Are you hoping to find ways for your restaurant business to grow this year? Between new products, a revamped menu, and promotions meant to draw in new crowds, there are a lot of ways you can boost your restaurant’s PR. Here are a few tips to develop a PR plan that will ensure your restaurant is the first that comes to mind when someone asks, “Where should we go?”
A great way to attract local attention is to build your advertising and marketing campaigns on local events in your area. These events can involve festivals, concerts, sporting events, or other activities specific to your region.
Look into the year’s upcoming events and see if you can set up a booth, table, or stand at any of them. For example, if you sell ice cream and a vineyard is planning a wine-tasting festival, inquire about setting up an ice cream stand on-site for any kids that might accompany their parents to the event.
Or, if there’s a large event coming to town, create your advertising to tie into the event. For example, if your business is on a parade route and the Fourth of July is coming, you could offer a parade-day special to encourage guests to stop in for a bite to eat while they enjoy the show.
As an established business, you probably have a lot of loyal customers. A great way to use that to your advantage is by turning your loyal customers into promoters of your business.
One way to encourage promotion and loyalty is by offering a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers. For example, if you own a pizzeria, you could offer a stamp card that rewards a customer with a free pizza after they’ve purchased ten.
Show your history
Good food is a great reason to keep customers coming back. But a great way to get them to your business in the first place is by showing them what makes you stand out from your competitors.
Every restaurant owner has a story. Perhaps your favorite piece of restaurant equipment is the set of chef’s knives your mother left when she passed. Or maybe you were raised by a grandmother who taught you each of your Italian family’s secret recipes. Share your history and a bit of your personality to encourage your guests to open up to you in return.
No matter your story, your customers will appreciate knowing who you are. The idea of someone with a backstory preparing their food will be much more appealing than a faceless chef who may or may not have a foundation in their chosen cuisine.
Know who you’re working with
Getting a journalist involved in your PR campaign is a great idea. However, you have to make sure you’re giving them what they want if they choose to work with you.
If you’ve chosen a journalist you’d like to work with, take a look at their past work to understand exactly what kinds of businesses and stories they cover. For example, if the bulk of the journalist’s stories are about companies that have a heavy focus on philanthropy or community service, you should make sure your restaurant covers those bases, too.
Social media has become prime real estate for marketing. Not only can you target ads directly to your ideal customers, but you can chat and interact with your patrons, too.
Social media gives you the ability to run contests, poll customers, advertise promotions, and share news about your restaurant in real-time.
The best part about social media, though, is that it gives your restaurant a personality. You can choose how funny, sarcastic, or serious your brand is by letting your business’ social media accounts take on that persona.
A solid PR campaign can take some time to roll out. But, if it’s done right, it can be a boon for your restaurant. Not only will solid PR increase new business, but it will also help you build a base of loyal customers who’ll return time and time again for the experience you offer.