11 tested ideas for restaurant promotional campaigns

Customers love a good deal and they’ll go out of their usual, beaten path for it! With so much competition you can’t afford not to offer promotions and specials to capture your client’s attention. Here are some tried and test methods you can apply to not only grow your following but keep them coming back, again and again.

  1. Happy hour

Offering cheaper products during certain times of the day or the week is one of the most popular promotional actions. Apply this tactic for times, which are the least popular with your customers.

  1. Free meals over a certain purchase value

Guests who order food for more than a certain amount can receive a gift. This could be, for example, a dessert prepared by the chef or a product bought at your local suppliers’.

It doesn’t have to be anything big – it’s the thought that counts. Guests who have been rewarded this way will surely feel valued and tell their friends about it.

  1. All-you-can-eat deals

Try to calculate how much one customer is able to eat or drink, then see how much these products cost in total. Set a price which the customer will have to pay in advance in order to eat or drink as much as they want. All you can eat offers bring more people into the restaurant. Try it, it works!

  1. Discount coupons

Put these in the press and on the internet. They’ll entitle the bearer to a discount for a specific group of dishes or drinks from the menu. Remember to include the expiration date on the coupon to have control over when your clients will be able to use the coupons.

  1. Loyalty programs

Use your menu to promote loyalty cards for frequent customers by offering some discounts for card holders. Waiters and venue staff should inform new guests about the program and the profits resulting from owning the card. Go mobile and get more customers signed up! According to the National Restaurant Association,

50 percent of restaurant customers use their smartphones for rewards or special deals occasionally. Earn the business of on-the-go customers by setting up loyalty programs that are convenient for them and insightful to you.”

  1. Lowering prices

A promotion of this sort shouldn’t go on for more than two weeks. The prices of certain dishes should be lowered by 20-30 % from the starting price.

  1. Discounts with receipt

The waiters should inform guests, that when they show a receipt from their last visit to the restaurant, they’ll receive discounts for certain groups of dishes or drinks from the menu. If your software, allows you to print additional information on the receipt, it’s also worth placing information about the promotion there.

  1. Stamps Cards

According to Modern Restaurant Management, this type of incentive works well for older customers, think Gen X who don’t turn to their mobile devices for nearly everything. The customer can collect stamps with their receipt. When they collect a certain amount of stamps, they can receive a gift, a drink or a dish for free.

  1. Dish recommended by the restaurant

This could be the dish of the day or the chef’s special. Both, the description of the dish and the price, should be attractive to the customer. These dishes can be made from products which have a short expiration date or are just lying around in the warehouse. In this way, you’ll increase the attractiveness of the restaurant’s menu, while saving money, because you won’t have to throw out any expired or less popular products.

  1. Freebies encouraging to buy certain dishes

Add some freebies with certain dishes on the menu. This could be a drink or a snack but it will go a long way.

  1. Tasting menu

You can test new dishes that you’d like to incorporate into your menu by serving them in smaller portions, in a similar way you would serve starters. Your waiters should ask the customers how they liked the starters. This information will help you to improve your menu.

Karolina Pura

Karolina is an Expansion Marketing Manager at POSbistro. She helps brands identify their customers, reach out to them and build a trusted, personalized and relevant communication as well as deliver the best commercial results.

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