Restaurant Promotions to Ramp Up Sales

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Restaurant promotions can help ramp up sales by appealing to new trials, increasing frequency, growing check size, or increasing party size. However, it’s necessary to remember that people buy brands that reflect how they see themselves (and with more than 600,000 restaurants in the U.S. alone, it’s important to differentiate your brand and align meaningfully with the values of those you seek to attract). The marketing and promotional strategy is best built from the bottom up and inside out; appealing to the strengths of the business model (whether casual dining, quick-service, or fast-casual), fostering differentiation and innovation to retrofit the restaurant’s competitive advantage.

The restaurant industry is one of the most complex in the world, and many restaurant chains are still misreading the trends and business dynamics impacting their performance; often hoping promotional tactics and offering discounts can hurl them out of trouble.

What works best though is to perform an objective brand audit. Sort out what’s best for your brand, how to create a unique customer experience, and how to remain consistent but also relevant. Then, build the marketing and promotional strategy on top of this solid and foundational brand strategy. The best way to promote your restaurant will depend on your brand strategy, but the following articles give some clues as to how to create a loyal customer base and can serve as inspiration for successful restaurant promotions.

Unique Restaurant Promotions That Worked

Here are twenty-three examples of successful restaurant promotions from small businesses to international corporations that engaged guests, brought back traffic, and revamped sales. Traditional marketing, everything from word of mouth to digital marketing, can help a bar or restaurant enhance their brand awareness and attract new customers. These restaurant marketing ideas are more creative than offering discounts and have a better effect on profitability.

How to Promote Your Restaurant Business

Whereas a large restaurant chain with a significant marketing budget or an independent going through a sales slowdown, there are some simple tactics to promote your restaurant that work as part of an effective marketing program across geographies, cuisines, and segments.

Lunch and Happy Hour Promotions

Many restaurateurs see large swings in traffic between peak and weak hours. This can be a problem at the moment of optimizing labor. We present some examples of successful promotional tactics for lunch marketinghappy hour promotions, and brunch promotions to spice up traffic.

Valentine’s Day Restaurant Promotions

With consumers spending about $20 billion (in the U.S. alone) Valentine’s Day Promotions can be a great sales jump for restaurants during February. We research the facts and include some marketing tips and restaurant promotion ideas for this day so that restaurant owners can spread the word and find new customers.

Ramadan Promotions to Inspire Restaurants

Across the world, restaurants engage in holiday marketing to drive traffic and boost sales. In the Middle East and Muslim countries in general, Ramadan is a time of contemplation. We review some of the most salient Ramadan promotions from which restaurant chains can take inspiration to promote their services as well as to exercise corporate responsibility.

St Patrick’s Day Restaurant Promotions

This is one of the highest-grossing days for restaurants and bars in the U.S. and a number of other countries. We present thirty unique restaurant promotion ideas for St Patrick’s Day.

Independence Day Restaurant Promotions

We cover independence day restaurant promotions across the world: from the 4th of July in the U.S. to India’s independence day in August, there are plenty of marketing ideas to celebrate.

Labor Day Restaurant Promotions

Across the U.S., Labor Day translates to 35 million people traveling or taking some time off to celebrate. Take this opportunity to promote your business and get some new customers in your restaurant.

How to Promote a Pizza Business

In many geographies, particularly North America, the pizza industry is one of the most saturated foodservice categories. It’s not easy to stand out as a pizzeria, but here we present some pizza marketing campaigns that succeeded.

Instagram for Restaurants

Social media can be one of the most effective ways to promote a restaurant. We present ten creative ways to use Instagram for restaurant promotions and marketing. Find out how to promote your restaurant on Instagram, from interactive menus to backstage access to contests.

Hotel Food and Beverage Promotions

Across the globe, hotel F&B is being reshaped by powerful forces — Airbnb, food delivery services, and technology among them. While some savvy companies are responding to these (and other) trends, many hotel food and beverage programs continue to lag behind. Hotel F&B promotions and Hotel Bar promotions can help, though a more holistic marketing approach is often needed for long-term success.

Restaurant Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are a proven marketing strategy to boost sales and create repeat customers. While they offer incentives to retain existing customers, restaurant loyalty programs also gather information about those guests in the process. The result is value not only for the guest, but for the chain itself. 

Restaurant promotions are most effective when they’re a part of a holistic and integrated approach to the business overall. Performing periodic, top-to-bottom audits of restaurant marketing objectives, strategies, and activities pays off in the long term and can help systems become more profitable. However, it can be difficult to narrow the focus.

Those who perform marketing audits shouldn’t just be able to answer “What are we doing?” but also “Why are we doing it?” and “What should we stop doing?” — as well as  “What will we need to do in the future?”

These are the types of questions that we love helping our clients answer when developing a successful marketing strategy. You can learn more about how we can help here.