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Five Practical Restaurant Promotion Strategies

Restaurant marketing is a science. Every London restaurateur understands that if their restaurant or leisure property is to be a success in such a vibrant market, they will need to differentiate themselves from their competition.

With that in mind, here are five unique and practical restaurant marketing strategies that really push the boundaries.

1. Big Fernand: soft launch

Between the 10th -12th March, French burger chain Big Fernand opened up their flagship London store and offered free burgers to the first 100 people to enter the door wearing a striped shirt and/or with a moustache.

Asking customers to dress the same for a freebie creates a sort of ‘uniform’, and turns the consumer into living, breathing extension of the brand in a way that’s fun for the customer.


2. Fox Café: Riding the animal café craze

London has recently seen a menagerie of animal cafés. First came the Cat Café, next, the Owl Café, followed by the Micro Pig Pig-nic, and in May, East London will see Stevie the fox and his friends present themselves for our education and entertainment at Stevie the Fox.

The aim of the pop-up café is to inform its customers on the natural playfulness and friendliness of urban foxes. Riding the animal café zeitgeist is a fantastic way to generate press interest. According to their Twitter page, they have already reached 4,500 ballot requests to meet Stevie the Fox.


3. Wahaca: January spoon amnesty

January is historically a difficult month for restaurateurs after the busy Christmas period.UK restaurateurs have to find innovative strategies to drive foot-flow. One of the most innovate strategies this January came from Mexican chain Wahaca.

Each year, they lose around 4,000 of their colourful, branded spoons, so this January, they invited their customers to bring back the spoons in return for a plate of tacos during January. Unlike the marketing strategies we’ve already looked at, this one is aimed directly at existing customers, inviting them to return to Wahaca.


4. The Diner Soho: Super Bowl Party

Last year’s Super Bowl had approximately 108.7 million TV viewers across 53 million households. It’s the largest event in the US calendar, and it’s now gaining traction in the UK, too. American-style restaurants and bars could profit hugely from a Super Bowl party or event like the one hosted by The Diner Soho.

When an event is as culturally ubiquitous as the Super Bowl, restaurateurs should capitalise through relevant and engaging promotional techniques. This philosophy holds across all cuisines.

Chinese restaurants could benefit in the UK from holding a Chinese New Year promotion. In Tianjin and Hubei, China, restaurant sales increased by 18.5% and 15.5% respectively; this uplift could be duplicated across the UK. Spanish restaurants could see similar success by celebrating the Spanish Tomato Festival; Indian restaurants by celebrating Diwali.


5. Deliveroo: Blue Monday campaign

While takeaway services like Just Eat have been rapidly increasing in popularity in recent years, new, premium services like Deliveroo are starting to eat into their market share. The idea is simple: to offer a service that delivers food from any restaurant – from Byron to Black & Blue, from Zizzi to Pizza Express – to the front door of the customer.

Promoting heavily through social media, one of their January campaigns asked miserable Monday twitter users to post an image, memory or quote that ‘makes them happy’, helping to shake off people’s Monday blues while capitalising on people’s desire for high quality, premium food.

Above are five very different organisations with five distinct marketing strategies. Our long history in the UK restaurant industry has afforded us extensive knowledge and expertise. If you would like advice on how to maximise your restaurant’s profitability through creativity, contact one of our advisors today.

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