Successful Restaurant Marketing Strategies to Attract More customer


Sawai Jangid

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: August 26, 2020

What makes a restaurant successful? Great food? Absolutely! Excellent service? For sure! Wonderful ambiance? It surely helps! But is that enough to have people lining up at the door to get a table? Nearly, but not quite.

While these three factors and maybe an ad here and there were all the things you needed a couple of years ago to attract customers, in 2019, marketing the restaurant well is just as important as great food, service, and ambiance. 

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The digital age, new technology, and social media have opened up so many creative avenues for restaurant marketing. Today, a viral video can turn a restaurant into an overnight success and a bad review can burn it to the ground. It’s time to rethink the traditional restaurant marketing strategies and think outside the box.

Best Restaurant Marketing Strategies in 2019

  1. Social Media Content

Social media has rapidly emerged as a powerful tool that can engage customers and even create a voice for your brand. Satista found that as of 2017, the average user would spend about 135 minutes per day on social media. While most restaurants have their presence on social media, few are creating content that is good enough to attract customers.

Videos are viewed more than static content. Get creative and think of what kind of videos you want to post. Behind-the-scenes videos, recipe videos, DIY and tutorial videos and even live video streaming can all be potentially very engaging. Click great pictures of your food and restaurant to lure customers in. Whenever you post content, prompt the audience to take some action, either with a discount coupon code, or even an “Order Now” button. 

  1. Restaurant Rewards and Loyalty Programs

One of the most critical things to know before you open a restaurant is that existing customers are an invaluable asset for any business. It is far easier to retain customers than to attract new ones. Think about how you want to keep your existing customers engaged so that you have a better chance of retaining them.

A restaurant loyalty program is an excellent way to get a customer to visit your restaurant again and again. You need not stop at just giving them points for what they have spent. It may also be worthwhile to consider a referral program to encourage them to get their friends and family to try your restaurant. You can even give them reward points for featuring your restaurant in social media posts.

  1. SMS and Email Marketing

SMS and email continue to remain excellent channels to keep in touch with customers. Sending a customer an SMS about an hour or two ahead of mealtimes is a good way to prompt customers to order their lunches or dinners from your restaurant. Segment your customers and send them personalized emails and messages with content that may interest them. Keep your messages short, simple and effective. 

  1. Online Listings

Make your restaurant easily discoverable online. Platforms like Google are used by millions of people every day. List your restaurant on such platforms. Many such platforms allow people to share reviews, ratings, pictures, testimonials, etc. Google My Business, Yellow Pages, Facebook, Bing, LinkedIn, Yelp, etc. are all great platforms for this purpose.

  1. Online Ads

Paid digital advertisements can help you promote your restaurant to a targeted audience. It is an excellent means to build a traffic base for your website and social media pages. Most platforms that provide paid digital advertisements such as Facebook and Instagram even provide you with metrics that can help you gain much insight into the effectiveness of your marketing strategies as well as the audience.

However, remember that nobody likes an ad. So, it is important to make the content engaging.

  1. Blogs

Blogs can slowly but surely establish you as an expert on a certain topic. It is a great medium to share lots of information. It’s a good way to keep in touch with your audience. Over time, blogs help you build a community of like-minded individuals. Again, blogs must be interesting to read. Think of catchy headlines. Use pictures and videos. Ensure that you have proofread the blog and there are no spelling or grammatical errors prior to posting the blog.

  1. Influencer Marketing

Influencers and bloggers have become a force to reckon with in order to get people on social media platforms to sit up and take notice. Get influencers to visit your restaurant, review it and share their experience with their followers. They can do wonders for the views and impressions of your restaurant on social media and widen your reach significantly. It is definitely worthwhile to tie up with them as a part of your restaurant marketing plan.

  1. Reviews

Most people have come to rely on reviews before they try a new restaurant. Review sites have made new age diners very vocal about their experiences. Keep an eye on these reviews. While you can always thank people for a good review, you must also consider replying to negative reviews. It presents you with an opportunity to clarify your side of the story for others to see. 

A sincere apology for a bad experience may even save you from losing a customer. Reviews are also a great way of gathering public sentiment about your restaurant and can even be a source of constructive feedback. Responding to customers also helps you build a relationship with them.

