Restaurant Marketing Ideas: How to Make Restaurant Marketing Work on a Small Budget?

By Judy Tse | Branding & Marketing

New eBook Reveals How To Successfully Open A Restaurant… Free E-Book!

Caption: Low-budget restaurant marketing for small businesses can get you incredible results
Gone are the days when restaurants could rely on traditional marketing methods, such as printed pamphlets, brochures, and word of mouth to attract customers. Today, the competition is fierce in the restaurant and foodservice industry, which is why if you are running a restaurant, you must think out of the box and try unique restaurant marketing ideas to stand out from the crowd.

The good news is that great marketing is no longer a costly affair. Thanks to online marketing, it is now possible to take excellent marketing initiatives and get extraordinary results even on a tight budget. 

Big Restaurant Marketing Ideas on a Small Budget

Restaurant marketing is fundamental to your success, especially if you are a new or small business. So, make sure you don’t let a small marketing budget hold you back. Scroll down to take a look at some big restaurant marketing ideas for small businesses that you can try on a tight budget.

1. Social Media Marketing is a Must!

The first thing you need to do is build a strong social media presence on the internet. Social media is currently one of the most powerful marketing platforms that allow you to reach thousands of customers but also provide a customized experience.

It is cost-effective, easy to manage, and tremendously helpful in getting the word out about your restaurant. It gives you the perfect opportunity to create hype about your place and make everyone want to try your food.

Here are a few restaurant marketing ideas that can help you gain a competitive edge on social media quickly. 

A Guide on Using Social Media Effectively for Restaurant Marketing

  • Pick the Right Social Media Platforms: It is best to take the time to learn more about your target audience before starting your low-cost marketing campaign.
  • Engage With Your Customers As Much As Possible: Welcome suggestions and address their concerns and queries swiftly.
  • Introduce the People Behind Your Impeccable Food Service: Show your customers what goes on in the kitchen. Post short, fun videos of your staff at work. The goal is to humanize the business and build relationships with the customer.
  • Post Food Pictures: Put out appealing and aesthetic pictures of food served at your restaurant on social media. A picture speaks a thousand words!
  • Embrace Criticism: Do not run away from negative comments. Address negative remarks with respect and ask them to give you another chance to serve them. Also, make sure you take appropriate actions so that your customers know you take their feedback seriously.

2. Collaborate

Collaborating with partners is a great restaurant marketing idea. It can work like a charm for small businesses looking for low-budget restaurant marketing. Approach corporate and event management companies that frequently host parties or events at restaurants.

You can offer catering, discounts, or special deals for collaborating with you and choosing your restaurant to host events. It is an excellent way of bringing crowds to your restaurant, and if you manage to impress the attendees with your food and service, you will gain some new customers who will revisit you. 

3. Invite Influencers

A person clicking a photograph of their food

Caption: Influencer marketing can make you famous overnight!

Want to spread the word about your business quickly? Then look into influencer marketing. It is a type of marketing where you work with influencers to expand your reach. It is essential to understand that influencers are not necessarily celebrities.

An influencer could be anyone who has a strong following on the internet and possesses the power to change the buying behaviour of people. You can invite influencers who run food blogs or even travel blogs to try your restaurant. If they like your food and write about you, you will gain instant recognition amongst their followers.

However, it must be mentioned that influencer marketing can be tricky. The right way to go about it is to gradually build rapport with the influencers before you invite them to your restaurant. 

4. Get Your Restaurant on Google Maps

Many people turn to Google Maps to check out places to dine at. Therefore, Google My Businesses can make a huge difference in your sales even if you are just starting out. Google My Business is more than just a listing.

You can think of it as a business profile where you can interact with customers via Google Search and Maps. It is a quick and easy way of connecting with customers and answering their queries. Plus, you can post photos, and let your customers know what makes you unique and why they should visit your restaurant. 

5. Encourage Online Reviews

Want to get more customer reviews for your website? All you have to do is ask your happy customers! It’s no secret that when people are looking for new places to eat, online reviews act as a deciding factor. This is why restaurant owners want to acquire positive reviews. However, if you are not getting as many reviews as you’d like, try asking your customers.

You will be surprised by how many people will be happy to leave a review simply because you ask them to. You can ask them to leave reviews on your website, Google My Business page, or your social media handles. You can also encourage them to leave reviews on third-party websites such as Yelp and Zomato.

While urging your customers to leave reviews is a good restaurant marketing idea, make sure you don’t bug them about it. Also, don’t ask for positive reviews. Instead, tell them to leave their honest feedback. In case you receive a negative review, address the situation tactfully and in a positive and friendly manner. 

The Bottom Line

Restaurant marketing for small businesses is necessary for success. The good news is that you can launch an extraordinary restaurant marketing campaign even on a tight budget. In the end, all marketing efforts boil down to two things – getting the word out about your business and building relationship with your customers.

You can do both by following the five low-budget restaurant marketing ideas discussed above. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today! If it seems like a lot of work, you can always seek advice from restaurant consultants to create a winning marketing strategy for your restaurant.

Did you find this blog helpful? Browse through our blogs to learn more about restaurant marketing. You can also hire our restaurant consultants for professional assistance.

New eBook Reveals How To Successfully Open A Restaurant… Free E-Book!


About the Author

Judy Tse is extremely focused, confident and enthusiastic, Judy is an expert in Branding, Graphic Design and Marketing with great experience of creating, building, maintaining, re-branding and repositioning brands.