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Independent Restaurant: 20 New Restaurant Marketing Ideas for 2023 (Checklist)

Nairi Bodroumian
100 articles

In the ever-evolving world of independent restaurants, it’s not enough to simply serve delicious food and provide great service.

To stand out from the competition and thrive in 2023, you need to have a solid restaurant marketing strategy that incorporates new and innovative ideas.

That’s why Orders.co has compiled this comprehensive checklist of 20 new restaurant marketing ideas that will help you attract more customers, build your brand, and boost your bottom line. From social media campaigns and Google Ads to experiential marketing tactics, there’s something for every restaurant owner looking to make a splash in 2023.

So, get ready to revamp your marketing game and take your independent restaurant to new heights of success!

Host a Food Photography Contest on Social Media

In the age of Instagram, it’s no secret that people love taking pictures of their food. So why not leverage this trend to boost your restaurant’s visibility and engagement on social media and other marketing channels?

Hosting a food photography contest is a fun and interactive option to get your customers involved in your brand and create user-generated content that showcases your menu items. Encourage your followers to snap pictures of their favorite dishes and tag your restaurant in their posts. You may even offer a prize for the best photo, such as a free meal or gift card.

This strategy not only helps to build a local community around your brand but also provides valuable social proof to potential customers who are browsing your online presence. So grab your cameras and start snapping some mouth-watering shots!

Collaborate with Local Influencers

Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool in promoting businesses, and restaurants are no exception.

By collaborating with local restaurants or influencers, you can tap into their loyal following and expand your reach to a wider audience. Whether it’s partnering with food bloggers, Instagrammers, or YouTubers, having influencers promote your restaurant can generate buzz, drive traffic, and ultimately increase your revenue.

Plus, it’s a great way to build relationships with your community and showcase what makes your restaurant unique. So, consider reaching out to some local influencers and see how they can help promote your restaurant in 2023.

Offer a Limited-Time-Only Menu Item

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of exclusivity to get customers excited about your restaurant. By offering a limited-time-only menu item, you can create a sense of urgency and encourage diners to try something new and exciting before it’s too late.

This strategy not only keeps your menu fresh and interesting but also encourages repeat visits from customers who want to catch the latest and greatest offerings from your kitchen.

So, whether you’re rolling out a new seasonal dish or a creative twist on a classic favorite, a limited-time-only menu item can be a great way to pique customers’ interest and drive sales.

Launch a Loyalty Program for Frequent Customers

Rewarding your most loyal customers is a proven way to keep them coming back for more. Launching a customer loyalty program is a fantastic way to do just that.

By offering perks such as discounts, exclusive access to menu items, and freebies, you’ll make your regulars feel valued and appreciated. Plus, a loyalty program can encourage them to spend more and refer friends and family to your restaurant.

With so many benefits to both you and your customers, a loyalty program is an idea that’s definitely worth considering for your independent restaurant.

Hold a Charity Event or Fundraiser at Your Restaurant

Looking for a unique way to give back to your community and attract new customers to your restaurant? Consider holding a charity event or fundraiser!

Not only will you be able to support a cause you’re passionate about, but you’ll also have the opportunity to showcase your restaurant’s hospitality and generosity to a wider audience.

Whether it’s a silent auction, a benefit concert, or a donation drive, a well-planned charity event can help you make a positive impact while also boosting your restaurant’s visibility and reputation. So, why not use your culinary skills and creativity for a good cause?

Create a Tiktok Account and Post Short Videos

If you’re not on TikTok yet, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to showcase your restaurant’s food and personality to a massive audience.

With short-form videos taking over social media, it’s the perfect platform to give a glimpse into the inner workings of your restaurant, from the chefs in action to your signature dishes. Plus, it’s a perfect way to connect with younger demographics and build brand awareness in a fun and engaging way.

So, get creative and start sharing your culinary creations with the world on TikTok!

Partner with Local Breweries or Wineries

What’s better than pairing delicious food with great drinks? Partnering with local breweries or wineries can be a win-win for both parties.

By organizing beer or wine dinners, you can offer your customers a unique dining experience and showcase the best of what your local beverage industry has to offer.

This marketing idea not only helps you attract customers but also strengthens your relationship with the community.

Host a Cooking Class or Workshop

Want to give your customers a taste of what goes on behind the scenes at your restaurant? Why not host a cooking class or workshop?

Not only will you be able to showcase your culinary expertise, but you’ll also create a fun and interactive experience that your customers will love. Whether it’s a hands-on pasta-making class or a demonstration of your signature dishes, a cooking class or workshop is a great way to engage with your customers and build your brand.

Plus, you’ll be able to generate additional revenue by charging a fee for the class or selling your cookbooks or other merchandise.

Launch a Food Truck

Food trucks are a great way to expand your reach to new customers and tap into the growing trend of mobile dining. With their convenience and affordability, food trucks have become increasingly popular with younger generations of diners who are always on the go.