  1. Newsletter

When you have built a list of customers, newsletters can also be a great way to keep them engaged. Blasting them with aggressive campaigns and sporadic messages may not be the best way to go. Newsletters allow you to keep your content diverse. However, it must be designed well. It must be device-friendly, visually appealing and include subtle call-to-action features. 

10. Website

You may wonder why your restaurant would need a website when there are platforms like Zomato. However, a platform like Zomato can only give you so much space to show off your restaurant. Also, information about your restaurant is typically presented in a standard format on such apps.

With a website, you do not have to worry about space constraints or typical formats. You can get creative and enjoy more control over your content. You can make the website really attractive, use great content, share blogs and even offer promotions. The website must load easily, be compatible with all major devices and be easy to navigate.

11. Food Ordering App

It’s difficult to imagine a life without food ordering apps. While it’s great to be on all major third-party food ordering apps like a Zomato or Uber Eats, it may also be a good idea to develop your very own app. You will be able to take direct orders without paying any kind of commissions. You will have yet another platform to conduct branding and advertising activities.

However, you will completely miss the point if your app is not easy to use. Ensure that it is available on iOS, Android and Windows stores. It goes without saying that it must contain attractive visuals.

12. Digital Menus

It’s no secret that most people scan a restaurant’s menu before they visit it for the first time. Ensure that your menu is available on all the online platforms that you are present on. The menu should be consistent across all the platforms – be it your website, your app, or any third-party apps. Ensure that the menu is nice to read, easy to understand and gives just the right amount of information. 

It is also important to see to it that the smallest changes to your menu are updated immediately. Understand that it can be quite disappointing for a customer to see something on your menu, get excited about it, and then find out that the item has been discontinued when they are actually at your restaurant. 

Also, pay close attention to restaurant inventory management. Running out of ingredients to prepare something on the menu may also disappoint new as well as existing customers, especially when they have made the trip to the restaurant just for that dish. If an item is mentioned on a menu, you must make sure that it is available.

13. Freebies

Everybody loves freebies. They do not necessarily have to cost much. The smallest token or souvenir can make a significant impact. Something as simple as free wi-fi can also go a long way. You can even use the contact details entered by the customer to build a marketing list. Handing out discount coupons at the end of the meal might just get customers to visit you again. Think of small gifts. Happy Meal toys at McDonald’s is a great example.  

14. Feedback

Customers are far more vocal and forthcoming about their experiences today than they ever were. Something as simple as talking to them and asking about their experience may give you great insights. It allows you an opportunity to connect with your customers and even build a rapport with them. If there was any unpleasantness, you have the chance to clear the air within the restaurant itself and avoid a bad review on an online platform. 

Of course, it may not always be possible to have a personal chat with them every time, but you can train your staff to keep checking on customers during the course of the meal. You can even collect feedback through digital and physical forms. However, you must make sure to keep them short and simple. Nobody likes to answer long questionnaires after a heavy meal. 

Most importantly, there is no point in collecting feedback, if you are not going to act on it. Make sure that you address any concerns that may have been raised, as soon as possible. It may be a great idea to let the customer know that you have acted on their feedback. It will show your commitment to becoming better and show the customer that you value their business. 

Restaurant Management Systems

Creative restaurant marketing strategies are important. However, it all comes down to the execution. Running a restaurant is not easy. You may find yourself struggling to pay enough attention to both daily restaurant operations as well as marketing activities. However, to an extent, they do go hand-in-hand. 

Marketing can get customers to visit you or order from you, but it will not matter if you cannot actually deliver what you promised. Consider using restaurant management systems, restaurant inventory management systems and maybe even restaurant billing software to ensure seamless operations.

These systems are capable of streamlining and automating many aspects of restaurant management, leaving you to focus on marketing your restaurant and generating business.


Sustaining a restaurant can seem like a never-ending battle. It’s a really tough industry. With so many new restaurants opening up and shutting down every day, it’s important to think outside the box when it comes to restaurant marketing strategies to gain a competitive edge. 

Sawailal Jangid is a Content Analyst at SotwareSuggest. He does researches and analyzes software to educate and advice to the business managers to streamline their business. In his spare time, he loves to do sports activities.

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