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In search of innovative ways to position your dining establishment to stand out amongst prospective patrons? Be sure to review these "12 Tips On Marketing a Restaurant" for inventive opportunities to promote your eatery!
A 2007 study shared by Bloomberg Business showed that restaurants don’t fail as easily and quickly as was
commonly believed. Instead of 9 out every 10 dining ventures going south in the ﬁrst year, a more realistic
number may be in the 60 percent range. Which tells us it’s still a risky venture but maybe not exceedingly risky.
But people still want to eat interesting food or at least better fare than they get at home. And culinary
connoisseurs keep on inventing creative recipes and themes. So if you want to join the eﬀort, get ready to work
hard at not just the food but getting the word out.
Focus on a lot of marketing,
all of the time.
Restaurantowner.com said a good
marketing plan doesn’t just include
clever ads. It includes promotions,
public relations, community
involvement, and building a
database of customers.
Look the part.
Danny Meyer, a longtime restaurant
owner and investor, said part of his
success is dressing at least as well as the
top 10 percent of his clientele out of
respect for them. Whatever kind of
restaurant you have, owners/marketers
help express a certain image.
Join an association.
Though individual restaurants can
be competitive, as a whole, they
like to share ideas. Each state has a
restaurant association, and there
are chapters in larger cities.
There’s also a greater National
Bring in a
This is the advice of Steven Howard
from Chef’s Blade, who suggests this
as a ﬁnal step in planning your dream
restaurant. There are a variety of
organizations who do nothing but
help restaurants get the word out and
improve operations. Consider
bringing in an agency, such as BIGEYE.
Oﬀer to give proceeds from an
evening to a community cause. This
may attract people who may not have
entered before but support
Get involved in
Oﬀer to write a local food/business
column for free. Or oﬀer to be a source
next time a writer is looking for
someone with expertise in your area.
Contact local media.
If there are other businesses in your
geographic area, consider sharing
resources. Maybe plan an event or
co-op on advertising something
that you may not have been able to
buy on your own.
Invite staff input.
If you have a seasoned staﬀ, you
should solicit ideas that have
worked or failed. They may have less
hands-on marketing, but they can at
least share memorable campaigns.
Back to basics.
While coupons are simple and
handy for people looking to save
money, they may suggest that your
food was originally overpriced.
Consider adding an additional item
of value instead, such as a glass of
wine or dessert sample.
Along with your “regular” specials,
consider having quarterly special
events. Maybe invite a local brewer or
winemaker to oﬀer pairings and
Put up pictures of patrons, especially if
they do something noteworthy. Ward’s
House of Prime in Wisconsin puts up
pictures or drawings of guests who have
mastered a jumbo cut. This can draw
repeat business and newcomers wanting
to try the challenge.
Wall of fame.
A quality site, online ads and social
media engagement all can draw
visitors and build loyalty. Remember
people are sharing reviews on sites like
OpenTable, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Urban
Spoon, Google, etc. So jump into the
online community, engage
Don't neglect online.