If you’ve started, or are thinking of starting a restaurant, you’ve already spent some time thinking about the setting, menu, prices, and ambiance. How much thought have you given to your print marketing materials?
Print marketing materials are an excellent way of setting the scene for your patrons. When done right, marketing materials will let diners see in a glance what kind of restaurant you have and why they should try it. If they’ve already dined at your establishment, the right marketing will remind them about their great experience and bring them back.
Here are some of the marketing materials we know work particularly well for getting the word out.
Let’s start with the menu. Think carefully about the design of your restaurant menu because it’s much more than a simple vehicle for relaying entree prices, description, and availability. Your menu should match the level of ambiance and the price point you want to establish. They can be casual and playful, relate the breadth of your food and beverage offering, convey a feeling of formality and grandeur or express endless other moods. However you want to position your restaurant, your menu should match that feel.
These are the menus that go out the door with your patrons. Think outside the box. Your take out menu doesn’t have to be a single page of items, bare-bones descriptions, and prices. If you’re a lunchtime destination, send stacks of your takeout menus to nearby businesses.
Your guests have placed their orders and are sitting there doing…what? The downtime between ordering and food arriving is a great time to capture their attention with strategically written table tents. Let their eyes fall on news of your latest drink or dessert specials, or messaging about happy hour prices, or an upcoming event. Remember to vary your messages and introduce new elements periodically, so your regulars don’t stop seeing your messaging.
Premium Business Cards
Get in the habit of carrying around several business cards for when you run into people who might become patrons. A well-designed business card will convey all of the information and encouragement you can provide at a glance: address, phone number, website, email, and a quick idea of what kind of food and ambiance your customer can expect. You could even try putting a coupon code on your business card!
Direct Mail Messaging
Your fun and casual dining spot wants to make repeat customers of nearby locals. An often overlooked marketing strategy is a direct mailer to the neighborhood. Put a fridge magnet on it, and your messaging will literally stick around for a while. Your big, bold phone number and website URL can encourage a quick takeout order by merely placing your establishment top of mind whenever your diners are hungry and not eager to cook.
Resource: Direct Mail vs. EDDM®
Special pricing is an excellent way to increase the response rate. Coupons and specials are especially valuable during slow times of the week, month, or year. Print coupons are also a good way of testing marketing strategies and bringing in new diners you might have otherwise missed.
A brief message, along with a coupon special, address, and basic info about what kind of food can be found at your place are about all you need when designing an effective flier. Pass them out on sidewalks, in parking lots near your location, or at public events that will draw the clientele you’re looking for.
Your print communication campaign can work with or independently of your digital marketing campaign. Plan it out carefully to gain new diners, encourage the additional business of your semi-regulars, and keep your establishment top of mind for all. Go for it!