16 Restaurant Advertising Ideas Handpicked for a New Restaurant

15 Restaurant Advertising Ideas Handpicked for a New Restaurant

The Food & Beverage Industry is growing by the day and new restaurants are cropping up daily. In this haphazard scenario, every new restaurant owner needs restaurant advertising ideas especially suitable for a new venture. Sadly most of the time, the internet betrays us here and the result is you having to sift through multiple sources in order to pick ideas that suit your restaurant. Now omit that struggle because we have compiled for you a list of restaurant advertising ideas handpicked and straight-jacketed for a new restaurant.

Creative Restaurant Advertising Ideas for a New Outlet

Before you venture into the marketing of your restaurant, you must consider that a new restaurant requires different market strategies than an already established business. A new restaurant has to put more efforts to reach out to the customers and create a brand image in the market. You also need to devise a marketing plan that would give your restaurant a leverage over the existing competition.

Here are 15 restaurant advertising ideas that you as the owner of a brand new restaurant can do to advertise your restaurant and create a brand identity out of it.

1. Facebook Marketing- Campaigns, Events and Geo-Targeted Ads

Facebook is a great platform for running advertisements, creating events and starting campaigns that can help you engage with a number of audiences. Use this for announcements of events, new recipes and even for pictures and videos off your restaurant. Facebook also allows you to Geo-Target your ads which means that only people who would look at your restaurant ad would be the locals of your city so you would not have any useless clicks which would save you a lot of cash.

Find out how to promote your restaurant on Facebook here.

2. Snapchat Marketing

Snapchat marketing is a relatively new trend but that is no reason why it is not a good advertising tool. There are numerous things you can do to advertise your restaurant on Snapchat. You could create a geofilter i.e a Snapchat lens that shows up only when people are near a given distance of your restaurant. This lens could have your restaurant logo and it can be made for as cheaply as 20 dollars.

Apart from this, you could send coupons through disappearing messages that people can screenshot and use if they like or simply let be if they do not. You can even advertise your restaurant and create a buzz by uploading sneak-peeks or behind the scenes as your story. All this will get your customers interested in your restaurant by making them feel closer to it.

If you are hosting an event in your restaurant, you can advertise both the restaurant and event by ‘Our Story’ feature. The Our Story by Snapchat basically shows different sides of the same event through different people’s story which is called our story. It is visible on snap maps so your restaurant and event will be discoverable and if enough people upload your story, you can make it to the discover section of Snapchat. All these methods apart from the geofilter are totally free!

3. Instagram Marketing- Photos and Videos

Instagram is another platform where a new restaurant can market itself well. Put up mouth-watering photos and videos of the food you prepare, make videos with your staff, capture behind the scenes moments and put it all up. With the story feature, Instagram is no longer a formal app and has itself a raw angle much like Snapchat. Use that to advertise not just your food but your restaurant, it’s vibe and environment in general. Ensure that you use the right hashtags to reach out to a wider audience. 

Here is how you should be running promotional campaigns on Instagram.

4. Promote Videos on YouTube

YouTube has around 225 million Monthly Active Users in India, making it a lucrative platform to promote your restaurant on. You can create and upload videos of the events happening in your restaurant to reach out and attract potential customers. The easier way, however, is to piggyback on the audience reach of YouTube Food Bloggers. Such videos will give a first-hand insight into how your restaurant is and leave a better impact on the viewers.

5. Have an Optimised Website 

Having an online presence is not just restricted to social media. Having a website is a great way to promote your new restaurant online. Ensure that you take care of the SEO part so that your website ranks on the first page of Google or similar search engines for queries related to your restaurant. Also, ensure that you target the area specific keywords. For instance, if you serve Italian food, your restaurant should rank on Google when someone searches for white sauce pasta in your area.

6. Start a Blog

It may seem odd to you to start a blog for restaurant advertising but trust us when we say this, it works! Advertising is nothing more than creating familiarity with your target audience and there is no better way to do that than a blog. You could put up different events, your experiences, some recipe you have been trying and what not. The blog can be a personal or professional as you wish it to be. If people like it they are sure to remember your brand and eat at your restaurant as much as possible!

7. Email and SMS Marketing

As old school as it sounds but email and SMS marketing still work as long as you are not sending out spams. A couple of messages per month announcing new deals or giving discounts is never minded by anyone and what is more, it gives people an incentive to check you out! 

