Influencers, Events, Direct Mail, and More: Think Outside The Box For Your Restaurant Marketing

The common marketing methods everyone knows about are important. You’ll be hard-pressed to succeed without paying attention to restaurant marketing tips that advise you to have a strong social media presence, email marketing program, running Google/Facebook/Yelp ads, and optimizing your SEO.  

But you shouldn’t just stick with these well-known channels. Getting creative and trying other methods can really help your restaurant marketing. Whether you do it yourself or enlist the help of a hospitality marketing agency, here are some less commonly-used channels to market your small business through.


Everyone has heard of influencer marketing, but not everyone is using it.  However, they probably should be: Over the past few years, influencer marketing has shown itself to generate substantial revenue and really be worth the investment for brands across many different industries. 

This is especially true for the influencers that restaurants would want to work with: Local foodies.  These content creators will often promote your restaurant in exchange for a free meal, without asking for additional compensation. Influencer marketing can be especially effective if you make a push to work with a large number of influencers all around the same time.  With numerous large, influential accounts posting about your restaurant at once, they’ll get an algorithm boost and more people will see the posts about your restaurant! 

It’s simple to get started and add influencers to your hospitality marketing strategy.  Most social media influencers can be easily reached through direct messages on the account you want them to promote on (Instagram, TikTok, etc).  Just send a quick message complimenting their content and asking if they’d like to come by for a meal sometime and you’ll be well on your way!

Community Events

Connecting with local influencers is a great way to grow your restaurant.  Another of our best marketing tips for restaurants is to establish an in-person presence in your community as well.  One way to do this is through community events. 

Your restaurant can set up a booth at a local festival, a table at a food sampling event, or even sponsor an event where you’re unable to have a physical presence.  Through any of these means, you’re increasing the exposure your restaurant is getting in the local community. 

Charitable Donations

Donating to organizations you care about is great for a number of reasons, even beyond the moral and ethical ones. Supporting local nonprofits is another way your restaurant can connect with your local community.  It forges connections and improves your reputation in the community.

You can have fun with your charitable involvement too! Dedicate a portion of your restaurant marketing budget to creative charitable endeavors.  For instance, you could consider closing your restaurant for a day so your whole staff can volunteer at a local nonprofit together.  You could also create a special menu item in support of a cause or organization you care about and donate a percentage of the proceeds. 

Direct Mail

You may think snail mail is a thing of the past, but think again.  While it seems old school, most Americans still really like getting mail.  The response rate for direct mail marketing campaigns is 6x higher than the response rate to digital ads. 

The other benefit of direct mail has to do with attention.  When potential customers see a digital ad for your restaurant online, they’re also probably distracted by a number of other ads, videos, or aspects of the webpage. But when they’re sorting through their mail, you likely have their full attention.  They’re more likely to actually read the information you include in a mailer.  Direct mail is a great way to send materials like carryout menus and catering info.

These are just a few of the more unique methods you can use for marketing your small business. Need help getting started with any of these marketing methods? We’ve put together a handy guide that includes all the information you need to create the perfect marketing plan for your restaurantDownload our Restaurant Marketing Recipe Book today for restaurant marketing insights to help your business thrive. 

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