Successful Restaurant Marketing – so it works

Do you intend to attract more customers and grow your restaurant business? Running a restaurant or other gastronomy is no easy task. Among the biggest challenges are not only profit maximization and customer loyalty, but also sustainable competitiveness.

Gastronomy Marketing

To efficiently run your food-service business, marketing is an essential part of operations. The good news is that there are many ways to do restaurant marketing and dominate the competition.

We present four effective restaurant marketing growth factors and offer helpful tips on how to make your restaurant a success.

The 4 Growth Factors in Gastronomy Marketing

Like many other sectors, the gastronomy sector undergoes major changes and requires close monitoring of the market. The competition is constantly growing. New catering establishments with innovative ideas arise faster and faster, attracting attention thanks to sophisticated marketing for gastronomy.

Despite this fact, a large part of catering operators do not pay much attention to advertising for restaurants. All the greater is the disappointment when this strategy does not work out and leads to financial losses in the medium to long term.

Leave nothing to luck so that you do not experience any unpleasant surprises. If you do not overlook any detail in the marketing for restaurants, your project will be a complete success. After all, the survival and development of a restaurant depends on its attractiveness to guests, the right balance between expenses and income, a good advertising strategy and the quality of the food offered.

What Factors Influence Growth in the Restaurant Industry?

The following four factors significantly influence growth in the restaurant industry:

  1. Attract guests
  2. Improve customer loyalty
  3. Increase of table turnover
  4. Raising the frequency of visits

#1 Attract more Guests

Attracting more guests – this is a key challenge facing restaurant operators.

This task is not easy at all. After all, the competitive pressure in the gastronomy sector is great and requires a clever marketing strategy. As a restaurant operator, the question of how new guests come into contact with the restaurant comes up again and again. How does it work to attract more guests?

In addition to advertising on flyers, posters or digital signage display devices, the Internet is high in the age of digitalization. New guests often find the restaurant of first choice via the World Wide Web. Therefore, a professional web presence is highly important, as is the ranking with search engines. The more appealing the Internet presence, the higher the restaurant is listed in the ranking of Google and Co.

Disco Party

But there are other ways for you to attract customers. Specialize in a particular group of clients. Does your restaurant offer dishes from traditional cuisine, or do you want to spoil your guests with extravagant and high-class food?

Align your marketing activities accordingly and ensure a consistent perception of your brand through appropriate use of promotional tools. It is crucial to use many channels to make your brands known. This includes online branding (online ads, blog posts on the website and social media) as well as offline advertising.

Not only indoor spaces of your establishment are great for advertising and branding. The facade is also a good place to attract customers through attractive advertising in branding colors, for example on digital showcase.

#2 Improve Customer Loyalty

After the opening, of course, restaurant managers can't sit back and relax. The real work just begins. At the latest, now, one should think about how marketing in the restaurant business increases the number of customers and how to keep them in the long term.

So that you do not lose sight of the marketing costs per new customer, it is important to keep track of these expenses. The incurred costs for approaching new customers can be quantified by dividing the total sum of all advertising, marketing, and sales costs by the number of new customers. This metric enables you to monitor the effectiveness of advertising efforts.

Gastronomy Event

However, by no means spend your entire advertising budget on new customer acquisition. It is even more significant to work on the loyalty of regular customers. As we all know, it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than to keep a regular one. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve customer loyalty in the restaurant industry. I've put together some productive ideas for you here:

  • Catering for local businesses
  • Carrying out promotions(offline, online)
  • Introduction of loyalty programs / discount promotions (e.g., 25% discount on every fifth meal).
  • Increase awareness through postings on social media channels
  • Create a food blog on the website of the restaurant
  • Collect feedback from customers and keep the community up to date with positive news on social media

Don't forget: Impress customers primarily through outstanding experience, food, and service. Satisfied customers are worth their weight in gold and thank you by recommending the restaurant to friends, acquaintances, and family.

#3 Increase of table turnover

To increase sales per guest in the gastronomy sector, restaurant owners have the option of offering smaller menus. Establishments with small menus are becoming more and more popular. A small menu has several advantages. The restaurant benefits from faster ordering by guests. In addition, guests no longer feel overwhelmed by the variety of food offerings. This provides relaxation for service staff and increases table turnover.

To increase sales in the restaurant per day, it is also an opportunity to reserve tables and order in advance for the meal. As soon as all guests are seated at the table, the kitchen starts preparing the food directly. Service staff thus have more time to advise customers in a more targeted manner and generate more revenue through upselling as well as additional sales in the restaurant.

