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09 Unique Restaurant Promotion Ideas to Win More Customers


Have you ever wondered if restaurant promotions are really worth it? Can you still build a profitable business by giving something away? Well here’s a classic example: In 1887, Coca-Cola distributed the first-ever coupon, for one free glass of Coke. Over the next 25 years, 8.5 million consumers took Coke up on that offer. Even if this seems like a legend to you, in the online age, consumers naturally expect discounts. Here’s proof:

  • 80% of diners are likely to undertake a restaurant if a deal is out there (RetailMeNot).
  • 57% of millennials hunt down restaurant coupons (Valassis)

Restaurant promotions are usually thought of as one-time campaigns but they really assist you retain your customers, driving up your customer lifetime value. So let’s take an in-depth check out the precise topics we’ll protect your restaurant:

  • Discounts – Time-based, Percentage based or flat-off
  • Events – Chef’s specials, theme-based seasonal events
  • Loyalty programs
  • Deals – BOGO, Happy hours & free desserts
  • Combos and meal boxes
  • One plus one offer
  • Crafting the right offer
  • Ways to market your restaurant online and offline
  • Upselling using restaurant promotions
  • Promoting your restaurant on a budget
  • Promoting a replacement restaurant
  • Your restaurant’s promotion calendar

The psychology behind promotions

Promotions create happiness: they create your customers feel special and happy. Ultimately giving them that last nudge to order something from you.

Time-sensitivity creates an urgency: Promotions usually accompany time-sensitivity. This increases the worth of the offer ahead of the customers’ eye and gets you quick orders. Ultimately, they influence the acquisition decision of your restaurant customers.

Effective promotions do three things:

  1. Offer a nudge to finish the order.
  2. Increase spending by encouraging add-ons.
  3. At times, even increase the spending above a minimum total.

9 Restaurant Promotion Ideas That Actually Work

1) DISCOUNTS: TIME-BASED, PERCENTAGE-BASED, OR FLAT-OFF: Direct discounts add different forms. they will be seasonal or ongoing, for brand-spanking new customers or for old customers etc. Time-based discounts could mean x% off during 4-6 pm. Percentage-based include an x% of sum off on your total order amount. Whereas, an example of a flat discount are going to be $20 dollars off on your total bill.
Further promoting these discounts with SMS or email campaigns leads up to higher adoption i.e more sales.
2) EVENTS: CHEF’S SPECIALS, THEME-BASED SEASONAL EVENTS Specials are great for restaurants to experiment and present dishes that they ultimately are known for. While consumers get to enjoy seasonal dishes or chef’s special items. believe what your restaurant can do differently within the market and repose on that. Involve your chefs closely during this process.
3) LOYALTY PROGRAMS: A WIN-WIN FOR CUSTOMERS AND RESTAURANTS Loyalty programs have existed since 1982, but it's recently that they need caught large interest. Fast-paced restaurants are already using their loyalty programs for restaurant promotions. they provide customers a way of recognition and achievement. Your loyal customers are more likely to convert on a suggestion instead of new customers.
4) DEALS: BOGO, HAPPY HOURS AND FREE DESSERTS Whether it’s “buy one get one”, or offering a free dessert – deals are a crucial a part of the restaurant promotion strategy. In fact, this study shows that options like happy hours increase sales by over 50% at restaurants.
#Tip: Use the info collected in your POS to strategize which deals work better, and what you'll improve on. Both from a business perspective and a customer perspective.
5) COMBOS: From traditional restaurants like Berco’s to QSR’s like Burger King or Taco Bell – the food industry is consistently experimenting with bundles. These work the simplest once you offer complete value for money and during a very pocket-friendly manner.
Next time you think that of curating a meal section for your menu, consider which dishes will complement one another the simplest and group them together.
6) ONE PLUS ONE OFFERS: According to the Wharton School of Business, Lifetime Value for brand spanking new referral customers is 16% above non-referrals. When people come to your restaurant upon recommendations made, they’re more likely to trust and like your brand. you'll integrate a referral program in your loyalty program or use social media to market it.

I. Identify, analyze and understand your customers: Your restaurant promotions should speak to your customers. Ask questions like:

  • What audience are you catering to? Office goers, families, mothers, etc.

Example – Crepe Fe, explained how they wanted to capture the key decision-makers of a household – the mothers. to urge their desserts to enter different meals of a home.

  • What motivates your ideal customer set? What makes them happy?

Where do they hang around on the standard days? What social media platforms do they use the most?

II. Collect insights on what’s working within the industry
The restaurant industry is large. So when searching on researching the marketplace for promotion ideas, look in your niche. for instance – delivery or dine-in. Waffles or pizza. Cafe or a dessert parlour. Get insights on your competitor's strategy together to repair your own.

III. Check out your business data

  • What are your best and worst performing days?
  • What are your hottest dishes?
  • Through which platform do your customers order the most?
  • What dishes people often order together?
  • How many loyal customers does one have? How often they order from you?
  • What margin does one want to maintain?
  • These are just a few questions that your restaurant data can assist you answer. By analysing them, it’s easier to make a decision about when to run a promotion, what to run and what customer set.

IV. Take a call
Crafting restaurant promotions is an ongoing activity. With the knowledge from the first three steps, you can curate a list of promotion ideas. You can even take help from a marketing agency/consultant for this. Analyse the performance of your activities, learn and keep iterating.

Social media promotion for brand building
By simply posting a photo of your food online, you'll usher in your next customer. consistent with Zagat, 75% of individuals who browse food photos say they need to choose an area to eat supported by social media.
Use multiple social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. In cases that require more promotion – sort of a new menu launch or an occasion – use social media advertisements to your benefit. They’re easy to line up. With the proper messaging and visuals your cost per click also can be minimal.

9) NEWSLETTERS AND SMS FOR LOYALTY BUILDING: Emails are personal and excellent thanks to interacting together with your customers. When sending a newsletter keep the most topic that’ll act as your hook to draw in attention. These are often specific announcements, reminders, offers or a message.

Final Thoughts

Promotions when done right, can assist you generate ROI. You’ll actually earn something more by giving a touch away.

Especially during a highly competitive market, that the restaurant industry is today – it’s important to draw in your customers with special efforts.

Hope these ideas sparked some inspiration for you. Remember, this is often not a rigid list, you’ve to experiment and use what works for YOUR customers.

We’d like to know what promotion idea you choose up from here and use at your restaurant. Let’s chat within the comments!

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.


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