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Restaurant Marketing Strategies

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Restaurant Marketing Strategies

by Donovan Dillon Contributor

Posted on January 31, 2013 19:12 PM

With dining establishments stretching advertising dollars as far as possible, restaurant marketing strategies require owners to focus on advertising methods that yield the most return on their investment, while still remaining true to the restaurant's brand.  Therefore, when developing a restaurant marketing plan, it is important to focus on what makes your restaurant stand out among the competition.


Local Feel

One of the best restaurant marketing strategies is to maintain a local feel in your restaurant, even if you are expanding to additional locations.  Using brightly colored menu boards with specials clearly posted or keeping the dining room small and cozy in all locations often brings customers back as it gives the restaurant a neighborhood feeling.  Promoting your restaurant as “still local” or as your “friendly neighborhood” eating place is an excellent way to build your brand and give customers the idea that no matter which location they visit, they will feel as if they never left the neighborhood.


Menu Analysis

One of the biggest mistakes many restaurant owners make is keeping the same menu year after year.  Every six to twelve months, conduct a menu analysis as one of your restaurant marketing strategies.  If an item is not selling, use customer feedback to learn why the item is not popular, then either remove it from the menu or make changes to transform it into a more appealing choice.  Have the menus professionally reprinted if you make any changes and advertise those changes as part of your brand management.  In fact, if using customer feedback to make changes, part of your advertising could include a tag line, such as “You spoke, we listened…” and be sure to highlight what is new or improved on the menu.


Employee Training

Simply advertising is not enough.  In fact, your restaurant marketing strategies should include ongoing employee training.  If the service is poor, no advertising in the world is going to improve your business.  Therefore, train servers how to upsell appetizers and desserts.  When asked for a recommendation, a server should be able to answer quickly and thoroughly as to why they would recommend a certain dish.  Training sessions with employees can also provide you with customer feedback, as staff will be able to explain why a dish is not selling well or why adjustments need to be made to improve service.


Restaurant marketing strategies work well, especially if conducted as part of your brand management.  By focusing on what you want your customers to believe about your restaurant, your restaurant marketing strategy will be a success.  For more information on restaurant marketing strategies, visit

About the Author

Donovan Dillon is President of Ad Giants - a Next Generation Marketing Services company specializing in software-as-a-service and creative solutions that improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Donovan has over 25 years of marketing, product management and technology planning experience. He was previously head of Marketing for Broadwing Communications, and has held senior marketing and technical positions with Level 3, XO Communications, and ATT.