The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the food and beverage industry pretty hard, what with frequent lockdowns and people staying home more often.
But regardless of whether your restaurant has made it through the last two years relatively unscathed, or its survival is up in the air, you’ll need to keep up with your restaurant promotion efforts. After all, no restaurant can last very long without customers.
That said, you may have already pushed your discounts to the limit, and are scratching your head on what else you can do to attract business. You could get help from an agency that specialises in marketing for restaurants but while they will be able to provide effective, expert advice and support, you might not have the money to invest at the moment and need to manage your restaurant marketing yourself. Well, don’t fret—read on as we serve up four methods of promoting your restaurant in 2022 and beyond.
Are you still using the same faded old menus from three or four years ago? If so, then it’s time for a much-needed menu revamp.
Aim to create a clean-looking menu design, and one that:
- Neatly categorizes your dishes into appetizers, mains, sides, desserts, drinks, and so on
- Clearly states the prices of each menu item
- Includes gorgeous photos of your dishes to get customers salivating!
In this regard, we love the menu created by Cape Town cafe Olive & Chilli:
The menu is pleasing to the eye and simple to navigate. If we were in Cape Town, we’d definitely swing by for a visit.
You don’t have to be a graphic design expert to create similarly beautiful menus either. Do a quick online search and you’ll find countless menu templates, ready for you to customize into truly unique menus.
TIP: If your niche restaurant caters to customers on the go, consider updating your drive thru menu board.
Your Facebook Page can do more than just help you promote your latest deals. When you add a “Book Now” button to your Facebook Page, users who want to dine with you can make a reservation straight from the Facebook app.
This helps make it easy for them to book a table with you right away. You don’t want them to get distracted by life and forget to do so—and cause you to lose a customer.
Take a look at the “Book Now” button that seafood restaurant Row 34 has added to its Facebook Page, for example:
The restaurant has tapped on the OpenTable platform to manage reservations without custom-building software for this purpose.
Also, bonus tip: get more eyeballs on your “Book Now” button by adding an arrow in your Facebook cover image that points to that button.
To do so, browse Facebook cover photo design templates and pick one that you like the most. After that, use a graphic design platform like PosterMyWall to strategically add, to the cover image, an arrow that points toward the “Book Now” button.
3. Jump onto TikTok!
TikTok is probably the hottest new social media platform right now, with the app rapidly signing up new users every day. So if you want to be where all the online action is at—and especially if you want to nurture a younger audience into becoming customers—then you absolutely can’t afford to not join TikTok.
In a nutshell, TikTok lets users post videos of up to three minutes, and add on music and cool effects for extra oomph. And with the TikTok algorithm giving all users an equal shot of getting discovered, going viral is a definite possibility. Even if you’re a newcomer!
To boost your chances of going viral, try to create videos that ride on popular trends. New trends appear on TikTok every day, so you have a buffet of options to choose from.
For inspiration, check out this TikTok video from restaurant and cocktail bar District Eatz + Urban Roast. In the video, you’ll see the staff serving cocktails while dressed up as characters from the hit show Squid Game:
@districteatz_urbanroast Cocktail Bar doing Squid Game! #fyp #foryoupage #squidgame #halloween #PradaBucketChallenge #KFCSecretMenuHacks #dmv #cocktail ♬ Oh No – Kreepa
4. Take your followers behind the scenes of dish prep
Food doesn’t just magically appear on a plate, waiting to be served to hungry customers. Lots of tender loving care goes into preparing the food, so why not show off this process in behind-the-scenes videos?
This technique works because:
- You turn passive video watchers into people who engage with your brand, and possibly also customers
- When people eat at your restaurant, they’ll appreciate all the hard work that went into cooking the dish—and might enjoy your food more
- Well-made videos of food porn have the potential to spread like wildfire online, which only means more publicity for you!
Here’s a video of sushi restaurant WΛVE 波 Asian Bistro & Sushi giving followers a sneak peek of how it slices up fresh salmon into delicious sashimi:
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We don’t know about you, but our mouths are watering.
How will you promote your restaurant this year?
A new year means a new start. And the same goes for your restaurant, as you wonder how kind 2022 will be to your business. But don’t leave things up to fate—you’ll need to also do your bit if you want a steady stream of customers. So get cracking on promoting your restaurant!
As this guide has shown, there are many ways of promoting patronage of your restaurant that don’t involve slashing your prices. These methods, such as adding a “Book Now” button to your Facebook Page, or joining TikTok, may sound a little unorthodox. However, you’ll want to adopt these fresh new techniques before everyone else catches on, and the techniques become overused.
Here’s wishing you all the luck and success in the world as you throw open your restaurant’s doors this year!
Passionate Writer, Blogger and Amazon Affiliate Expert since 2014.