family business restaurant
by Otilia Dobos

There is something special about a family business restaurant that draws people in. It is a combination of a homey atmosphere, friendly staff, and creative food made after an old family recipe that never fails to impress.

But, as a restaurant owner, you must know you are in a very competitive business. Not only are you presented with the challenge of standing out from your competition, but you must also manage the problems that occur from running a restaurant along with family members – sharing duties, money, and customer interaction.

In this article, we will help you learn how to promote your family-owned restaurant with very little money to make sure your business is always profitable:

1. Develop your restaurant brand

The first step to promoting anything is to know exactly what you are marketing. For example, you would have a harder time advertising a generic restaurant than one that identifies as a “family-owned authentic Neapolitan-style pizza restaurant.”

Related: 15 Pizza Marketing Ideas That Will Increase Traffic & Orders

Therefore, you must define your family business restaurant and find your niche. Answer these questions to get a better idea of your brand:

  • What type of food are you serving? Is it a mix, or are you concentrating on a certain type of dish? What is the cuisine? American, Mediterranean, Italian, etc.?
  • What is special about your restaurant? Are you using locally sourced ingredients, or maybe you are following centuries-old family recipes?
  • Why did you open the restaurant? What differentiates your place from the other food businesses around you?

If you answered these questions truthfully, you should be able to come up with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that you will use to promote your family-owned restaurant on every channel. Here are some USP examples for inspiration:

  • Nona Mari Restaurant: home-made pasta, following family recipes
  • Gregorios Restaurant: authentic Serbian dishes
  • Luka’s Taverna: the best Greek food, from our family to yours

Read more: 12 Restaurant Branding Ideas to Build a Memorable Presence

2. Take advantage of affordable technology

In this digital age, if you don’t use technology, you are leaving a lot of room for errors. If you don’t want to start a family feud over who wrote down the order wrong or why nobody answered the phone, you must find solutions.

You can’t rely on people finding your location by walking by your storefront. Also, depending on your restaurant’s size, you may not be serving enough clients daily to make a profit. Consequently, you need to start accepting online orders to increase restaurant sales.

The best solution is an efficient online ordering system. No need to worry about your budget, the one provided by GloriaFood is free, so you can focus on creating the best dishes possible. Here is what you must do to start taking online orders:

  • Sign up on GloriaFood;
  • Fill in the important information (restaurant name, website, working hours) and create a menu following our instructional videos;
  • Publish the delicious menu to your website and Facebook page;
  • Download the order-taking app on Android or iOS and start accepting orders!
Increase your family restaurant’s sales Install an online ordering system to your website for free

Follow the step-by-step instructions in this video to set up online ordering for your restaurant in 10 minutes:

If you don’t already have a website or have one you are not very proud of, now is the time to get a sales-optimized website. No need to contact developers and designers or start learning a coding language. You can get a restaurant website directly from your online ordering system.

Log into your GloriaFood account, go to admin -> Setup -> Publishing -> Sales optimized website, and get access to the easiest restaurant website builder. You just have to drag & drop some widgets, add some images and texts, and your website is live in just a few minutes!

small restaurant business plan

The website is delivered to you already SEO-optimized, so people can easily find your family business restaurant when they search for keywords related to your business on Google. An intuitive and easy-to-use website is imperative for you as it will attract more clients and increase your sales.

3. Dedicate time to social media

When creating your family restaurant business plan, you are no doubt looking for cheap and even free ways to promote your restaurant. The good news is no cost marketing is just a few clicks away: social media.

What type of clients do you have? Are they more family-oriented or younger, hip people? For the first category, you need a Facebook account, and for the latter, you must go for Instagram and TikTok.

When setting up your account, ensure you add all the relevant information, such as a website link, working hours, and even a direct link to your restaurant menu with online ordering.

