a Google Account

  • When you search a business within Google, Google’s Knowledge Graph provides the business’s details in the sidebar. Google’s Knowledge Graph gathers a large chunk of its info from Google+, so having your business set up on Google+ is a huge bonus, as having your restaurant appear via Google’s Knowledge Graph allows for more prime search real estate (for free)!
  • Google Alerts notify you when your business name (or other designated keyword term) appears in a new piece of content on the web! This makes it easy to keep tabs on who is talking about you and your accolades. (If Google Alerts aren’t working for you, try to use Mention, another web monitoring application.)
  • Users love to do research online before ordering from or visiting your restaurant. Don’t make users scramble to find your menu – publish a high-quality, easy-to-read menu that is up to date and accurate. Not sure how? Some delivery sites like those mentioned below offer to publish your menu online for free.
  • Still, you’ll want to make sure to have your menu published on your website, since that’s often the #1 piece of information users are looking for when visiting your site (along with hours, location, and contact info).
  • If you don’t have a good menu online and available for customers, most of your other restaurant marketing strategies are basically useless! In this day and age customers need to have access to an online menu, otherwise, they’ll simply look elsewhere.
  • In today’s online-driven environment, ease of use is the name of the game. Many online delivery services streamline the ordering process, and internet-savvy patrons often love taking advantage of such delivery services.
  • Consider partnering with services like:
  • Eat24
  • Mr.Delivery
  • Uber Eats
  • Some customers may even discover you for the first time through services such as these.
  • One fine dining restaurant marketing idea is to consider signing up for Dineplan. Dineplan is an online reservation tool that lets customers book reservations for your establishment online! Patrons love it when you make life a bit easier for them, and Dineplan already has a base of loyal customers you can tap into.

Social Media Presence

Provide a comfortable environment. Don’t put them in a studio in front of a microphone. Don’t put them in front of a camera. These things can affect how people speak and sound. They become self-conscious of what they are saying. In radio, there’s the benefit of being able to create an intimate environment, whether it’s over the phone or over a cup of coffee.

Use real people. Not actors portraying real people. So many advertisers try to fool consumers with fake real people. They think they are getting closer to the open, honest approach that appeals to today’s consumers, but instead, they are creating a campaign that only smacks of real people. It isn’t really real. And consumers can tell the difference.

Let them talk about your brand in their own words. Don’t try to script them. Let them say what they honestly think about the product, why they like it, and how and when they use it. These are the details that make a testimonial authentic and relatable. Also, don’t edit the testimonials to death. Leave in “ers” and “us” and pauses. It will sound more natural.

Use local people. People most trust other people who they feel are similar to themselves. A regional accent, a reference to a local place, a colourful turn of phrase from local parlance—these are the things that give a testimonial extra credibility in the minds of listeners.

  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  • Strong consistent presence
  • Manage these accounts well, vouchers, discounts, specials, delivery options
  • Have your nap name, address, phone number consistent on the net, eaters research 89% of the time before they dine out
  • Social media brand identity
  • Know your guest, communicate consistently and sell them what they want
  • 50% paid clicks on google will be from mobile, ensure your presence there
  • Google adds allows for customization
  • Consistently blog and have your nap listed all over, now you will rank higher on google searches
  • Understand your audience and what they want
  • Build your brand around your customs needs
Marius Joubert
Author: Marius Joubert

Founder of Restauranthub.co the first true community for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top