Additionally, score points with guests with quick service and generate more revenue per seat in the restaurant business. The optimal service time is usually one to five minutes. If the wait staff manages to serve customers quickly, you will remain satisfied and the catering operator will benefit from the reduced waiting time per table.

#4 Raising the Frequency of Visits

If you succeed in boosting the frequency of guest visits, the revenue generated will automatically rise. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. Consider in advance what makes guests visit the restaurant regularly.

Typically, a guest comes back because they were satisfied during their last visit and that experience left them with a positive memory. Positive experiences are predominantly influenced by the following factors: food offered, perceived price, taste, service, and ambience.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to see guests thank you directly for an excellent service. However, they leave enough indications that speak for satisfaction.

This includes:

  • Orders: What, when, how much and how often did a guest order?
  • Behavior: length of time spent in the location; what is the guest doing in the restaurant/on the website/on the app?
  • Indirect feedback: participation in surveys; behavior on social media channels.

5 Tips for successful Gastronomy Marketing

Catering businesses are successful when they understand the needs of their customers and offer services that meet those needs. Below, we have collected the five best marketing tips for successful restaurant marketing.

Restaurant Marketing

#1 Presenting Food and Drinks Online

Take advantage of the opportunity to present your food and beverage offerings on the Internet. The website of the restaurant or social networks are suitable for this purpose.

Actively interact with potential customers and encourage the community to leave reviews on the social media profile and rating platforms. Targeted promotions can also be used to attract new customers to the restaurant.

Furthermore, do not underestimate search engine marketing. Therefore, be sure to register your gastronomy business with Google and Bing Places to enable the restaurant to be found quickly.

#2 Organize events

Increase your reach to regulars and potential new customers with restaurant promotions and ideas for promotions. Certain promotions are costly, while others generate tolerable costs and implement quickly. Classics in the restaurant sector are happy hour, discount promotions or 2-for-1 promotion.

Theme nights in the restaurant industry are always well received by guests. Possible ideas for restaurant events include: Wine and beer tastings, holiday themed evenings, cultural evenings such as Italian or Caribbean.

There are no limits to the possibilities. Likewise, sports nights are true magnets for guests. Catering establishments such as bars, cafés, and beer gardens resort to such marketing tools and offer guests public viewing during important soccer matches.

#3 Find Unique Selling Points

Having a unique selling point doesn't mean committing to one culinary direction. If your restaurant is the only Italian in the area and sales depend solely on that, you will fail. It is not enough as a unique selling point if a restaurant advertises only with the slogan “best food and service” – that is the minimum requirement of the guests. It's better to prove than just proclaim.

What makes your restaurant unique and stand out from the competition? Is it the service or the digital menu outside the entrance? No matter what it is, play it up and most importantly, offer added value.

#4 Digital Signage as a Personal Highlight

Digital signage offers a great way to focus on highlights in the restaurant. An attraction can be a digital menu board, interactive digital signage display monitor or live video from the kitchen. High-contrast, dynamic and colorful content stimulates customers' appetite and creates a memorable experience.

#5 Use Website as a Flagship

Restaurant website

A professional web presence is part of this. It is the core building block of the online presence and significant for the external perception by potential customers. Often, a restaurant's website is the first point of contact and the basis for the decision to visit.

Therefore, take your advertising presence seriously and put enough energy into the design of the website. This will help you realize all your gastronomic marketing ideas. The more professional and attractive the online presence, the higher the probability of the visit.

What are the 5 most Common Mistakes in Restaurant Marketing?

  • Focusing on a too narrow or even wrong target group
  • Do not have an eye on expenditure and income
  • Too small investment budget for marketing
  • No appealing equipment of the spaces
  • No internet presence or activity on social networks

Learn to avoid these mistakes to make your restaurant marketing successful.

Of course, hygiene, good selection of food and beverages, trained staff, and your own individual branding also play an important role. But I'm going to assume that this is a given.


To survive against strong competition in the gastronomy sector, managing directors of catering businesses should have a good business plan as well as a well-thought-out marketing strategy, in addition to the minimum requirements. Targeted advertising and regular promotions promote customer loyalty, increase table sales and bring sustainable success.

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Gravatar Nikolaos Sagiadinos
Author: Niko Sagiadinos
Developer & Co-Founder SmilControl – Digital Signage
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