It’s 5:30 PM on a Friday. Your restaurant staff is preparing for the dinner rush. The tables are set, silverware is polished, and the soup is hot. As 6 PM rolls around, you notice that not even half of your restaurant is filled. In your head, you wonder what else you can do to get more customers. You need some unique restaurant promotion ideas fast because that chalkboard sign out front and those flyers you mailed just aren’t covering it.
Making your business stand out from the crowd can be really difficult. Especially when you’re in a town full of amazing food options. However, there are plenty of things you can do to get ahead of the competition and start appealing to customers in new and exciting ways. Here are some of the things we recommend you should do to help you shine above the rest.
Unique Restaurant Promotion Ideas
There are many standard ideas everyone should know—and we’ve listed them at the end of this article. However, you need fresh and creative restaurant promotion ideas to sprint ahead of the competition. Whether it be easy to do in-store promotion ideas or online marketing strategies that can take a bit more time, we have tips to help you appeal to a wider customer base than you ever have before!
Do something new and bold with your signage
If your sign is old, dusty, and generally uninspiring, do something new and interesting with it. There are plenty of ways to do this, but you should start by talking to a graphic designer for what will work best with your brand. Working with someone who understands the modern need for strong graphics that appeal to the right target markets can really help your restaurants brand. Do something bold, and don’t be afraid to take risks.
Use big events nearby to your advantage
Here in Las Vegas, significant events are happening around every corner (especially on The Strip). Everything from festivals to sporting events, shows and concerts can bring in a big crowd of both locals and tourists alike. Leveraging these event-specific crowds can help create more business and awareness.
All of Las Vegas has embraced its NHL team, the Vegas Golden Knights, so you could consider offering a discount to people who have tickets to the local sporting game that day. Or you can simply pick an event happening, like a Lady Gaga show, and theme your specials after the event.
Start a loyalty program
When you want people to start flocking to your restaurant, you have to be willing to give something back in return. Loyalty programs are a great tool for restaurant promotions that many thriving restaurants use today. A simple email rewards program can attract hungry people on a budget.
Simple things from punch cards where every 10th meal purchased is free is a great way to entice repeat customers. Offering a discount to people who frequently consume your products is a relatively cheap way to boost growth, reputation, and sales simultaneously.
Just remember one thing: keep it simple. Most people are hesitant to sign up for these programs due to the hassle that comes with actually signing up.
Challenge the customers
Nothing gets people riled up more than a food eating challenge. While there are quite a few spots in Las Vegas that offer this type of promotion, it’s an ever-present allure for those that like a challenge and those who like to talk about them. Although it can be a bit hard to watch (or digest), it sure can draw a crowd, both in person and on social media.
Whether it’s an outrageously large meal to an insanely spicy challenge, the offers are varied and the challenge is on. The word-of-mouth from a promotion like this can spread rapidly. Win or lose, people love a challenge.
Show off your staff
You wanna go where everyone knows your name, right? Well, Cheers sure thought so. One of the best aspects of restaurants atmosphere can be your favorite bartender or the server who always greets you by name when you come in the door. Showing off employees of the month in your store or online can really help boost staff morale, but also off a personalized persona people love when they go to a restaurant.
Contests and business card giveaways
Maybe you like the idea of challenging your customers, but not as keen on an all binge-eating competition. Another restaurant marketing idea that shows positive results are customer contests.
Having coloring contents for kids can appeal to parents, and fill your walls to show customer loyalty. If you want to appeal to adults, do a business card contest giveaway. Simply add a bowl by your register and once a week, pull out a card and offer a free lunch to the winner. Promotions like this keep people coming back and hoping their next business card submission will be the lucky one.
Holiday or other quirky promotions
Just like local sports team events, holiday promotions can be another unique restaurant promotion idea. Picking days like Christmas and Valentine’s day can be a no brainer, so spice it up! Look up strange and unusual holidays like National Pie day (March 14th) and promote a pie special. Give a free dog treat to anyone who bring in their dog during National Dog Week (September 22-28).
And if you want to step away from the obvious holiday promotions, you can do unique occasions for promotions. Victoria Station in Maine does hilariously funny, but completely unique parking violations marketing campaign. While other promotions can be a bit closer to home, like this restaurant owner who ran a drink special after he got a divorce.
Set up your Google My Business listing
Every restaurant these days needs to have a complete, striking, and accurate Google listing. When people search for a restaurant near them, they’ll usually do so via Google. If you have an account on Google My Business, people will be able to find out about your restaurant and its whereabouts very quickly, making them more likely to visit you.
Get on Instagram and take great #foodie photos
Instagram is where it’s at in terms of foodie photos nowadays. People love taking photos of their food and checking out what other people are eating. Your business needs to get in on this by taking photos of the fantastic food you prepare and posting top-quality photos of it to Instagram. You can quickly grow an audience of people who want to try what you cook if your photos look great.
Reach out to local media and influencers
Local media and influencers have a lot of power when it comes to getting your name out there. Third-party endorsements from trusted sources wield a lot more influence than you telling people why they should check you out. Restaurant PR that results in a positive article or write-up from a blogger can really help to create that needed buzz and help your business by exposing it to a new audience.
Make sure you have an online menu
Finally, you should make sure that you have an online menu in place. You may struggle to find success if people can’t see what you’re offering. Most people don’t want to wait until they’re inside your restaurant before they can see what you’re serving up, so make this simple change to your website today.
Partner with online delivery services
Great food is at the beck and call of anyone online these days. Using Grubhub, UberEats, or Postmates has become a part of our culture; especially among young people whose life is contanstanly on the go.
Must-Know Restaurant Promotion Ideas
- Set up Yelp and always try to engage in a positive light, even with negative comments
- Source local food to help promote your restaurant to a wider audience
- Send out newsletters occasionally to show off new menus or seasonal specials
- Engage customers to share photos of their food and experience online
- If you can afford it, travel with your food in a food truck. Food trucks are a huge trend right now and allow you mobility
Consult a Local PR Agency
If you’re struggling to come up with promotional ideas on your own you can always go to a local PR agency for some advice. At PR Plus, we’re here for you and all your restaurant PR needs. We can guide you through starting, opening, and maintaining a restaurant in Las Vegas. Contact us today to learn how to best stand out amongst the competition and grow your business.