Tips to Market a New Restaurant

Anyone who owns and operates a restaurant knows that it takes more than making good food to bring customers in. The next important step is to tell the public about your tasty items.

    National restaurant chains have it easier. They have an entire corporate team to arrange billboard ads, newspaper inserts (with coupons), not to mention TV, radio, and internet promos. It’s the little guys-pizza joints, chicken fryers, food trucks, ice cream parlors-who have it the hardest. For them, they have to get by on good will and the cooking skills to bring it to them.

    What if there was a way for small time eateries to boost their public relations? With these helpful suggestions, your restaurant will be feeding your neighborhood and competing with the big dogs in no time.

Local Listings

    You have just opened and you want to announce yourself to your community. Why not try getting your business listed in a local directory?

    This can be as simple as going to your local Chamber of Commerce, but there are easier options. Online directories, like Refer Local, aggregate millions of small businesses across the United States. Each one is categorized so you will have no trouble finding homes for sale in Connecticut or a vintage Atari arcade cabinet.

Get Social

    Using a social media account will show that your business is readily available. Site profiles allow you to post your address and direction to the locations. Facebook’s news feed can keep your friends (read: customers) informed on any changes to the menu and weekly specials. Platforms like Instagram even allow you to upload photos and videos of prepared dishes to get mouths watering.

Enable Online Ordering

    It’s no surprise that iPhones have changed the way people order food. Reports indicate that takeout orders increased by 30% and 50% for dine-in reservations after adopting an online ordering service. GrubHub is one app that provides restaurant owners and managers with a necessary bridge between the supply and demand sides of food service.

Participate

    Local events can not only be fun, but are also a good way of getting your brand out there. Festivals, craft shows, and outdoor music venues need a variety of food vendors to cater to the masses. Some might invest in food carts or trailers, while others need only just a tent and some transportable gas stoves. Be prepared just in case you stand draws a crowd. Crowds may get impatient and rowdy but, unless your restaurant’s theme is “The Meanest Taste in Town,” be like Fonzie and stay cool.

Incentivize

    Eating a fine cooked meal at a sweet dining establishment is maximized when you get something extra in return. This could be in the form of coupons offering “buy one, get one free” deals. It could also tie into other promotions.

    You can give customers 15% off their next meal if they like your page on social media. Create a loyalty “punch card” program where patrons get a free entrée or appetizer on their tenth purchase.

Adam Torkildson