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12 Creative Marketing Ideas For New Restaurants

Blog / 12 Creative Marketing Ideas For New Restaurants

With effective marketing, you can expand your customer base and build a successful restaurant business. There are a variety of ways that new restaurants can market themselves, including using social media, creating a website, and implementing print promotions.

Opening a restaurant can be an exciting, but daunting feat. Taking the leap of faith and turning your passion into reality can cause stress. But don’t worry! With the right marketing strategy and knowledge, you can ensure that your new restaurant starts out on the right foot. 

Here we will cover some of the most important and effective marketing ideas to consider when launching a new restaurant.

From targeted campaigns to creative social media strategies, this blog post has it all – so read on for excellent marketing advice specifically tailored for restaurateurs who want to watch their business take off!

1. Create a solid brand.

Your restaurant's branding should be strong and consistent across all platforms, from your website to your social media posts to your menu design. First impressions count, so make sure your branding makes a good one!

2. Build a killer website.

Your website is often the first stop for potential customers looking for information about your restaurant. Make sure it's up-to-date, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly. Include clear information about your menu, location, and hours of operation.

Aside from providing information about the restaurant, your website will be a great way to showcase your menu items.

This can include high-quality photos of your dishes and dining experience, as well as videos and virtual tours. With a virtual menu, you can give potential customers a sense of what to expect when they visit your restaurant.

Most importantly, having a professionally designed website can help build credibility and trust with your potential customers. An attractive website can entice casual browsers to pay your restaurant a visit.

3. Use an online reservation tool.

Having a booking feature on your website can be a good idea if you're in a crowded city. Include a call-to-action on your website, such as a "Reserve a Table" button, to encourage potential customers to visit your restaurant.

You can also sign up for platforms that make it easy for new restaurants to offer online reservations, such as Yelp, OpenTable, Tablein, and TableAgent, among others.

4. Use Google Business


When folks search for restaurants in their area, Google Business (formerly Google My Business) listings often appear at the top of the search results. 

Just by having a Google Business profile, you’ll be more visible to users in your area. Aside from your website, Google Business is a great channel for attracting customers who are looking to buy immediately. 

Plus, you’ll have control over the information that will appear on the top result for your restaurant’s name, something that you can’t readily achieve with a website alone.

A listing on Google Business is indispensable in online reputation management. You can receive and respond to customer reviews directly, which can improve the overall experience of your customers.

5. Get social

Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and create a buzz around your new restaurant. You can run social media contests and offer discounts to followers who mention your restaurant.

Aside from posting announcements and promotions, use your social media channels to start a conversation with your customers. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, create discussions aligned with your brand, and interact with your followers through comments and direct messages.

You can also use your social media profiles to post mouth-watering pictures of your food to entice your followers to place an order. When taking pictures of your dishes, use a good camera and proper lighting to make your food look as great as it tastes.

Pro Tip: If you can afford it, hire a professional photographer to take photos of your food so that you can present your menu items in the best light possible. 

Having a pro on board can help you create scroll-stopping social media photos that you can also reuse for your marketing materials, your website, your posters, or even your menu.

6. Create “Insta-worthy” dishes your customers would love to share

One great way to create buzz around your new restaurant is by making dishes that are visually appealing. 

Here are some ways to do that:

  • Use colorful ingredients: Adding a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, and herbs can make your dishes more eye-catching.

  • Plate the food in an attractive way: Consider the presentation of your dishes and how they will look on camera. Arrange the food on the plate in an aesthetically pleasing way.

  • Use quirky serving dishes: Consider using unique or interesting serving dishes, such as vintage plates or bowls, to make your dish look more inviting.

Add garnishes to your dishes: Add a sprinkle of herbs or a dash of sauce to make your dish more appealing to customers.

Nothing excites young customers more than sharing photos of what they eat on their social media pages. Take advantage of this opportunity to expand your reach by creating tasty-looking dishes.

