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Unique Restaurant Promotion Ideas

12 Unique Restaurant
Promotion Ideas

 Whether you are a college dive bar or a fine dining steakhouse in Manhattan, you can utilize  these 12 Unique Restaurant Promotion Ideas to boost sales. There are some things to consider before knocking 50% off your menu. The first thing you should look at is your customer base. Run promotions that are compelling and interesting to the customer base you are trying to reach. Take a look at the demographics over your customers and where you are located. Are you in a busy commercial area with plenty of offices or near the local minor league stadium? Another thing to consider is what challenges you are facing as a restaurant owner. You can use promotions to boost lunch sales if lunch has been slow or increase visitors during particular days of the week. Ever heard of Taco Tuesday?

1 Local Charity

Our first unique restaurant promotion idea is teaming up with a local charity! Nothing builds your brand and resonates in your community like helping out a local charity. Team up with the city animal shelter for an event or host a food drive. People are more willing to give your restaurant a shot if you are giving back to the community. You could even ask a local celebrity to join you to promote the event. Celebrities tend to give you more of a break if it’s for a good cause.

2 Big Event

Have an event or special paired along with an event. Everyone always looks for an excuse to celebrate. Some ideas could be for a concert coming to town, a national sporting event on tv, a local sporting event, or possibly a festival. There is no shame in riding the coattails of a bigger event.

3. Loyalty

This is a large mistake that a lot of restaurant owners make. “Why do I need to give promotions to people that are loyal to my business?” The reason for this is to keep your best visitors constantly engaged and grateful to your business. You always want to stay top of mind because there is always a new restaurant popping up. You could gamify the entire system to encourage more frequent visits. The worst promotion ever is “Buy 10 coffees and get the 11th free.” They’re going to get an 11th coffee regardless, how about have them try one of your breakfast sandwiches for free.

4. Holidays

Identify holidays that match your brand. Are you a family oriented business or a local yuppie bar? Try not to pick a holiday that another bar or restaurant in your area dominates. You can go as small as National French Toast Day or as large as Christmas. Make sure that the staff gets involved and makes the atmosphere at your restaurant electric.

5. Happy Hour

This is one of the most classic promotions on this list. Happy hour is when you offer discounted drinks and/or appetizers to draw in the after work crowd. The perfect time for happy hour is between 5 pm and 7 pm. What is the use of a 3 pm – 5pm happy hour when the local businesses get out at 5? Be consistent with your low prices and you will develop a loyal, lively crowd.

Unique Restaurant Promotion Ideas | Dwell Digital | Restaurant Marketing

6. Birthday

The first and most obvious key to this promotion is gathering your customers birthday information. The easiest way to do this is with an email list. Now that you have your guests’ birthdays, send them a special the week before! You don’t want to send them the special the day of because they probably already have their birthday dinner planned. Do you know who people love to eat with on their birthdays? Other people, their significant other, their friends! Sending one email can draw in a large table.

7. Bundling

This is a tricky promotion to nail. You need to know the numbers for every item on your menu. Choose something that is considered more expensive, premium, with high margins that isn’t ordered a lot. Something like an expensive wine works perfectly, but bundle that together with one to three other menu options and give it a 10-20% discount. Typically the full course from appetizer to entree, to dessert paired with a bottle of expensive wine works swimmingly.

8. Foot-in-the-Door

Another unique promotion idea is to give steep discounts on items that are rarely ordered alone. Once they come in for that special, the guest typically orders a few other things with it. How often do you go into a restaurant to just eat dessert? If you give someone free fries, that will lead to a burger and a couple beers.

9. Slow Time

This is how the happy hour was originally invented. Run a special when the restaurant is typically slow and you are overstaffed. You still have to pay to keep the lights on, so you might as well make a smaller margin and get some more folks in. You can use your creativity and your brand to design a special to get patrons in during slower times.

10. New Menu Item

You have invested time, energy, and money into developing a new menu item so it’s time to celebrate! New food items tend to start slow unless promoted because people naturally go with their “usual.” Promoting them can give it a quick boost and allow the item to become a fan favorite quickly.

11. Tastings

Team up with the local craft brewery during the slow season. It gets you involved in the local community, helps out a local brewery, increases revenue, and gets new customers through the doors. You can even design a specific menu if wine tastings are more up your alley. 

12. Entertainment

This is very general, but the idea is that you want to keep your guests entertained regularly. This can include trivia nights, live music, or open mic nights. The great part about these special days is that you can attract new customers, but notice them coming back during regular hours and regular days.

We hope you enjoyed our 12 Unique Restaurant Promotion Ideas! Check out more blogs on our site!

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