What have we repeatedly said about restaurant marketing? That when you market your restaurants, you’re actually courting your customers—making yourself attractive, continuously finding ways to make them come to you. Intelligent marketing is a must for a restaurant business because every restaurant in town is sure to have its own set of rivals—the Wendy’s across the street, that food truck parked several blocks away, or that restaurant with the same concept as you have a mile away. Even your customers’ very own home cooked food waiting for them at home is your competition.
And there are so many restaurant marketing ideas out there—if you shall only seek them. These include an attention-grabbing signage, distribution of “catchy” flyers, giving out samples, hosting events, developing your online presence, and the thing that we’re getting at today: getting yourself into positive public relations stunts (you can read Top 6 Restaurant Marketing Ideas for more details.)
As RestaurantNews.com pointed out in its article Restaurant Strategies for a Tough Economy, today’s economy makes it all the more important for restaurants to promote their services. Eating out, as we have come to realize, has become a luxury, and there’s always an ongoing battle as to where that precious dollar will be spent on.
While there are marketing efforts that entail costs, the good news is that there are also those that do not need to be expensive at all. “Restaurants really need to promote themselves, sell the benefits that they are offering,” said Troy Brackett, proprietor of RestaurantNews.com. “And we’ve been helping them do just that for the past 12 years through press releases—we promote their news, allow them to gain exposure and let them grow their customer base.”
And that’s certainly true! It really doesn’t matter how big or how small your restaurant is—you can always make good use of a press release to promote your restaurant. Promote, gain exposure and increase your customer base. A good press is one of the best ways to bring in the crowd—people want to mingle with those who appear, or have appeared, in the papers. Newspapers and magazines, after all, are continually seeking for anything newsworthy that could take up the spaces in their pages, and the costs to get a feature, or even a catchy press release, are usually very minimal. In some locations, all it would cost you is a free dinner specially prepared by your top chefs in their smart chef hats, or a complimentary gift certificate at your restaurant.
The ideas are endless. If you’ve been following this site for sometime now, you’ll know that we keep giving you ideas using current news as examples—how Dunkin’ Donuts welcomed the new year with a Twitter contest, Arby’s No-Kid-Hungry campaign, Olive Garden’s annual writing contest, Cracker Barrel’s electric car chargers, Applebee’s Thank-You Movement for the military, how Domino’s mascot Noid came back once again to campaign for an on-going promotion, how Subway went green, and so many others. You can also talk about interesting facts about your founders, like what KFC did when they talked about Colonel Sanders, or some interesting plans that you have for your restaurant, like Domino’s plans to have a branch on the moon, extreme as it may seem (but then publicity is still publicity, right?).
RestaurantNews thinks that product launches and new menu selections done by your chefs in great-looking chef hats are great ideas, too. You can talk about your Facebook or Twitter promotions; your new restaurant model; some community service events that you are involved in; some charitable donations you have made; your restaurant’s celebrations—like an anniversary or a food celebration; holiday and special events promotions; or you can even feature personnel promotions and advancement.
Endless, right? What’s important is that you are continually creating a buzz—making yourself relevant in the eyes of your customers and your community. So go have a brainstorm with your creative marketing team (or if you still don’t still have it, it’s high time to form one), rack your brains out for some interesting, newsworthy stuff, and start getting that helpful publicity for your restaurant.