Getting your new restaurant noticed is important for the success of your business. There is no point having the greatest chef and the most perfect food if nobody knows about it.
In order to get a bit if a buzz going about your restaurant, you need to be a bit marketing savvy. There are plenty of free advertising opportunities available to you – if you know where to look.
You can also try a number of different marketing tactics for getting some attention for your new restaurant – giving out free samples, for example, or getting people to think of a name for your signature dish in a competition.
Have a Launch Party
Although it will cost you some money up front, having a launch party is a great way to get people interested in your new restaurant. You do not need to offer free champagne and caviar all night to a stream of wannabe's, but you can provide a taster of your restaurant to a few local movers and shakers and then watch as they book tables with their friends and families.
A good launch party needs to be quite early on a week day evening. That way, you get people coming from work with their colleagues. They won’t want to stay too long, but just long enough to have a free glass of something a few canapés – the perfect way to introduce them to your restaurant.
Don’t just have a free for all for your launch party, or it will start to look like a soup kitchen and you will never be able to appeal to your target clientele.
At the end of the party, you could give away little cards that give your guests money off their first visit, or a free bottle of house wine when two people buy a main course.
Get a Review in the Newspaper
Having a review in a newspaper can make or break a new restaurant. A good review can have customers flocking from far and wide, whereas a bad review can have you shut down in a matter of weeks.
You want to treat all of your customers as though they are potential reviewers – although watching for people that dine on their own or with a note pad beside them is a bit of giveaway!
You can encourage local newspaper food columnists to come to your restaurant by simply writing and inviting them. While this is not a sure fire way to get a review, if you are in a relatively quiet local area it may work. This is great free advertising, too.
Get Good AdvertisingThe reason that advertising is such big business is that it works. Surely everyone in the world has heard of Coca Cola by now, yet they still spend millions on advertising.
People won’t know about your new restaurant unless you tell them. Pay for an advert in the local paper, or on the local radio station. Don’t be too cheap and try and cut corners or your restaurant will just seem tacky.