Sales and coupons aren't the only ways to help raise customer awareness. Let me take some examples of marketing automation and promotion that will show you how to promote your restaurant in innovative new ways and have people buzzing about your restaurant for some time.
- Have holiday exclusive specials and contests. Offer a special on a February 14th meal, and a chance to with a movie for two, or a gift certificate for a couple. Little things like that really go a long way.
- Keep a newsletter, so you can tell people stories about your establishment and staff, let them know what events you're hosting and what community events you're taking part in.
- Having a presence on social media allows happy customers to share their stories and experiences, and gives you a venue for exclusive contests available only to your social media circles. As well, it allows you to keep an eye on the trends, and offer specials geared toward what people are talking about.
- Let your patrons dictate your liquor choices. Hold a wine or beer dinner, so that patrons who sign up for it can help you determine what wines and beers are popular. I can't count the number of places I don't order wine or beer at because it's either obscure or not to my taste, and how many times I've wished they had more options I was fond of or familiar with. Even supporting local vineyards and artisan or microbrewers as well as offering prizes will help to boost awareness and get the community involved.
- Respond to feedback, good and bad. By replying to some of the feedback you get on social media sites and even in your newsletter, you can show people that customer input is important to your restaurant, and explain some of the behind the scenes action that they don't see.