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How to Create a Marketing Strategy for a Restaurant

Between chain restaurants and independent restaurants, there are around 660,000 restaurants nationwide. That’s a fierce level of competition.

How to Create a Marketing Strategy for a Restaurant

Fortunately, your restaurant must only take on other local competitors.

Unfortunately, any local restaurants that survive long enough to become your competition are also firmly established with a solid customer base.

That means you must find a way to either attract customers from those competitors or create a customer base that keeps you profitable.

Either option requires a restaurant marketing plan. If you’ve struggled with developing a restaurant marketing strategy for your business, keep reading for our guide on developing that strategy.

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Focus Your Brand

Many restaurant owners think their food is their brand, but it’s not so. Food is one part of your brand, but so is the decor, the music, and even the digital newsletter you send out every month. Your brand is the emotional sum total of all your contact points with your customers.

Sit down and decide exactly what you want your brand to represent. Then, craft everything about your restaurant to support that brand position. For example, if you want to create a specific atmosphere, you can incorporate streaming music into your restaurant experience. Streaming music can enhance the ambiance and set the mood for your customers. Check out this link for more information:


If your restaurant offers the same thing as every other restaurant, customers lack a good reason to order food from you.

You need something that differentiates your business from similar businesses. This doesn’t mean you must start a Japanese fusion gastropub.

It does mean figuring out what you can offer that no one else can. That difference might prove as simple as a slogan, such as:

“Food like Grandma used to make.”

You can make your difference a story about your restaurant. For example, did you start the restaurant as a tribute to a family member? Were you inspired by a particular chef?

Get Online

Restaurants live and die by traffic and word-of-mouth. A little restaurant digital marketing can help you with both.

Launch a website and put up some pictures of your signature dishes, as well as other key information, such as:

  • Menu
  • Hours
  • Location
  • Additional Services

Additional services can vary from restaurant to restaurant and may need marketing of their own. For example, if you offer a delivery service, you may need food delivery digital marketing services.

Set up social media profiles on image-friendly platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Set Goals

Understand what you want from your marketing and set clear goals. If you want more traffic, focus on offerings like special meals that are only available one day a week.

If you want more word-of-mouth, focus on eye-catching images of immaculately prepared food that people will want to share.

Your Marketing Strategy for a Restaurant

Developing your marketing strategy for a restaurant starts with your brand and differentiation. What impression do you want your restaurant to project?

What makes your restaurant different?

Once you answer these questions, you can develop targeted marketing copy, create a useful online presence, and set clear goals for your marketing.

Looking for more marketing tips for your restaurant startup? Head over to our blog and check out our startup marketing posts.


Some other articles you might find of interest:

Would you like to better understand how to drive and increase traffic to your startup website?

How to Drive & Increase Traffic to Your Startup Website

Do you have what it takes to start and run an online business?

5 Key Skills You Must Have to Start & Run an Online Home Based Business

Join Our Small Business Community

Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.