5 Tips for Creating Effective Restaurant Marketing Campaigns

In today’s world, it can be difficult to grab your customers’ attention. Think of the hundreds of restaurant marketing promotions that land in your inbox every single day: how many of those are you actually opening? The challenge of cutting through the noise is even more difficult for restaurateurs, whose customers have a variety of restaurant options at any given time.

Here are 5 tips for getting the most bang for your marketing buck, and getting your customers in and visiting — fast:

Be purposeful.

Decide right away what you’re trying to do. Looking to inspire customers to visit more, or during a different time of day? Explore other parts of your menu? Or maybe you’re just looking to make your customers feel appreciated. Whatever the case may be, your purpose should be the bedrock of the promotion you build.

Be mindful of timing.

As the old adage goes, timing is everything. It’s no different when it comes to running your restaurant’s promotions. A study of over 7 million promotional offers and claim rates found recipients are actually most likely to respond to promotional messages around 3 p.m. Promotions for coffee shops unsurprisingly perform best in the morning, while casual restaurants actually do the best at around 4 pm. It’s a great idea to test out a few different time frames and see what works with your customer base.

The right timing is also a powerful way to influence new customer behaviors. For example, transaction data may show that a particular customer is only visiting between 10 and 11 am. You could send a $2 off discount that is redeemable only between 3 and 7 pm, which will kick-off the pattern of that customer visiting in the afternoon as well.

Make it personal.

Today’s consumers are used to hyper-customization, and they don’t want to feel like another face in the crowd. According to a report by NPD group on predictions for 2017 consumer trends, “today more than ever, the consumer is in charge. Access to information is empowering people to do things on their terms. The days of a one-size-fits-all blockbuster idea are over.” Marketing promotions should always include a personalized message, including their name and other relevant information. Some restaurants are getting even more savvy by incorporating the customer’s favorite location or menu items into their messaging.

Mix it up.

Running marketing campaigns is a great way to motivate behavior and reward your customers. But, if you run the exact same promotions over and over, customers become used to the discount. It’s not as exciting, and it won’t pack the same punch as it once did. A great way to counteract this is to run a mix of promotions; some targeted at customer behavior, others that surprise and delight customers.

Don’t be afraid to try new things!

While it’s likely you’ll maintain a core of extremely loyal customers, your customer base will inevitably change as time goes on. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try out marketing promotions that really build your brand and get customers excited.

Need more inspiration?

Download LevelUp’s Campaign Menu to read about proven campaigns that bring customers in and get them purchasing.


Jackie Cooke

Jackie Cooke

Jacqueline Cooke is the Digital Content Marketing Manager at LevelUp. She's a firm believer in the power of avocado toast and chocolate chip banana pancakes. When she’s not trying out LevelUp partner restaurants (hello, Dig Inn!) you can find her dreaming up travel plans, trying out a new workout class or listening to her laundry list of podcasts. Read about her latest antics at jacquelinecooke.com

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