Opening a restaurant? Here’s what to consider when it comes to creating your first marketing plan.
There are many ways to promote your restaurant. As with all marketing activities, it’s best to start with a strategy based on your budget for the year.
No budget? No problem. A lot of these activities will cost you nothing more than your time.
Here’s our top ten marketing activities for you to consider as a new restaurant owner:
- Make sure you have a Google Business listing: this will likely be the first thing your customer sees when they search for your business, so ensure that your address, contact details and opening hours are clearly displayed. You can also link to your website, or if you’re yet to create one your social media. COST: £
- Create a website: Having an online presence will make it easier for customers to find out about your restaurant and learn more about your menu and specials. Your website can also include a facility for making bookings. You can ask an agency to create your website for you, or you can have a go yourself using a user-friendly platform such as WordPress or Squarespace. COST: ££
- Use social media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are powerful tools for promoting your restaurant – and they’re free to use! Use them to share photos of your food, updates about special events and promotions, and personally engage with your customers. COST: £
- Get listed in online directories: Make sure your restaurant is listed in online directories and review sites, such as Expedia and TripAdvisor. These sites are popular with people looking for restaurants, and a positive review can go a long way in attracting new customers so don’t be afraid to ask your customers to recommend you. COST: £
- Develop a loyalty program: Consider offering a loyalty program to reward your most frequent customers. This could be a simple card that offers a free meal after a certain number of purchases, or a digital rewards program that offers discounts or special perks. You can also use discounts and promotions to attract new customers and encourage repeat business. For example, you could offer a discount on a customer’s first visit, or a special promotion for a limited time. COST: ££
- Collaborate with local businesses: Partner with local businesses to cross-promote each other’s services. For example, you could offer a discount to customers who show a receipt from a nearby store, or collaborate on a joint marketing campaign with a local gym. COST: £
- Host events: Hosting events, such as live music, cooking demonstrations or wine tastings, can be a great way to attract new customers and create a buzz around your restaurant. Consider whether collaborating with another business would introduce more of your target customers to your venue – for example a vegan sushi making class if your primary offering is plant based. COST: ££
- Use traditional advertising: Whilst they can be more expensive, as your business grows you should consider using traditional advertising methods, such as print ads and radio ads to reach a wider audience. If you’re just starting out, a flyer posted through the door of your closest neighbours should also yield good results. COST: £££
- Seek out press coverage: Contact local food bloggers, magazine writers, and newspaper reporters to see if they would be interested in featuring your restaurant in their publications. If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow #journorequests – this is the hashtag journalists use to seek comments from experts on all topics. COST: £
- Engage with your community: Consider getting involved in local events and charities to build goodwill and promote your restaurant to a wider audience. COST: £
Need a little help? We offer consultancy services starting at just £150 to help you start, run and sustainably grow your hospitality business. Get in touch to find out more!
Liverpool Food Network is the city’s first dedicated network for food suppliers and independent hospitality businesses across the region. Membership is COMPLETELY FREE for restaurants, chefs and producers – visit liverpoolfoodnetwork.co.uk to find out more!