unique restaurant promotion ideas

As a restaurant owner, your primary goal is to grow your sales. But how do restaurants attract new customers? To grow your sales, you need to sell more. So a great way to drive more sales is to have repeat customers. According to Food Service Warehouse, repeat customers account for as much as 15% of your total client base, but that 15% provides about 1/3 of your entire revenue.

Here is a great example of how Punjabi Palace uses a specific day of the week to send out a great online promotion. You can read more about it here.

Getting those frequent customers can turn out to be challenging, but if you follow the proven ideas shared below, it won’t be as hard as you think. Let’s see how. Did you know that as a restaurateur, you can reach out to your customers and turn them into loyal clients, by using a handful of unique restaurant promotion ideas?

Because they’ll help you take advantage of and tap into the very essence of human nature. How?

You see, during their lifetime, people acquire something that psychologists call secondary human wants:

  • To be informed.
  • Satisfying your curiosity.
  • Cleanliness of body and surroundings.
  • Efficiency.
  • Convenience.
  • Dependability/quality.
  • Expression of beauty and style.
  • Economy/profit.
  • Bargains.

And you can actually pick up business at a restaurant by appealing to the last two: economy/profit & bargains. No-one will ever pass out on the opportunity to buy something cheaper, no matter how rich they are. Especially when they come across one of the unique restaurant promotion ideas.

Because the need to have and save money is something that we learn in our lifetime. And this is a very powerful want that we will never shake off. It’s just part of who we are. And tapping into these particular secondary human wants by using a few savvy and unique restaurant promotion ideas is the way to go.

And the best part? You could use these creative restaurant promotions to boost your sales particularly on those slow days in which customers don’t seem to line up to your doorstep.

So how exactly can you do that?

1. By using customer loyalty incentive programs. One of the most common of them all is using reward programs to drive frequent visits. Keep them coming back for more with your excellent menu and a great rewards program.

2. By using a few unique & fun restaurant promotion ideas.

Related: [How To] The Best Restaurant Gamification Tips & Secrets that will Drive Customer Loyalty

15 examples of unique restaurant promotion ideas:

1. Special offer – this upcoming [holiday name]

Use any restaurant holiday promotions you can think of to promote your business and increase your profits. And it’s quite easy to do so when you can choose from a vast array of food and beverage promotions ideas and offer your clients some great discounts or freebies.

st patrick's day restaurant specials 2019

So for instance, on St Paddy’s Day, you could run promotions on lager. Here is just one example of the many restaurant promotions messages we’ve jotted down for your personal use:

Restaurant promotions messages #1:

On March 17 we honor St. Patrick.

That’s why beer is only $1.50 at [your restaurant name]

Restaurant promotions messages #2:

Leprechauns don’t exist.

But our special beer offer is unbelievably real.

Just $1/bottle.

On Black Friday, you could run any restaurant holiday promotion you could think of. And you can put on a flyer something along the lines of…

Special offer on Black Friday

At [your restaurant’s name] you can finally take a breather and stop chasing limited offers.

[Food and beverage promotions idea – fill in the blanks] for just [fill in the blanks]

Columbus Day:

Columbus discovered the Americas.

Now, it’s your turn to discover our mouth-watering menu offers.

[fill in the blanks] for just [fill in the blanks]

Veterans’ Day:

This upcoming veterans’ day we salute all veterans.

We wouldn’t be here without you.

That’s why we’re giving you a free [i.e., dessert] with every meal.

Offer available from November 12 to November 18.

Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving is the day to be grateful for everything you have.

And we are grateful for you.

As a “thank you”, we reward you with plenty of promotions: …

Mother’s Day offers restaurants (promotion ideas for restaurant):

This Mother’s Day, show your mother how much you appreciate her.

[Special offer] for just [fill in the blanks]

You bring the mother, we’ll bring the flowers.

*Complimentary flowers. On us.*

Father’s Day:

This Father’s Day, we show our appreciation to all dads out there.

Main course (meaty, of course) +  garnish + drinks of his choosing

It’s just $ [insert the desired amount]…

List of holidays in the US for 2019-2020

You can basically use any holiday to promote your business. So here’s the list of upcoming holidays in the US:

  • October 31 – Halloween (Related: Halloween Restaurant Promotions To Try This Year)
  • November 11 – Veterans Day (except Wisconsin)
  • November 28 – Thanksgiving
  • November 29 – Black Friday
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • January 01 – New Year’s Day
  • January 20 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 2 – Super Bowl (Related: Super Bowl Restaurant Promotions To Sell More Food)
  • February 14 – Valentine’s Day (Related: Valentine’s Day Restaurant Promotions in 2019)
  • February 17 Presidents’ Day
  • March 17 – Saint Patrick’s Day
  • April 16 – Emancipation Day 
  • May 10 – Mother’s Day 
  • May 25 – Memorial Day 
  • June 21 – Father’s Day 
  • July 04 – Independence Day 
  • September 07 – Labor Day
  • October 12 – Columbus Day
  • October 12 – US Indigenous People’s Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day
  • November 26 – Thanksgiving
  • November 27 – Day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday)
  • December 25 – Christmas Day

You can always go on https://www.officeholidays.com, select your country and voila. A list of all important holidays will pop on the screen. So give restaurant holiday promotions a try and see how to make a slow restaurant busy.

Get More Online Orders Simply choose one from our list.

2. Special offer on National [fill in the blanks] Day

So, for instance, you could give free brownies to your customers’/kids on National Brownie Day. You see, each day of the year is a declared food day. And you can capitalize on it.

So how will you know what’s celebrated on which day? Well, that’s easy. Just go on Twitter and follow @Foodimentary. Their Twitter page is like a log with all the National Food holidays throughout the year. Use that as your source of inspiration.

