Marketing Tips for Restaurants


San Diego has seen such a huge culinary boom and I am not complaining. Our food scene has taken a much more creative turn and while we're not quite SF or NYC, we certainly have a large handful of restaurants to write home about.

A lot of eateries come and go but ones who stay are the ones who stand out from the crowd. I've put together this list of marketing tips to help San Diego restaurants - check it out and let me know what you think!

Marketing Tips for Restaurants

  1. Social Media Advertising. Facebook and Instagram are the peanut butter to a restaurants jelly. Boost your social media efforts with ads targeted to unique audiences.
  2. Don’t skimp on the customer loyalty programs. It costs 5x more to gain a new customer than to retain an existing one. Give your regulars a nice pat on the back for their return visits.
  3. Invest in Mobile Advertising. We all love our phones. Mobile Advertising can be very effective for restaurants because you can catch the attention of people within a tight proximity of your location. Send them a mobile coupon when they are within walking distance of your restaurant!
  4. Invest in high-quality, locally sourced products. The buzz is here, and it’s here to stay. Consumers want to know that their food was sourced with care and buying local has never been more important. Being able to advertise your products as locally sourced will increase customer loyalty and trust.
  5. Gather data on your customers. And I’m not talking about leaving a fishbowl for business cards at the register. Have a digital loyalty program in store where you can collect email addresses and additional data to use down the road. This data can be used for a multitude of marketing campaigns, e-blasts, promotions, special events, and more.
  6. Have an up-to-date website. Having a dated website will undoubtedly deter visitors from your restaurant. Most of us search eateries on our mobile devices. if you are drawing potential customers to your website and you aren’t looking your best virtually, they may choose someone else.
  7. Offer exclusive social specials. Promote a specific offer just to your Instagram or Facebook followers. This creates exclusivity and shows gratitude for those who follow you.
  8. Seek customer advice. If you’d like to name a new menu item or organize a promo, ask your customers to help you! You can create contests and in-store events that allow your customers to get into the action.
  9. Be active in the community. Support local charities or youth sports teams. Volunteer as a company for any beneficiary you support. Mention what you are doing in the community on your website, in-store collateral, social networks, etc. Your customers want to invest in companies that do good for the community. 
  10. Host Community Events. Similar to #9- but actually host a charitable event at your restaurant. Donate a portion of the proceeds to your selected cause and get the community together to rally in support.

Hope this helps any of you restaurant pioneers! Cheers!