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5 Restaurant Marketing Best Practices for 2020

When you’re in

the complex and competitive restaurant industry, putting your business on the map is no small feat. But knowing how to effectively attract new customers and retain existing ones is just as paramount to your success as serving great food.

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That’s why it’s important to stay on top of the best practices in marketing. Here are 5 for restaurants in 2020.

Traditional Advertising

You’ve probably heard that traditional advertising is on its way out. However, it does have some utility depending on your customer base. For instance, older customers may not see your social media ads. Most restaurants keep it to 20% of their marketing budgets, using channels such as billboards, newspaper, radio, word-of-mouth and press releases.

Digital Channels

The internet proves to be a better starting point for new restaurants, especially those with meals and settings that lend to user-generated content. In other words, the way your food and environment looks can motivate customers to do your advertising for you, such as by sharing photos on social media.

Influencer marketing is another digital solution to consider. Partnering up with the right people can create positive associations that improve the reputation of your restaurant. Food bloggers are a good option here.

Publishing valuable content (think Starbucks’ “Stories” section) can do the same while attracting more web traffic and improving your local visibility. Don’t forget to provide helpful responses to any criticism that shows up in your online listings and social media pages.


The most innovative campaign is of no use if you don’t have the money to implement it. Your budget should be proportionate to your sales volume. Spending money on advertising during slow periods will ultimately prove to be a waste. Use your marketing dollars to influence existing behaviors instead of trying to change them.

One of the biggest challenges that restaurants face is obtaining the working capital required to afford their marketing strategies. There are several funding methods that can prove useful here. The following link has more information:


Repeat customers spend more money. They’re also far more affordable to market to than new customers, costing restaurants an average of 500% less. Loyalty programs can help you keep the highest spenders coming back. Increasing engagement, such as with interactive social media posts and competitions, can also help.


Another reason to prioritize digital marketing is to gain access to more detailed and comprehensive analytics, which can reveal useful insights into the effectiveness of your campaigns. Keeping track of sales and customer responses to advertising will help you see what needs to be changed and where you can gain the upper hand over competitors.

Don’t forget about the importance of knowing your customers. You need to see them how they see themselves. Get that right, and you’ll have a better idea of their values. From there, it’s a matter of identifying how they intersect with the values of your brand.

Perhaps most important of all is to always provide the best possible quality product and experience, which might end up doing all your marketing work for you.


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