As a restaurant owner, you want to be able to bring in new customers without having to rely on cutting your prices. Luckily, there are plenty of low-cost ways to attract new people, and they have absolutely nothing to do with your prices.
1. Keep Up with Your Social Media
You need to make sure that your social media is professional, fun, and current. You should be on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and be posting (at the very least) a couple of times a week. Showcase pictures of your amazing food and advertise specials and events! To learn more, read our article on social media restaurant marketing.
2. Post in Facebook Groups
Do a little bit of research to see whether there are any Facebook groups already dedicated to your cuisine in your area. For instance, if you’re a vegan or vegetarian friendly restaurant, it might be worth your time to post about your specials in the St. Louis Vegans and Vegetarians Facebook Group!
3. Build a Website
This one is non-negotiable. Your restaurant absolutely must have a website. Even if it’s just a page with your cuisine type, hours, and address, that’s infinitely better than no website at all.
Ideally, you should also have pictures of your food and your space, links to social media profiles, a calendar if your restaurant frequently hosts events, an about page, and so on. If you’re interested in learning more, read our article on how to build a website for your restaurant.
4. Use Meetup
Meetup.com is a great way to get yourself involved in your own culinary community. Meetup catalogs lists of different events happening throughout the city. If you search “Foodie” and limit your search to fifty miles around St. Louis, you can join groups like “The Foodie Squad,” “STL Couples Fine Dining Club,” and “Wine Not Travel the World?”
These groups can provide great opportunities to network and to get the word out about your restaurant to local foodies.
5. Host a Benefit
Hosting a benefit is a great way to get involved in the community while also bringing new customers to your restaurant. If a local organization needs to raise money, offer to have a dine-in night at your restaurant and pledge to donate a certain amount from the checks to the cause.
You’ll get a lot of people in the door that would not have visited otherwise.
6. Reach out to the Media
Try to get yourself covered in the local media! Take note of which writers in your area write about food and restaurants. Send them an email if you have a newsworthy event coming up or if you’ve just opened—they might be open to featuring you for a story. One of our restaurants, Juniper, was able to get some great media coverage by reaching out to media about partnering with GiftAMeal!
7. Partner with Apps
There are a lot of apps that can really help boost your restaurant marketing—and we certainly hope GiftAMeal would be considered on this list! Think about partnering with a delivery service app like DoorDash, DeliveryHero, or Grubhub to widen your customer base. Or make the line seem less daunting for your customers and join Nowait.
So if you need to drum up business, don’t resort to slashing your prices just yet. If you need help strategizing ways to market your restaurant, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at GiftAMeal!