The end goal of marketing on social media is to get more clients. For that reason, a direct link to your menu will help convert a simple visitor into a paying customer. To get a personalized ordering link for Facebook, go to admin -> Setup -> Publishing -> Facebook, and copy the link provided to the “Start Order” button on Facebook. Follow the steps here to learn how.

family restaurant

Here are some social media restaurant ideas to help you get started when marketing your restaurant:

  • Countless photos of your food: your dishes should be the star of your social media as this is the reason a customer visits or orders from your restaurant;
  • How it’s made: show people how the food is prepared in your kitchen. Consider hiring a professional photographer to take beautiful shots of food preparation;
  • Staff pictures: as you own a family business restaurant, share candid images of every team member and add a short description of their role. Alternatively, you could make a short video of them recommending their favorite menu item;
  • Location images: allow followers to see how great the atmosphere is at your place by posting photos of your beautiful location. You could also include pictures with clients if they agree.

Read more: How to Attract More Customers to Your Restaurant Using Social Media

Encourage customers to write positive reviews

Do you know what everybody will do before ordering from your family business restaurant? Check all the reviews they find online to see what other people thought about your place.

Therefore, if you want to create a trustworthy image for your restaurant, you need to claim your business on all the review platforms in your area, such as Google My Business, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. Complete your profile with updated working hours, exact location, menu photos, and, most importantly, a link to your website.

Here are some ways you can get more positive reviews:

  • Train your team: Have every member of the family and employee politely ask diners to leave a positive review if they enjoyed their experience at your family business restaurant;
  • Add review platform links to your website: our sales-optimized website allows you to easily add these links, so clients can leave a review with a simple click on your website;
  • Post on your social media: When creating a social media content plan for your restaurant, try to include at least once every two weeks where you ask people to review your restaurant.

Read more: The Importance of Online Reviews for Restaurants & How to Get More

4. Offer promotions to attract more clients

What better way to convince someone to visit or order from your family business restaurant other than offering a great food deal? An indecisive person can be convinced to order if they can get free delivery or a bonus free menu item.

No need to stress about finding the best promotions for your customers, the online ordering system from GloriaFood does it for you. When you go to admin -> Marketing -> Promotions -> Self-made promos, you find a series of tried and tested promotion templates you can implement in just a few clicks.

small restaurant ideas

You can personalize them by changing the name, image, or minimum amount for ordering. You can also choose the time of day the promotion will be available and the type of customer they apply for – new or returning. Check out this demo website to see how visible the promotions are at the start of the online menu.

Get more customers by offering attractive promotions Implement deals easily with this free online ordering system

Here are some promotion ideas you can try if you are just launching your family business restaurant:

  • Free delivery: if you are open during lunch hours, the office crowd may become recurrent clients as they tend to place shared orders so as not to pay a delivery fee;
  • % discount on selected items: if you are approaching closing hours and have time-sensitive dishes that have not sold out yet, try offering a discount;
  • Get a free item: tempt new clients by including a delicious free dessert for orders over a decided amount of money, such as $30.

Find out more about setting up promotions from this video:

Read more: 15 Unique Restaurant Promotion Ideas that Will Increase Loyalty in 2022

5. Monitor your results so you can keep getting better

How will you know if your efforts for promoting your family business restaurant are working? The answer is simple: by monitoring them. When you constantly check your marketing progress, you can easily identify what works and doesn’t for your restaurant.

Furthermore, depending on your findings, you can take any steps necessary to fix issues, such as investing more money in ads on social media, trying email marketing, or putting a stop to a marketing channel that doesn’t bring you clients.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on reporting software. The online ordering system from GloriaFood is equipped with a Reports module that offers you countless valuable information, such as:

  • The number of accepted orders and their value;
  • Your website rank on Google;
  • The number of website visitors;
  • The number of new vs. returning customers;
  • The best and worst selling menu items.

To access the Reports module, go to admin -> Reports, and start monitoring your sales.

family style restaurant near me

Read more: How to Successfully Use Restaurant Analytics to Increase Revenue


While breaking into such a competitive business may be hard, if you clearly define your brand and learn how to promote it, your family business restaurant will stand out from its competitors.

Take advantage of free and efficient technology like our online ordering system to power your marketing efforts. Furthermore, use social media to attract more clients, and don’t forget to monitor your results so you can identify problems and constantly better your restaurant.

photo of GloriaFood blog writer Otilia Dobos
Otilia Dobos

Otilia Dobos prides herself on well-documented, easy to understand and SEO-optimized content, both short and long form.