how to increase restaurant sales without advertising
by Laura-Andreea Voicu

Promoting your restaurant online and offline doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Forget about expensive ads or complicated strategies.

Here’s how to increase restaurant sales without advertising by relying on tried-and-tested approaches and affordable technology.

9 Tips on How to Increase Restaurant Sales Online

Serve more tables daily with a QR code menu

One of the easiest ways to increase your daily restaurant sales is to boost table turnover. Eliminate the dead time spent waiting for the server to present the menus, write down the order, and bring the check.

Enable tableside ordering by turning your menu into a QR code that customers can scan to order and pay for their food as soon as they sit down.

Generate your own QR code menu for free by following these steps:

Enable customers to pre-order food when booking a table

Growing restaurant sales is all about offering customers a convenient way to visit you. If you’re not accepting table reservations yet, it’s time to unlock this incredible potential by adding a button on your restaurant website.

Start accepting table reservations for free today Install a table reservation system on your restaurant website in minutes

But why stop there? Enable food pre-orders with every table reservation. That way, the food will be ready when customers arrive, and you can clear tables faster for the next party.

how to get more customers in restaurant: enable table reservations and food pre-orders

Provide ordering flexibility with an innovative online ordering system

Are you wondering how to increase takeaway sales? It all starts with a reliable, accessible online ordering system that enables customers to place orders online in just a few clicks.

Increase online sales with a free online ordering system Easy setup and unlimited orders with zero commissions or hidden fees

Look no further than the GloriaFood free online ordering system. You can set it up in minutes with no prior tech knowledge. The intuitive interface allows customers to browse your menu items, explore promotions, and place orders on any device.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial on setting up online ordering for your restaurant:

Allow food clients to customize their orders with choices and add-ons

How to increase restaurant sales without advertising? Easy; use upselling. This technique helps you sell more while offering customers the liberty to personalize their meals.

GloriaFood’s online menu builder allows you to customize menu items with toppings, extras, sides, choices, and add-ons. You can also add allergen and nutritional information to each dish to keep customers informed.

how to increase average check in a restaurant: add choices and add-ons

Check out this detailed video guide on how to add choices and add-ons to your menu to learn more:

Motivate customers to add more items to their cart with enticing promotions

Any business strategy for a restaurant should include a section dedicated to promotions and discounts. That’s what customers crave and that’s what you should deliver.

From percentage discounts on the cart to free delivery, complementary menu items on large orders, menu bundles, or meal combos, promos will attract new and returning customers.

Entice customers to order more with irresistible promotions and discounts Use our promotion templates to add a promo to your menu in minutes

Learn how to create a variety of attractive offers using GloriaFood’s promotions module:

Increase website conversions by optimizing your content for search engines

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps restaurants increase their visibility online, thus boosting sales in the process.

Ensure the content on your website is optimized for local searches that include your cuisine and location, such as:

  • Italian restaurant in Queens, New York
  • Italian food in Queens, New York
  • Pizza delivery in Queens, New York
  • Italian food delivery in Queens, New York

Say goodbye to having to optimize your own restaurant website content. We can help you generate a restaurant website that’s already optimized for your cuisine and location in less than ten minutes. Here’s how:

Provide a direct ordering link on social media

If you’re wondering how to increase restaurant sales through social media, consider providing customers with the option to order your food directly on your profiles.

How? By using a customized ordering link redirecting to your online menu. We can generate one for you in your restaurant dashboard -> Setup -> Publishing -> Facebook.

how to increase restaurant sales without advertising: enable facebook ordering

Pro tip: Even though this link was designed for Facebook ordering, you can also add it to your bio on Instagram, TikTok, and other social media platforms to give customers easy access to your ordering menu.

Encourage and respond to online reviews

business strategy for restaurant: monitor and respond to online reviews

Source: Shutterstock

One of the answers to how to increase restaurant sales without advertising is to rely on “organic advertising,” or word-of-mouth marketing.

Your existing customers are your biggest promoters. Prompt them to review your restaurant online to convince others to pay you a visit.

Keep track of reviews on all platforms and reply promptly, especially to negative reviews, to show potential customers you care about what they think.

Reach a wider audience by collaborating with local influencers

Not as costly as advertising, influencer campaigns can help you attract new customers to your restaurant. Small, local influencers are often open to collaborations in exchange for free meals or discounts.

Restaurant influencer marketing is an excellent way to generate hype around new menu items, promote an event, or get a raving restaurant review.

6 Ways to Increase Sales for Your Restaurant Offline

Attract passersby by making your entrance more inviting

One of the basics of offline marketing for restaurants is to focus on attracting passersby. You can do that by decorating your entrance to make it more appealing, especially on holidays.

You can also stick posters on the windows featuring your discounts and special offers and display a menu board in front of the restaurant to tempt customers with your delicious dishes even before they come inside.

how to attract customers to my restaurant: display a menu board up front

Source: Shutterstock

Reward employees who excel at upselling

Friendly competition between your restaurant employees can be extremely productive. Not to mention upselling rewards are an attractive employee benefit that will help you attract top talent.

Motivate your staff to upsell and recommend menu items by offering a weekly prize to whoever upsells the most.

Organize fun events and hire entertainment

Increase restaurant traffic by breaking free of the mundane with themed parties and events featuring interesting cuisine and local performers.

From events like karaoke night, pop quizzes, and costume parties to entertainment like live music or poetry slams, anything out of the ordinary will help you stand out in the crowd.

Distribute coupon code flyers in the neighborhood

Going back to the basics of how to increase restaurant sales without advertising, don’t forget about the power of flyer distribution.

To help your flyers convert, add a discount coupon code that customers can redeem for online orders.

Learn how easy it is to create a coupon code and print it on a flyer by watching the video below:

Keep customers interested with daily specials and dynamic menus

Don’t let customers get bored with your menu items. Besides your staple dishes, add daily or weekly specials to keep things interesting.

growing restaurant sales with a daily menu

A dynamic menu also enables you to play around with seasonal ingredients, lowering food costs and minimizing waste.

Look for cross-promotion opportunities with other local businesses

Tap into the food and beverage industry in your area by looking for collaboration opportunities with complementary businesses such as hotels, bakeries, cafés, or movie theaters.

For example, a hotel could recommend your restaurant to their guests, while you can suggest the hotel as a great place to stay for hungry tourists who have just arrived in town.

Also, consider partnering up with local craft breweries or wineries for tasting events or long-term collaborations.

How to Increase Restaurant Sales Without Advertising: The Bottom Line

If you’re on a budget and want to outshine the competition, here’s how to increase restaurant sales without advertising:

  1. Implement a QR code menu for dine-in ordering
  2. Enable table reservations and food pre-orders
  3. Implement a foolproof online ordering system
  4. Upsell with choices and add-ons
  5. Offer enticing promotions
  6. Optimize your website for SEO
  7. Enable customers to order your food on social media
  8. Prioritize online reviews
  9. Collaborate with food influencers
  10. Decorate your entrance to attract passersby
  11. Reward upselling with attractive employee bonuses
  12. Host lively events
  13. Hand out flyers with discount coupon codes
  14. Offer daily or weekly specials
  15. Collaborate with complementary businesses in your area
photo of GloriaFood blog writer Laura-Andreea Voicu
Laura-Andreea Voicu

Laura-Andreea Voicu is an experienced content writer with a knack for marketing and SEO. She creates guides and resources designed to help restaurants grow their presence online and boost sales.

She has been featured on the Oracle Food and Beverage Blog and wrote for Search Engine Journal, Clutch, Sender, Venngage, Quickbooks, and many more.

Find me on LinkedIn.