It should be quite evident by now that we (the folks at 9Fold) are strong proponents of all things digital. It’s not to say however that we’ve forgotten our roots, nor would we dismiss the fundamentals of successful marketing ideas for restaurants. But I do have a saying; if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t mean it’s working perfectly either. In order to continually improve ourselves and our businesses, it often means straying outside of our comfort zone and adopting some new techniques to blend in with our tried and true.
Marketing The New By Using The Old
Chances are, the advertisements you’ve handed out in the past are outdated, it doesn’t take long to happen. Create fresh marketing collateral that tells your most current story. By creating a rich handout, poster, banner or table tent you can invite your customers to see things you offer that they may not be aware of. Having a new restaurant website, the ability to order online directly from your website or an available download for your restaurant’s custom app are all good things to talk about with your loyal customers. Inviting your customers to see or do something new is “low hanging fruit” in regards to marketing ideas for restaurants. This is simply communicating with customers that are already a fan of yours and who won’t mind to hear from you, it should in fact serve to keep your brand fresh and appealing to them.
In terms of specific marketing ideas for restaurants, it’s important to be precise. Having a direct goal in mind such as creating a small postcard sized handout that notes “Order Online Direct and Save 20%” with your web address is a good card to have placed in all of your pickup/delivery order bags leaving your kitchen. You have an opportunity to communicate a clear and concise message to someone who already has given you their attention by ordering food or stopping in your restaurant in the first place. Don’t try to communicate every single thing you can do or promote various specials all jammed into the same marketing material. Stay on one single message for each mini campaign you run and you will be much more effective for that end goal.
Go Fishing From The Comfort Of Your Restaurant
One of the oldest marketing ideas for restaurants ever conceived is still a gooden’ IF and only if you leverage it properly. The good old fashioned business card “fishbowl” give-away at your restaurant’s cash register/host stand can still serve a good purpose. Create a give-away incentive as you normally would, be sure to offer something valuable enough that your customers are willing to hand over their information to you for. But that’s just the beginning, it’s what you do with the data that matters most. Be sure to hold onto those business cards and have them entered into your email database (assuming you have email marketing in place). You now have an opportunity to reach these customers time after time with online promotions and possibly turn them into direct online food ordering customers if they aren’t already. It’s a small investment with a relatively big possible return and the perfect way to marry the new marketing ideas for restaurants with the old.