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How To Promote Your Restaurant Business

Running a restaurant is every keen cook’s dream – and with the ending of COVID-19 restrictions, the public demand to eat out has never been greater.

But, in a world where small, independently owned restaurants have to fight with big-name chains for market share, how do you make your voice heard and your food tasted?

Enticing customers

You may well be the next Gordon Ramsay or Marco Pierre White, but if no one knows your restaurant exists, its life will be as short as a meringue left in the rain.

To promote a food business, the most beneficial thing any restaurateur can do is put themselves in the shoes of the customer.

Think about why they might want to visit you. Good food isn’t enough – they will expect that. Slashing your prices won’t necessarily work either, as cost is only one of the factors that influence a restaurant booking.

You need to consider your other strengths so you can promote your restaurant to the right market.

Look at your location. Are you near a cinema or theatre, for example? If so, perhaps you could join forces and do a ticket and meal offer.

Look at your menu. What do you cook or serve differently from your competitors? Is there something special you could shout about?

Where do you buy your ingredients? If it’s from local suppliers, why not see if you could work together and spread the word about each other – thus doubling your target customer base?

Who passes your restaurant? Are they office workers, for example? If so, where do they work? Perhaps you could get in touch and create a special lunchtime or early evening menu rate for them?

Some eye-catching fliers with details of your menus and opening times are a perfect way to do this, or you could use some posters or banners in your windows to hook in all of that passing trade – check out WTTB's resturant collectionfor a look at our range.

How do I make my restaurant unique?

Unique is tricky – after all, worldwide travel has opened our eyes and our tastebuds to flavours and ingredients that our parents would never have dreamed of. As a result, customers’ palates and expectations have never been so demanding.

What always has and always will attract customers, however, is attention to detail – and not just in the food you serve.

Again, put yourself in their shoes. How easy is it for them to book? Have you a simple and workable online booking system? When they arrive, is the outside of your restaurant welcoming and appealing?

Make sure staff are pleasant and well trained. Your service must be of a professional standard. Ensure your restaurant is spotless and that from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave they are cared for.

These simple – yet crucial – factors are so often overlooked in the race to put bums on seats that you could reasonably say that a restaurant that offers them is pretty close to being unique.

How do I advertise my small restaurant?

Nothing gets the tastebuds drooling more than a picture of good, delicious food – so make sure you’ve got some great images that can be then included on all of your print.

Copies of the menu, flyers, or leaflets which tell all about your establishment are a great way to get the word out – and you can add a special offer as an incentive.

That also brings the added benefit of you being able to track your customers and find out what they are most responsive to – this is invaluable insight for future promotions.

You can combine print marketing with digital too, of course. Take good pictures of your food, of your friendly staff, and of your spotless and welcoming restaurant, and post them. Ask satisfied customers to do the same and word will soon spread organically.

Make sure you tag local businesses too. That way, you will be able to promote your restaurant to an ever-wider audience.

And make sure you also engage with your local media. If they have a reviewer who tries out new restaurants, invite them along – a positive report can have a massive impact on attracting customers.

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