What Is the Best Way to Advertise a Restaurant?

Restaurant Advertising IdeasSearch the Web for restaurant advertisement examples and you’ll find a long list including everything from free social media ideas to pay-per-click advertising to using traditional ad mediums like newspaper, radio and TV ads. With so many ad arenas how can you be sure you’re choosing the right one or the right combination?


What’s Your Goal?


Before you begin an advertising campaign for your restaurant, what’s your goal and who do you want to reach? The answers to these questions may depend on where your restaurant sits. Is it in a town known for its tourism? Are you on a busy street in a major metropolitan city or in a strip mall?


The many types of advertising all work differently and your location plays a big part in where to advertise.


Believe it or not, the most expensive forms of advertising—radio, TV and full-color newspaper ads might not be your best solutions in today’s technology world—they can be effective for special events or grand openings.


Foot traffic should be part of your restaurant advertising plan and you also need to consider grabbing consumers on Google+ Local Places and Yelp. Social media is everywhere and almost all of these venues offer mobile apps as well so to skip the social media like Facebook and Twitter is not wise.


Partnering Ad Solutions


Signicade signs for restaurantsThe best restaurant advertisement examples we’ve seen include a combination of ad mediums if you want to build a strong brand.


For example, your food is part of your brand—people offer word of mouth referrals to friends and family members. Your restaurant name is also part of your brand and so are elements like wait staff uniforms, your establishment’s atmosphere and even your price point.


The trick is to blend ad mediums but avoid the ones that simply won’t reel in customers.





CBS Houston reported in October of 2012 that only 23 percent of adults said they read a print newspaper. And of those 23 percent, are they really looking at ads or are they buying the paper for news and sports?


Online newspapers do better and depending on the paper and readership hovers between 46 to 49 percent. Still, ads in national online newspapers—even banner pop up ads—can cost a lot of money.


The best way to advertise in a newspaper, whether you choose a national or local newspaper or an online newspaper is to choose these costly ad solutions only for special events, a big coupon campaign or a grand opening. You can also call your local lifestyle editor and see if your restaurant can be included in a list of eating establishments open on specific holidays. Some newspapers also offer a weekly schedule of entertainment and if your restaurant offers this, your lifestyle editor may be able to get you on that list depending on the attraction level of the entertainment fare.


Radio and TV


Pedestal signs for restaurantsThese spots are not only costly, the amount of time they are viewed is dwindling due to DVR recordings where viewers skip the commercials and premium channels like HBO and Showtime.


It may be hard to catch your target demographic with radio and TV ads and we suggest saving your ad dollars for more popular methods that work, however, do consider your local radio stations for special event ads.


Online Is Gold


Your restaurant must participate in social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. You also need to create a Google Local Places page and subscribe to Yelp. Above all, you need an website where customers can read or download your menu, read about upcoming events and learn all about your restaurant with a history or “about us” page.


Your website should also include photos and videos of successful events and your dining areas along with descriptive words about your food to engage the consumer.


An important note on online engagement. Social media is free but you can also advertise on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also buy pay per click ads but watch your daily budget on all of these because these restaurant advertisement examples can grow quickly in cost.


Lastly, you will get reviews from customers on Google and Yelp. The key here is to respond to all of them, good or bad. Ignoring bad comments won’t make them go away! It’s also not wise to delete comments from upset customers on Facebook. Be responsive to these comments or complaints and by doing it online where all can see, your reputation grows in the eyes of today’s consumer. They like restaurant owners who connect with their customers.


Foot Traffic Is King


Windmaster signs for restaurantsIt really doesn’t matter if your restaurant is in a tourist town or not—people often make a decision where to eat by what they see or smell. This is where in-person engagement (aka foot traffic) can take your restaurant to the next level and keep loyal customers coming back.


Restaurant advertisement examples that work best in these cases include signicade curb signs, windmaster signage and pedestal stands where passers-by can read your menu.


Signicade curb A-frame signs require little maintenance, last for years and come in a variety of sizes. You can also get dry erase board inlays or order custom printed inlays with your artwork and text to engage foot traffic.


Windmaster signs are not only durable in increment weather, you can also order protective coverings, letterboard kits or custom printed inserts—again these come in many sizes to reel in the hungry.


Pedestal stands can display your menu and offer a contemporary, upscale look and feel. They come in many configurations including varied color choices. Pedestal stands are also great for offering passers-by a brief history of your restaurant and what inspires your food.


Metropolitan Display can help you with all of these foot traffic options at discounted prices you won’t find anywhere else. And, because foot traffic is king of all the restaurant advertisement examples we’ve looked at here, why not give us a call and find out just how we can help your eatery grow and build a brand and a following!


Image Credit: stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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