Also, emails do not only have to be restricted to just sending out promotions. It is a great idea to have a weekly or monthly newsletter that talks about your culture, showcases your staff and the events happening at your restaurant.

8. Leverage Online Food Aggregators

Even if you do sign up on online ordering platforms such as Swiggy, Zomato etc, chances are your restaurant would end up getting lost in the sea of other restaurants listed there. Use the special promotions that these online food aggregators have to give better visibility to your restaurant.

9. Engage with Food Bloggers and Host Tasting Events

Engaging with micro-influencers is a great restaurant advertising strategy, especially for new restaurants. It not only in a sense announces your arrival on the block but also gives you a good amount of potential customers thanks to the reach of the blogger. Because the word of the blogger is also taken as a guarantee it will in a sense validate your food for a huge audience and make them want to try it. Bloggers in a sense give your restaurant a personality and an identity both of which is crucial for a new restaurant.

Here is how to engage with food bloggers and micro influencers the right way.

10. Create Buzz with a Soft Launch

Before going for an all-out hard launch, do a soft launch of your restaurant to create some buzz. A soft launch will not only enable you to test your food and prepare for the proper launch party, it will also create the initial buzz needed. By only keeping your restaurant open for a select few or invited guests only you will in a sense not only announce your arrival but also create a talk regarding your restaurant. The people would what to know what it is like and so you can expect a good rush once you finally open.  

Here are some inauguration ideas that would help you advertise your new restaurant better.

11. Distribute Flyers and Pamphlets

Offline promotion of your new restaurant will include distributing posters and flyers, designing pamphlets. Distribute your flyers and pamphlets in places where your target audience usually frequents and is considerably close to your restaurant. You could just employ a couple of boys to distribute these flyers and pay them accordingly.

Find out how to make the best of distributing flyers and pamphlets for restaurant advertising here.

12. Participate in Food Festivals and Events

Participating in food festivals and events such as the Grub Fest is a great way to reach out to a new audience. You can also partner with the local college festivals if college kids are a part of your target audience. This will help you reach out to your potential customers while establishing a brand identity for you simultaneously.  

Read more about why participating in Food Festivals should be an integral part of your restaurant marketing plan.

13. Radio-Mentions or Newspaper Ads

For a restaurant, nothing works as magically as local advertisements. There is no use for people from different states to know about your restaurant through anything apart from word of mouth, so all your ads must be targeted to your city. Advertising your new restaurant through a radio-mention or an add in a local newspaper will get you a lot more audience than advertising in a national newspaper or TV and be much less expensive.

14. Release and Distribute Tasters or Merchandise

As a new restaurant, you can also advertise yourself by giving out free tasters of your food at various events with footfall matching your target audience. If people like your food they would definitely come to visit the restaurant. A new restaurant can also advertise itself by creating its own line of merchandise. You can have cups, trays or coffee jars with your logo or your brand identifier. You can shake the merchandise up depending on what you sell. A great merchandise id a phone cover with a platter of your signature dish and a humorous quote on it along with your logo. That is sure to catch eyeballs.  

15. Introduce Happy Hours or Fish Bowl Discounts

You could also advertise your restaurant in a slightly quirky way by introducing happy hours or once a month fish ball draws. Happy hours will not just attract customers, they will fill up your empty tables during slow hours. As for fishbowl discounts you can ask your customers after a certain number of visits or on ordering food above a bare minimum to drop a visiting card in a fishbowl. Once the bowl is full you can create a lucky draw event out and offer a grand prize to the winner. This is more of a PR strategy but works well as one of the most effective restaurant advertising ideas.

16. Introduce Referral Programs

The biggest challenge for a new restaurant is attracting new customers. For this, you can start a referral program for customers. Have a specific coupon code so that when a customer introduces a friend to your restaurant, they can show the coupon code and get a discount. You can offer a discount to the customer referring their friend so that they also have an incentive to introduce new people to your restaurant.

For a new restaurant, advertising is one of the trickiest skills to master but trust us when we say that it is just as fun. Go on and try this list of restaurant advertising ideas we have compiled for you to reap the most benefit.

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Prachi is the Marketing Manager at Restroworks. In her current capacity, she establishes connections with key stakeholders in the F&B industry and serves as the host of The Restaurant Times talk show, "F&B Talks," tailored for the restaurant sector. With hands-on experience in international sales and marketing, Prachi has led initiatives in the LATAM and USA regions, contributing to the platform's global outreach.


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