12 Sure-Shot Restaurant Promotion Ideas

Owning a restaurant is excellent, especially in the current decade when the business is absolutely booming. But do you know what is not as exciting? Poor sales. There can be instances where your food is excellent but there is no inflow of customers like you expected. This is where it might be good for you to consider the promotion element. 

Promotion of business is the only way to grab the attention of your target customers and bring them to your restaurant. But don’t you worry, it is not as hard as you think it is. What we advise is that you give it a try.

What are the most effective restaurant promotion ideas that you can put to use?

Promotion is effective and that is a fact. But where to start? There are a lot of promotion techniques available in the market and it can get quite overwhelming at times. This is why we have curated a list of some of the best restaurant promotion ideas that are sure to get your customers intrigued about your restaurant and pay it a visit. Let us unwrap each of these techniques, one by one!

1. Deals, combos, and offers

It may look like all of them are one and the same, but they aren’t. Deals can be curated after thoroughly understanding what works for your customers and what doesn’t. Your deals can include offering a free drink along with a big order, planning happy hours every once a day, and so on. 

These deals are proven to increase the sale of your restaurant by over 45 %. You can also offer combos where you combine your bestsellers with your not-so-famous dishes to increase the popularity of the latter. Offers need a lot of calculation and strategic planning to work perfectly. Make sure that you are not at loss after giving a great offer to your customers. 

2. Holiday and birthday specials

Holiday and birthday specials

Holidays and birthdays can be a goldmine for restaurants as it is the one day or time of the year when customers are not much conscious of how much they spend on food. Make the most of such periods by offering extra discounts and attractive packages, thereby urging the customers to spend more and increasing the popularity of your restaurant along the way. Plan buffet dinners and breakfasts for birthdays, and offer extra discounts for customers that come in large numbers.

These small actions create a great impact on the customers, and they will surely recommend your restaurant to their friends and community the next time they think of a location for hosting or celebrating an event. 

3. Stand out with a unique theme

In a world where there are almost a hundred different restaurants in every single city, creating a unique identity and standing out from the crowd can be a daunting task. But this might be exactly what can help you become more visible and thereby attract more customers to your restaurant. 

Introduce a variety of themes and dining experiences that pique the curiosity of customers. It will surely gain more popularity if it is unique as people always like to try out new things just out of curiosity. Make the most out of the interest of the customers by introducing new events and themes on a seasonal basis. This is one of the best ways to promote your restaurant effectively. 

4. Make your restaurant pet-friendly

Make your restaurant pet-friendly

There are a lot of animal lovers who are also hardcore foodies, so consider giving your restaurant a slight makeover to make it more pet-friendly. Customers love an added element of depth to restaurants that give them character. 

Making the restaurant pet-friendly is one such element. But this is a delicate matter as there can be a lot of customers who might not like having their food with animals next to them. It would be great to create a separate space for pet owners and their pets to have an uninterrupted fun time that does not hinder the dining experience of other customers as well. 

5. Create a reliable website

I know you might have heard of this point over a thousand times, but it is so good and effective that it is worth repeating. A website is what enhances the reliability of your restaurant and makes it more accessible for the customers. The latest news related to your restaurant along with updated menus and cool pictures of your superstar dishes can be added to the website for increased traffic. A website makes your restaurant easy to spot on the internet and you can also share the links to your website on different social media pages. Make sure that you invest in a website. 

6. How about sample stands?

What is a better way to attract new customers than giving them a free sample of your best-seller dishes? Set up a sample stand in busy areas of the street or in malls where it is permitted. That is an excellent way to come across a lot of people and give them a chance to taste your food. Hand them your business card with the location of your restaurant to the people and you can rest assured that there will surely be an increase in the number of customers that visit your place of business. So why not give it a try?

7. Do not shy away from discounts 

Do not shy away from discounts 

If you are in the restaurant business, then you know how integral discounts are for the success of the same. There are different types of discounts that you can offer your customers. It can be percentage-based, time-based, or even flat-off depending on the performance of your restaurant and the nature of the market.

Once you have decided on the discounting method, use SMS and email marketing to get the customers and potential customers to know of the same. No one will let a good discount or deal pass by them, so you can expect a pretty decent crowd at your restaurant after this. 

8. Local SEO

It is quite rare for people from faraway lands to come to your restaurant and taste your food. Even though it is not a completely impossible scenario, the chances of that happening are quite low. This is why it is imperative that you give emphasis to local SEO. Every restaurant business must primarily focus on its local customers as people choose convenience over taste when it comes to restaurants. Optimize your content and other social media activities to target local customers and you can see the results of the same pretty soon. 

9. Give loyalty programs a try

You must already know that it is far easier and way less expensive to retain your existing customers than to gain new ones. So take good care of your customers through loyalty programs. Offer extra discounts and additional benefits to your loyal customers so that they make repeat purchases and feel happy. 

Loyalty programs add a sense of achievement and recognition to customers, making them choose your restaurant over and over even when a new hip restaurant opens a store near them. You can add badges, include extra points, and free food delivery to old customers so that they remain loyal to your restaurant. 

10. Make the most of social media

This is a known fact but had to be mentioned in the list. Believe it or not, there are still restaurants that do not have a presence on social media and rely on word of mouth publicity to increase their customer base. Although it might be doing petty good for their business, there is nothing wrong with dreaming big.

Social media opens up a world full of possibilities and options for your business, by increasing the reach of your restaurant to thousands of people at a time. It makes your restaurant more recognizable, increasing the number of visitors exponentially. 

11. Influencers can be a big help

Now that we have discussed social media, we must discuss social media influencers as well. Invest some time in researching the different influencers available and choose an individual that you feel shares your same values and views. Then approach them with a partnership deal where they promote your restaurant and ask their followers to give your food a try. What you gain from this is access to the hundreds and thousands of followers these influencers have.

Make sure to choose an influencer that is relevant to your restaurant business. There are tons of restaurants that use this method to promote their restaurants and it is high time that you give this a try as well. 

12. Good old Pinterest

Good old Pinterest

Seems a bit out of place, isn’t it? But Pinterest is actually a place where a lot of food recipes get shared and where passionate food communities exist. Create a Pinterest account and talk about your passion associated with good food. Share clear images and perfect recipes of your best dishes and build a community of loyal followers there. Pin some HD pictures of aesthetically shot dishes and increase the visibility of your restaurant even further!


We have provided you with a long list of options but it is not necessary that you give all of them a try at once. Give them a thorough read and choose the ones that you can implement with maximum efficiency. Work on the rest of them later and slowly build a strong customer base for your restaurant through clever promotional strategies.