Restaurant FAQ: How can I advertise effectively?

RestaurantAdvertising2If you’re a seasoned restaurant expert, or just starting out in the business, you should be getting your restaurant’s name out there and drawing in new customers every month. Draw in new customers and keep the old ones coming back for more.

One Fat Frog loves to have themed dress up days to give discounts to customers, such as our upcoming Big Bang Theory dress up day this Friday. The Frog mixes it up so that it keeps its customers guessing, and it keeps them coming back to see what crazy thing we think up. For a new restaurant, it could be a discount or promotion for pizza at the Italian restaurant, a free drink at the bar, or just a billboard with your name in lights. However you reach your customers, you need to promote your restaurant and highlight its strong points.

I don’t have any experience in advertising. Where should I start?

If you have little to no experience in advertising, don’t worry. You can either hire someone to advertise for you, or you can simply create your own advertisements.

How can I create my own advertisements?

One Fat Frog knows how important it is to be computer-savvy. We like to keep our friends and clients up to date with our restaurant equipment and exciting news. However, it’s not a requirement for you to know every little thing about the internet if you’re a restaurant owner. It helps, but you can go old school with paper and pencil, drawing out your ideas, presenting them to a company, tweaking it so that it best represents your restaurant’s message.

How do I know who to target to promote my restaurant?

Consider this question: who will be dining at your restaurant? Is it the soccer team stopping by after a game for some pizza? Is it going to be a pit stop for healthy eaters and gym-goers? Think about who will enjoy your food the most.

What medium is the most effective way to reach customers?

This depends upon the age group and who you are targeting. There are 4 main mediums in advertising for your restaurant. Newspapers, internet, television and billboards. Your most economical choice is internet. You can post ads for free if you do a little digging. Newspapers will be effective for customers over sixty-five. Television will depend upon the time slot and channel in which you advertise. Billboards are ideal for drawing a customer in right then and there if it’s close to your restaurant. It all depends upon how much money you want to spend and who you want to reach.

How important is social media?

Social media is a great, free medium to advertise. Nowadays, most people search platforms of social media for a restaurant or bar’s information and operation hours. It’s a quick and easy way to check information, and view a restaurant’s online presence. Social networks are also a great way for restaurants to interact with customers and get feedback about the menu, or special experiences.

What platforms of social media should I use to market my restaurant?

Facebook and Twitter are the most common platforms to use. Customers can check hours, interact with the owner, or find quick answers about menu and price. These are also good places to throw in a coupon or discount for customers to print out and bring in.

How often should I advertise?

A few times a week if it’s online, monthly with a billboard, weekly if it’s a newspaper, and/or monthly if you’ve got the budget to spend on a television commercial.

What if I’m on a tight budget with my restaurant?

As stated earlier, there are economical and even free options. Send out a press release to local newspapers or magazines. They’ll get you listed or feature a story about your restaurant if you talk to them.

How do I deal with negative publicity?

Ignore pessimism and fight back with optimism. Highlight your strengths and fix any weaknesses. Make it difficult for the competition to hurt you. Let the criticism make you stronger in your efforts with advertising and reaching out to the customers.

How else can I get involved?

Host a fundraiser or special event to promote your restaurant while reaching out to the community. Set up flyers, business cards, or discounts with your restaurant’s name and give out free samples of your best dish. Communities or neighborhoods usually host holiday events where businesses and restaurants can rent a tent for the day to promote the business. It’s a great way to get to know community members and get your restaurant’s name out there.

Highlight your restaurant’s strong points, stay optimistic, and reach out to customers. Show them you know what you’re talking about through your advertisements. Give them a freebie or a theme dress up day for a discount. Advertising is just as important as starting up a restaurant.