With dozens of new restaurants opening in your area each year, achieving success in the food industry is definitely not an easy task. Even so, restaurant owners can still boost the popularity and profitability of their business by employing a series of creative marketing strategies both online and offline.
Famous Restaurant Promotions that Worked
Using a variety of tools, these three restaurant giants created their own promotions with a high success rate.
1. Applebee’s: Lunchtime Guarantee
Seeking to improve lunch sales, this Applebee’s campaign promises customers their lunch will be ready within 14 minutes, or it’s free. As a result, the restaurant saw almost a 10% increase in lunch sales.
This strategy worked because it appealed to busy employees who can go to Applebee’s and eat and still make it back to work before their lunch hour is over.
2. Taco Bell: Taco Bell Breakfast
Announcing that 5,500 stores would be serving a morning menu, Taco Bell broke into the breakfast market with a clever advertising video. The video features men named Ronald McDonald across the country eating and loving the restaurant’s new breakfast items. It tells customers that Taco Bell has food everyone will love, even people named Ronald McDonald, a clear reference to their competitor.
This promotion succeeded not only due to the memorable ad but also because it brought customers significantly different breakfast choices than are available at other American fast food restaurants.
3. Domino’s: ‘Oh, Yes, We Did’ Promotion
Domino’s knew that they had to make a change once sales declined considerably and stores began closing. The corporation overhauled its menu and retrained its staff. To get the word out about their changes, Domino’s did a documentary called “Oh, Yes We Did” and even rented a billboard in Time’s Square that depicted customer reviews.
Their strategy worked, and they saw a revenue increase of 14.5%. The restaurant can attribute their success in large part to their humility: They weren’t afraid to tell their customers that they knew they needed to improve and to show them how they’d do exactly that. Who can help but not root for a comeback?
Try these 6 Creative Restaurant Promotions to Keep Your Customers Close
Here are 6 foolproof tactics that could help any restaurant attract as many growling stomachs as possible, boost revenues, and stay in the public eye virtually effortlessly:
1. Create Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs always return the best results simply because they manage to address the needs and demands of existing clients. By teaming up with a food app you could dangle a carrot in front of your customers via loyalty programs designed to help your guests unlock a 5 or 10 percent discount after a certain number of visits. You can also offer membership cards for customers to help keep track of their visits.
2. Run a Gift Card Campaign
Also, consider developing and implementing a gift card campaign. Design exquisite cards displaying your logo, contact information, and the best photos of your mouthwatering, signature dishes. Establish a partnership with different media outlets that could organize interactive contests and offer your cards as prizes.
This is a great method to boost your visibility and expand your reach. Also, think about distributing custom gift cards randomly in your neighborhood. Let the whole world know that you’re offering $10 off orders over $40 or free dessert with every meal served in your restaurant. These attractive offers will help you keep your restaurant full and your clients satisfied 24/7.
3. Educate Your Customers
If you’re introducing a new food item, give your existing clients the chance to sample it before it's available to order in your restaurant. If the new dish contains rare, exotic ingredients or has an interesting story, make sure that each customer receives a flyer or brochure that describes your culinary masterpiece, and gives your clients a few compelling reasons to taste it right away.
4. Create Better Flyers
By now, you are probably aware of the fact that all your clients and prospects appreciate freebies and quality services that make them feel important and valued. Focus on these two expectations and:
- Design attention-grabbing flyers
- Do a great job of highlighting your location and social media profiles
- Put your products and service in the most flattering light
- Make sure you add a code to each flyer you distribute
- Set up a strict timeline for your promotional strategy
- Create and maintain a sense of urgency
- Encourage your customers to book a table at your restaurant as soon as possible
5. Invest in Sleek Restaurant Menus
By all means, do everything in your power to create a menu that is colorful, well-structured, and easy to read. If possible, avoid stock photography, and add high-resolution photos of your signature dishes to your menu. Enticing visuals are worth more than a thousand words, especially when they are backed by equally tempting smells coming from the kitchen of your restaurant.
Opt for a clean, simple layout that will make it easier for your clients to spot their favorite dishes and beverages. If your goal is to attract a larger clientele via a number of happy hour deals, consider designing a separate menu for these special offers.
6. Organize Fish Bowl Giveaways
Here’s one last tactic that you may want to employ to reward your clients and interact with those who set foot inside your restaurant. Encourage your customers to put their business cards in a fish bowl that you’ve placed on a table, towards the entrance.
Rewards may vary based on your budget and specific goals—we could be talking about a romantic dinner for two, a sublime fine wining and dining experience for the lucky winner, or a happy hour with a couple of free drinks. At the end of the month, draw from the bowl and contact the winner!
Invest in the Best Print Marketing Materials to Support Your Business
Before choosing the type of promotional strategy that may work for you and your restaurant, do your homework to find out everything there is to know about your audience.
Research always pays off, considering that it helps restaurant owners create client-oriented print marketing materials that never go unnoticed and actually reach their targets. At 4colorprint, we're ready to meet your needs.