Restaurant advertising comes in many forms. Radio spots newspaper ads, TV commercials; even coupons are all ways to advertise a new restaurant. You can hire a PR agency to help you get your message out or you can do it yourself. Advertising is not a one-size-fits-all deal. Advertising plans vary from year to year, season to season. If you have a busy summer season and less business in the winter, you will need two decisively different advertising plans.
- Difficulty: Average
- Time Required: On Going
- Know your audience. Who does your restaurant appeal to? Families? Career professionals? Those looking for an easy, quick meal or a leisurely relaxed dinner. You should already know who your target audience is as outlined in your restaurant business plan.
- Start Using Social Media. While print ads and radio spots are still good ways to advertise your restaurant, the bulk of your efforts should be focused online. If your restaurant doesn't have a website, consider investing in one. If a new website isn't in the budget at the moment, set up a Facebook page for your restaurant. You can post your contact information and even your menu right on Facebook, for free.
- Create a strategy to reach potential restaurant customers. Your strategy will depend on your budget. TV commercials are more expensive than radio ads, which are more expensive than newspaper ads. Think about your clientele and where they are most likely to see your advertisements. If you operate a sports bar and grill, then sponsoring a local softball team or athletic tournament makes sense. If you want to bring in families, putting coupons for free kids meal in the Sunday paper would be a good move.
- Clearly state your message. What sets you apart from your competition? Do you have a special menu for kids or a sports night buffet? Do you offer the lowest priced burger town? You need to reach your target audience and leave them with a message they will remember. Busy moms are not likely to care if you have big screen TVs with four different ball games going at once. But they are going to perk up at the sound of a kids-eat-free on Tuesday advertisement. Conversely, single men looking for a night out are not going to flock to an establishment that offers free coloring books and crayons with kids meals.