Small restaurants have never been trendier. There is a whole subculture of people called foodies who pride themselves on discovering new restaurants and trying unconventional foods. Even though foodies go out of their way to find eateries that no one else is talking about yet, it still benefits you to come up with a creative marketing campaign. Showing people the fun personality behind your restaurant will only add to your local flavor and create a stronger and more loyal following. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Do Some Online Marketing
Your first step is to meet the foodies where they scope out new restaurants: online. Take pictures of your staff and your featured dishes, and create an Instagram profile. These days, the character of a restaurant matters just as much as the food does, especially when it comes to convincing people to eat there for the first time. Instagram serves a dual purpose. It’s a free, easy way to advertise, and it makes it easier for your customers to post about their experiences on their own Instagram pages. Foodies love taking pictures of their meals and tagging the restaurants. They’ll feel cool, and you’ll be building a dedicated fan base.
You could also collaborate with other local businesses on special one-night dinners. Ask the owners of a local bar or brewery if they would like to co-host a night of food/drink pairings. You’ll be showing off a creative and adventurous side that will resonate with your local foodies. You will also be establishing your restaurant as a vital part of the local culture. Coordinated events like this show your patrons that you have connections to other similar businesses, and you’ll have the opportunity to serve your food to people who might not have made an initial visit to your restaurant on a normal night. Consider catering to public events, as well, and donating services for charity events to establish your business as a go-to for local catering services.
Along similar lines, participate in restaurant week if there are events like this in your region. There are a lot of people who make a point of hitting new places during restaurant week. Some eateries opt out, since prices have to be lowered for the special prix fixe meals, but this should be viewed as the small cost of attracting new customers. Create special banners on social media and fliers to post around locally to attract customers to your restaurant for the event, and consider putting together a special dessert or premium menu item specifically for the event to draw even more interest.
Focus on Standing Out
Make sure your restaurant stands out on the street. Proper storefront signage and a three door commercial display cooler full of fresh desserts shows those passing by where they can stop for a good meal. When becoming a locally reliable brand, you need to be visible to the public, or else even the locals may not realize that you’re there. If you aren’t located on your city’s big street, or worse, are tucked away in a less-traveled city corner, make sure that you have signs out by the big roads to direct customers toward where to find their next favorite place to eat.
Taking time to really establish yourself locally can do wonders for your restaurant. Connecting with local social media pages, participating in big local events, and staying visible to the public eye with three door commercial display coolers will help draw in more customers. Taking these steps can also help in cementing your business as part of the local culture, creating greater customer loyalty than ever before.