Other current restaurant promotions:

3. Free fries this Friday

Because potatoes are cheap. And delicious. Everyone wants a piece of that.

4. Every tenth customer to walk through the door gets a free…

You can provide them with a free coffee, smoothie, dessert, drink, etc.

5. Increase the average order value: 3-for-2: get a free main course for every 2 main courses ordered

6. Family combo: 2+1 Deal, get 3rd [fill in the blanks] free

For example: Family pack combo: 2+1 Deal, get the 3rd pizza free.

unique restaurant promotion ideas: 2+1 deal

7. Encourage new customers to order from you: Any {food} for just {$ dollars}

I.e., Any house pizza or 3-topping pizza, of any size, for just $9.99 each. 

8. Encourage recurring visits: Spend $50 and get $10 off your next visit

Encourage recurring sales by offering your customers this generous offer: I.e., Spend $20 to receive a $5 discount on your next order. This way, you can easily turn them into your loyal customers.

unique restaurant promotion ideas -> spend $50 and get $10 off your next visit

9. Boost sales on your slowest days: Special offer on certain days of the week

Turn your slow days into your busiest restaurant days. Promote the same offer on certain weekdays. For example, Punjabi Palace, one of our restaurant members, has been successfully promoting the same offer every Wednesday for a few years. See how well they do it: The Curious Case Of Punjabi’s “Wacky Wednesday Curry”

unique restaurant promotion ideas : offer on a certain day of the week

10. Impel customers to place online orders: Free delivery on orders over $30

unique restaurant promotion ideas -> free delivery offer

11. This month’s special: All you can eat for just {x dollar amount}

E.i.,  This month’s special: All you can eat for just $19.95

12. Buy any {fill in the blanks}, get a free {free in the blanks}

E.i., Buy any pizza, get a free soda/dessert | Buy a pizza, get one free | Buy any 2 large pizzas and get a free 2L coke

13. This month’s drink special: x {$ dollar amount} y {type of beverage}

E.i.,  This month’s drink special: $1.50 beer.

Think about what’s your most sold out beverage & discount it on certain days of the week. Make it extremely appealing for alcohol lovers to spread the word around.

Make lunchtime, buzz-time: Current Restaurant Lunch Specials Ideas

Mix & match for just $9.95 

That’s actually one of the greatest and easiest to implement easy lunch specials for restaurants. Apart from your current menu, you can quickly put together a small menu page divided into two: appetizers/starters & main courses. So people can just choose a dish from each section. And mix & match as they please.

The Brunch Lunch Special

According to a mass study conducted by Technomic in 2017, consumers have shifted their behavior and attitudes towards having breakfast. 30% of people are skipping breakfast more than they were back in 2015.

And get this: the same research study revealed that over 40% of consumers eat brunch at least once a week. This is terrific news, considering that you can actually monetize on these trends with some great lunch specials idea or lunch menu ideas.

unique restaurant promotion ideas: offer brunch for a special price

You could include in your brunch menu:

  • eggs Benedict,
  • avocado yogurt with berries and nuts,
  • avocado toast,
  • French toast,
  • peanut butter and banana sandwich,
  • hash browns with eggs and bacon,
  • pancakes,
  • waffles,
  • bacon, scrambled eggs,
  • smoothies and granola bowls,
  • cinnamon buns,
  • or croissants in your menu.

Or whatever else you find more appropriate.

And here’s a text sample that you could put on a flyer:

i.e.

Join us for brunch!

Monday through Friday

10am – 12am

$7.99

Alternatively, you could also add the list of foods and their prices, if you’d like.

How to get the word out about your unique restaurant promotion ideas

So now you know what food deals to have. There’s just one thing left: how to actually drive clients in your shop. Go out and physically invite people to your restaurant. Ok, you might ask yourself, but Andreea, where should I go?

Go to kindergartens, schools, high schools or colleges in your neighbourhood, and tell teachers that the upcoming week is Teacher Appreciation Week. You can also pass along a flyer promoting Teacher Appreciation Week.

Go find coaches teaching basketball, baseball, swimming, etc., basically any type of coach – and let them know that if they bring their teams after practice or after a game they can all benefit from some great promos. And you could also go to college campuses and pass along promotional flyers to sorority girls. Use any unique restaurant promotion ideas you can think to make them come to your restaurant.

Invite them to try out the low fat, vegan dishes or to host different types of events at your restaurant. The great part about having sorority girls coming to your restaurant is that they’ll Instagram the whole thing.

And in my book, that’s a helluva publicity. Because your restaurant’s name will get put there with little effort on your part. You could also invite local entrepreneurs to host their company dinners there and try out the food. Take pics of all these events yourself and put them up on your Facebook page to show you have a packed house.

Why do promos work?

Because everyone is afraid of losing money. So, for instance, you can’t go wrong if you target students or teachers – in one of your promotions. Because not one of those client categories are financially secured.

They want to spend less. Above all, when you’re giving them something for free or at a discounted price, they’ll feel like they’re getting a better value for their money. As a result, you’ll be able to boost your sales, since you’ll attract plenty of new clients.

Using these unique restaurant promotion ideas is similar to using a magnet to draw your clients in to your eatery -> they work without fail, since you’re appealing to basic human desires.

Related:

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Andreea Dobrila
Andreea Dobrila

Andreea Dobrila is a proven web copywriter & marketing strategist. She pushes online restaurants on the fast-track to quickly growing their online sales. Win more business by using her bulletproof tips & secrets.

Download’s Andreea’s free report:

**Food Descriptions That Make You Hungry: Hypnotic Menu Writing Tips & Secrets**

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