7. Feature your staff on your social media accounts

In our digital age, it pays to invest in evocative marketing that reminds our customers that behind every online order or phone call, there are actual humans behind the screen. 

When your customers see happy employees on your social profiles, they’ll feel good about your brand, and you’ll have a stronger reputation as a corporate brand.

8. Send email newsletters

Emails are a cost-effective way to build relationships with your potential customers. You can use emails to send regular updates and news about your restaurant, such as

  • New menu items

  • Seasonal changes to your menu

  • Ongoing promotions 

  • Special events (like a karaoke night, etc.)

You can also offer rewards to your most active subscribers, or send emails on your subscribers’ birthdays to promote brand loyalty.

9. Invest in print promotions

Don’t forget the tried-and-tested offline campaigns, which include the use of

  • Flyers

  • Posters and banners

  • Print menus

  • Print coupons or discounts

  • Print postcards or mailers

  • Gift certificates

These affordable marketing materials offer a high ROI, provided that you do it right. You can always partner with a trusted custom print provider for restaurants to make sure that you get well-designed marketing materials you can be proud of.

10. Offer discounts and promotions

You can also try offering a variety of discounts and loyalty programs to bring in new customers. Some examples of the kinds of promotions that you can run are

  • A discount on the first visit, or a free dessert or appetizer

  • A loyalty program, where you can offer special discounts or freebies for returning customers

  • A happy hour special to attract customers during slow times of the day

  • A discount for dining with a friend or similar promos for loyal customers who bring in new customers – you can offer a small discount to slash off their total bill for each friend they bring in with them

A birthday promo for customers who choose to spend their birthday at your restaurant – this can be a free slice of cake or an appetizer

Here are more useful ideas on how to run restaurant discounts and other promotions.

11. Get your restaurant on restaurant delivery apps

If you’ve listed your restaurant on third-party delivery apps such as Uber Eats or DoorDash, you already have a new marketing channel. Here are some tips on how you can maximize your presence on delivery apps: 

  • Offer discounts or special deals through delivery apps 

  • Use high-quality photos to highlight your unique offerings and to stand out from the competition

  • Tell your social media followers that you are available through these third-party delivery apps to increase awareness

12. Reach out to local influencers

Influencers are social media personalities with a loyal audience base. Here are some tips for working with influencers to promote your restaurant:

  1. Identify the right influencers: First, identify influencers who align with your restaurant's brand and target market. Look for influencers who have a large following and a strong engagement rate within your own target audience.

  2. Reach out to the influencers: Once you have identified the influencers you want to work with, reach out to them and introduce your restaurant. Provide them with information about your restaurant and explain why you think they would be a good fit to promote it.

  3. Offer incentives: Many influencers will be willing to promote your restaurant in exchange for incentives, such as a free meal or a discount. It’s up to you – and your budget – how you would want to go about this.

  4. Track results: After the influencer has promoted your restaurant, be sure to follow up and track the results of their promotion.

Final Thoughts

It's important for new restaurants to focus on building their online presence and creating a strong brand identity to stand out from competitors. In addition, restaurants should make use of digital channels such as websites, social media, and emails to create a conversation with their customers.

By implementing these strategies, new restaurants can effectively market themselves and build a successful business.

Work with a reliable custom printing company

When it comes to your marketing materials, it’s important to work only with a print service provider who understands your vision as a business owner. 

At DesignsNprint, we have been helping new restaurants design print products that help them build a professional look for their brand. From gift certificates to purchase order forms, we can help you print what you need.

Contact us at 800-492-1218 for a free quote today.



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Michael Reid

From my roots in Jamaica to the bustling streets of the USA, my journey into design and printing has been fueled by a passion for creativity and business. I founded Small Business Promotions, Inc. back in 2003, bringing DesignsnPring.com to life. The foundation of my work comes from not only my degree in accounting and economics from the University of the West Indies but also my hands-on-experience that started at Georgia Perimeter College.

Do You want
design or printing?

Hi there! I'm Michael Reid, and I specialize in design and printing. Would you like me to help you with an upcoming project?