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Marketing Tips for Restaurants

Puja Lalwani
Take a look at some great marketing tips that you can use for your restaurant. These will help yours stand out from the million others popping up on every nook and corner.
It's pointless to have a restaurant that no one knows about or comes to. Some restaurants are so popular, and they don't even have the best food ever. So what is it that makes these restaurants so popular? Sheer marketing skills!
Yes, some restaurants have that attraction about them that make them work much better than another which may offer the best food. Every restaurant utilizes the regular yellow pages, radio, and TV as an advertising method.
While these have been traditionally useful, and some still are, there are way many more techniques to market your restaurant. If you know the quality you provide deserves attention, here are some tips that you can use and watch your business grow.

The Internet

With everyone having access to the Internet, and everyone's great dependence on this medium of communication, there is no reason why you should not use it as a method of marketing.
In fact, setting up a website where you can take online reservations, orders for home delivery, offer discounts to regulars, take orders in advance and keep meals ready when customers arrive, etc., will greatly help promote your business.
Social networking is the best way to advertise your restaurant biz, so use it wisely. Restaurants have business pages on Facebook, where customers provide their feedback, and those restaurants get back in touch with such customers to address their complaints.

Beyond Discounts

While giving discounts is a good way to attract a crowd, and functions as one of the many effective marketing strategies, more often than not, customers perceive such discounts as a drop in the quality of food or service that they are getting. As such, it's time to look beyond these discounts and offer something beyond.
For instance, you could suggest or request your regular customers to introduce their friends and family to your restaurant, and offer them a free dessert in the process (only for a limited period). This will help you increase your customer base, and work as one of the most successful marketing strategies for your joint.

About Timing

Any idea works best when utilized at the right time. If the holiday season is around the corner, are you using it to market your restaurant? Did you offer a special Thanksgiving meal or a free Thanksgiving dessert? Do you have special offers coming up for family Christmas dinners?
Use these holidays as the perfect time to give your business the right boom. A technique known as attraction marketing, this is sure to help you increase your customer base and customer loyalty.

A Unique Selling Point

Every restaurant has a unique selling point or a USP that makes it stand out of the million others on the map. What is yours? Is it a particular dish that you offer? Is it the ambiance of your place? Is it the impeccable service? You must have a strong USP by which all your selling strategies can effectively work.
Some restaurants across the globe offer a unique dish that makes them most renowned among others. People come from other cities to eat these meals. Obviously, since a restaurant's main function is provide good food, this should technically be your USP. A lot of restaurants don't recognize this, and this is where they seem to go wrong.
Other ways to create a USP include offering your customers who dine alone to be a part of a dining club, where they get to meet each other.

Beyond the Regular

Maintain newness in your function and service. As exotic as your restaurant may be, there's always something new a customer is looking for. Maintaining this element of newness becomes one of the best promotion tolls.
Conduct food fests that offer customers a chance to taste exotic meals from around the world, sell merchandise such as gourmet ingredients or cookbooks, provide other forms of entertainment such as a singer, a guitarist, or a karaoke bar, or have a chef of the day contest where you can pick a customer who proves her/his culinary skills.
Again, using the Internet to put up an events calendar will allow people to be aware of these unique offers in advance. You can send out newsletters to your loyal customers, or use your own website, Twitter, or Facebook to market your restaurant.
Using some of these tips will help you strengthen your hold in the restaurant biz, and will eventually help you reach a point where just your name will be enough to attract loads of people.