Restaurant marketing on a shoestring budget is hard,but here's some ideas to get you started:
- Listen to your local radio station and call in for competitions. When they ask you where you are say "work" and then name your restaurant or just say you're having lunch at the restaurant. Quick plug - but don't be too sales-ish.
- If there's a tree in front of your restaurant on a busy street, make some tags and use string or fishing line (add some foil to catch the sun) and hang them from the tree with a great offer. Free coffee or soda with meal. You could make them look like ornaments too -and call it "Holiday in June Sale" Make them into water glasses - "Thirsty?"....Fish - "Rather be fishing? Come try our tuna sandwich and we'll lure you in with a free coffee"...
- Have a competition for kids if you have a family-style restaurant. Get them to send in a picture, by email or drop it off. Hang some fishing line across your walls, get some clothesline clips and post them on your walls. Ask people to vote for their favorite picture. The most votes wins. This is viral marketing - the child's family will all come to see the art exhibition, if you get a lot of entrants or make the theme about the city - you could call the media when you announce the winner. Or have an open house on a slow day.
- Do the same with pet pics - pets and children can help market almost everything.
- Go to nearby businesses and drop of coupons at reception and ask them if they would put them in their staffroom. You could tell the receptionist that if so many comeback you'd be happy to give her a free dinner for 2