By launching a food truck, you can offer your signature dishes to an even wider audience and open up new revenue streams. So, hit the road and start serving delicious food to hungry customers!

Partner with Nearby Hotels

With so many people traveling these days, partnering with nearby hotels can be a great way to draw new customers to your restaurant.

By offering hotel guests a special discount or complimentary appetizer at your establishment, you’ll give them the incentive to come and try out your food.

This is a perfect way to introduce your restaurant to travelers who may not be familiar with it, and it’s also an opportunity to create a lasting first impression.

Use QR Codes

QR codes are a great way to make it easy for your customers to access your online menu or website. By printing the code on your table tents or takeout bags, customers will be able to quickly find out more about your restaurant without having to search for it online.

This strategy not only saves them time but can also help you drive more traffic to your restaurant website, increase customer engagement, and boost sales. So, don’t miss out on this simple yet powerful tool for restaurant marketing in 2023!

Offer a Gluten-Free or Vegan Menu

In today’s world, people are increasingly conscious of the food they eat and the impact it has on their health.

By offering a gluten-free or vegan menu, you can cater to customers with specific dietary needs and show that your restaurant is committed to providing healthy and nutritious options.

This is an excellent way to attract a new customer base and also build trust and loyalty among existing customers.

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Participate in Local Food Festivals or Fairs

Food festivals and fairs are great opportunities to put your restaurant on the map and draw in new customers.

By participating in local food events, you can showcase your unique dishes and build relationships with people who may not have otherwise heard about your restaurant.

It’s also a great opportunity to network with other restaurateurs and learn from their experiences.

Use Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality

We live in an age where technology is rapidly advancing and changing the way we interact with the world.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two technologies that can be used to create an immersive dining experience for your customers. You can use VR to transport diners to far-off destinations or AR to bring your menu items to life with 3D visuals and interactive elements.

No matter which technology you choose, these effective marketing strategies can help your restaurant stand out from the competition and attract a wide range of customers in 2023 and beyond.

Offer a Takeout or Delivery Service

With the increasing demand for takeout and delivery services, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most important restaurant marketing ideas for 2023.

Offering a takeout or delivery service is a perfect option to connect with customers who may not be able to dine in person while also giving you an opportunity to increase your sales and revenue.

So, consider implementing this strategy into your restaurant’s operations to stay competitive and meet customer needs.

Launch a Podcast Showcasing Your Restaurant

Podcasts have become hugely popular in the past few years, and it’s no wonder—they offer an engaging way to share stories and experiences with a wide audience.

So, why not launch your own podcast that showcases your restaurant? You can use this platform to talk about your menu items, recipes, industry trends, and more.

You can even invite guests to join in the conversation and give your listeners an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes at your restaurant.

Develop a Mobile App for Your Restaurant

In today’s tech-savvy world, having a mobile app for your restaurant can be a game-changer.

With a mobile app, you may offer your customers a seamless and personalized dining experience, from browsing your menu to placing an order and making a payment. You may also use push notifications to promote special deals and events and collect valuable data on your customers’ preferences and behaviors.

Developing a mobile app may seem like a big investment, but the benefits can far outweigh the costs in terms of increased customer engagement and loyalty.

Use Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing is a tried and true tactic for reaching potential customers, but in 2023, it’s all about making those emails as targeted and personalized as possible.

By segmenting your email list and sending specific messages to different groups of customers, you can increase the likelihood of engagement and conversion. From promoting seasonal menu items to offering exclusive deals and discounts, targeted email marketing campaigns can help keep your restaurant top of mind and drive more business through your doors.

Host a Pop-Up Event in a Different Location

When it comes to promoting your independent restaurant, thinking outside of the box can be a game-changer.

One such idea is to host a pop-up event in a different location. This can give you the opportunity to showcase your menu to a new audience, generate buzz around your restaurant, and potentially attract new customers.

Whether you partner with a local restaurant business, set up at a farmers’ market, or participate in a food festival, a pop-up event may be a fun and creative way to get your restaurant’s name out there.

Offer a Happy Hour or Daily Specials

Being able to offer customers a good deal is always a great way to entice them to come in and try your restaurant. Happy Hour and Daily Specials are two of the most effective ways to do just that.

Offering discounted drinks and food during a certain time of day or specific days of the week can help draw in customers who may be looking for a deal. This idea can also help boost sales during slower periods and can encourage customers to try new menu items they may not have otherwise ordered.

Overall, implementing a Happy Hour or Daily Specials promotion can be a win-win situation for both the restaurant and the customers.

Take Your Independent Restaurant to the Next Level

In the ever-evolving world of the restaurant industry, marketing plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining customers.

The checklist of 20 effective restaurant marketing ideas for 2023 provides a comprehensive guide for independent restaurant owners to stay ahead of the curve and stand out from the competition.

By implementing the best restaurant marketing ideas and adapting to the changing trends, independent restaurants can create a unique and memorable experience for their customers, ultimately leading to increased business success.

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