There’s no question that word of mouth, a good location, and of course, great food and service can give a restaurant’s business a big boost. However, successful restaurant operators know that effective marketing is a necessary component of attracting and retaining customers. Here are four restaurant promotion ideas to try out now.
1. Loyalty rewards. Everybody loves rewards, so using loyalty offers to reward customers who visit your restaurant makes perfect sense. Make it easy for consumers to opt in to your loyalty rewards program. Using loyalty technology is the key here—make signing up, checking points, understanding how to earn rewards and easy redemption all a part of the plan.
To make your restaurant stand out, use data from your point of sale (POS) system to understand your customers better and give rewards that will resonate with them. Are your most loyal customers your weekend Happy Hour crowd? Let them earn a reward for returning week after week that they can redeem after work on a Friday night. Don’t forget to make sure the loyalty component of the offer still results in a worthwhile return on investment (ROI) for your restaurant. It may not pay for you to offer a free appetizer after the purchase of two, but it may result in ROI after the purchase of five.
2. Bundles and fixed-price offerings. Consumers love discounts, which makes bundles and fixed-price offerings a great restaurant marketing tool. You might bundle together several higher-margin offerings or pair a higher-margin menu item, like a popular bottle of wine, with a moderately priced steak. Alternatively, create a fixed-price menu that features one or two extras customers typically wouldn’t order. Then, discount the total by 10% to 20%.
POS system data will be a big help as you put together bundles or fixed-price offerings. Review sales information and inventory reports to see which top-sellers would create irresistible nights out for your customers.
3. Promotions built around events and causes. Make your restaurant the go-to place when your customers are looking for a place to celebrate an event. If your customers are looking for a place to watch World Series Game 7 or the Super Bowl, create a party atmosphere and offer specials that are too irresistible for them to stay home.
Also look for opportunities to center promotions on awareness days or to support charitable causes. You’ll help build customer loyalty with your desire to give back to the community and by supporting causes your customers care about.
4. Holiday promotions. Promotions during the holiday season from November to January are popular and often effective, but how about restaurant promotion ideas that deal with holidays at different times of the year? Have you held a Halloween costume contest or a couple’s night on Valentine’s Day that includes an activity like wine tasting or a painting class? There is a year’s worth of holidays to provide you with inspiration for unique promotions.
The more actively and creatively you market your restaurant to your target audience, the more it will stand out from the competition. Build your business with promotions that aren’t just cost-saving for your customers, but experience-creating destinations they won’t want to miss.