How to get publicity for your restaurant?

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Michael Beam
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2005/04/28 13:50:13 (permalink)

How to get publicity for your restaurant?

I am trying to come up with some ideas for generating publicity for a new restaurant. Any ideas that have worked for you or that you have seen work effectively?
#1

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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/28 14:15:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Beam

    I am trying to come up with some ideas for generating publicity for a new restaurant. Any ideas that have worked for you or that you have seen work effectively?

    Do a fund-raising food event for a charity or civic organization. Enlist the organization, which will handle the publicity and bring in the newspapers, radio and television.
    #2
    alesrus
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/28 14:20:00 (permalink)
    Have someone find a finger in your chilisorry
    #3
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/28 19:16:48 (permalink)
    My wifes boss sponsers an offshore fishing team, the restaurant name emblazoned down the side of the 30ft boat, of course he's also the boat captain so....
    #4
    Adjudicator
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/28 19:29:03 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Beam

    I am trying to come up with some ideas for generating publicity for a new restaurant. Any ideas that have worked for you or that you have seen work effectively?


    And this your establishment? What kind of goodies served??? More info, please. Besides that, once you have established your customer base, only one word: R A D I O .

    #5
    jeepguy
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/28 19:53:15 (permalink)
    A while back i was driving in my town by a little stip mall and i saw two gorgeous young ladies scantilly clad wearing sign/sandwich boards that said "Best Head",call 259-****. Traffic was moving slowly, big time. It's a hair salon called Best Head. Great minimum wage advertising!
    #6
    Michael Beam
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/29 09:09:56 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Adjudicator

    And this your establishment? What kind of goodies served??? More info, please. Besides that, once you have established your customer base, only one word: R A D I O .



    It is a sandwich shop, approximately 1,000 sqaure feet of space, great quality ingredients, cool music and atmosphere, going after the college crowd and the 25-35 year old professionals.
    #7
    tmiles
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/29 09:34:40 (permalink)
    I have come to grips with this problem in many new companies during a lifetime in small business. I have never owned a restaurant. Ad guys (and gals) will disagree, but I think that ads are a very expensive way to get new customers. Word of mouth from satisfied customers is the answer. Having customers who are loyal enough as to post on sites like this one really helps. The problem is how do you live during the "reputation building" phase? I have no easy answer, but in the local area, the restaurants that advertise the most never make the various "best of" lists. Ads in Entertainment books will bring new customers, but one restauranter has told me that over half of the coupons are turned in by existing customers. A businessman once told me that when he opened his new store, he expected to lose money for 2 years, break even in the 3rd, and do well after that. He later told me that he was very pleased that he had only lost money for the first year, and broke even in the second. He is rich now.
    #8
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/29 09:35:27 (permalink)
    In Rochester, RADIO may be a bit expensive.

    I'd go for grassroots. Be out there and merchandise. If you've got something special go out on the street yourself and do some sampling.

    I know a guy in a similar place who used put on his apron, stand in the middle of the street and hand out free bagels.

    Celebrate Haloween, Saint Patricks Day, Patriots Day ... anything that falls on a weekday with outrageous specials -- it's like sampling.



    #9
    chicagostyledog
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/29 14:27:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

    Celebrate Haloween, Saint Patricks Day, Patriots Day ... anything that falls on a weekday with outrageous specials -- it's like sampling.


    Oh contraire! I don't bother with traditional holidays like everyone else. I celebrate unconventional holidays appropriate to my business. Festivus is one of my favorites. It brings a lot of Seinfeld fans, especially when we're playing the music from the episode when Kramer and Neuman are making home made sausages. Sometimes, I'll even create my own holiday. The local papers love this type of hype and it's free advertising.

    CSD
    #10
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/29 14:43:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by chicagostyledog

    quote:
    Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

    Celebrate Haloween, Saint Patricks Day, Patriots Day ... anything that falls on a weekday with outrageous specials -- it's like sampling.


    Oh contraire! I don't bother with traditional holidays like everyone else. I celebrate unconventional holidays appropriate to my business. Festivus is one of my favorites. It brings a lot of Seinfeld fans, especially when we're playng the music from the episode when Kramer and Neuman are making home made sausages. Sometimes, I'll even create my own holiday. The local papers love this type of hype and it's free advestising.

    CSD

    Better still. That has the same benefit as what I was thinking -- insomuch as you can do spectacular specials on occassions and people won't feel deprived if you don't repeat it.
    #11
    berndog
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/29 14:44:31 (permalink)
    Michael, you mentioned going after the college crowd. Consider advertising in the local college campus newspaper (ads are usually not expensive in student run papers compared to regular newspapers) with a coupon for a dollar or two off a sandwich. Hopefully will lead many to try you, and keep coming back. Maybe flyers on campus, or offer free delivery to dorms and frat/sorority houses.
    #12
    nvb
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/29 15:49:41 (permalink)
    Around here advertising in the newspaper is a waste of good money. I've had my best luck with a sign placed in front of my restaurant. It's in the shape of a pig and the pig is holding a sign advertising that days special. The plastic signs are interchangable for each day. This has pulled in many new customers that have become regulars.
    #13
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/04/30 12:34:38 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by jeepguy

    A while back i was driving in my town by a little stip mall and i saw two gorgeous young ladies scantilly clad wearing sign/sandwich boards that said "Best Head",call 259-****. Traffic was moving slowly, big time. It's a hair salon called Best Head. Great minimum wage advertising!
    I was part owner of a gas station/auto repair shop yrs ago, my partners daughter was helping out one day pumping gas while wearing "daisy dukes" our business more than doubled... we went with the idea, hiring her friends, it worked great at least for the warm months..
    #14
    rumbelly
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/01 09:45:00 (permalink)
    We had a new pita shop open near us about a year ago. I have been observing, eating and talking with them since the beginning.
    They brought in a program they called Downtown Days which meant you got the second sandwich/pita at 1/2 price on Mondays,Wednesdays and Fridays before 4:00. Bingo! Flyers to all the businesses with menu on and a fax number if you wanted to pool the office for orders ahead of time. I've been there around lunch to hear the fax just buzzing away. They love it cause its written down and they are usually substantial orders. Go to elementry schools and promote a healthy selection of sandwiches(no more than 3) and see if the school will do a sandwich day.
    The bar crowd. I don't know if you stay open that late but if your after the demographic you stated then you should be open after the bars and pubs get out. This place does more sales in the 1am-3am on a Friday than they do all that day. Hire someone and put a video camera on the till and the back door.

    Hope I could Help

    Best of luck
    #15
    Bushie
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/03 22:57:00 (permalink)
    The girls with the "big dinners" and low-cut shirts have worked for me, but what has really impressed me in the past is someone who represents their own place (restaurant or other).

    I know that the restaurant is 24/7 for you at this point, but I would make up some decent flyers (with menu items) to hand out every chance you get. I'd walk some streets in the mid-evening (or send out some RELIABLE representatives), knocking on doors and doing NOTHING more than handing them a flyer and saying something like, "Here's my new restaurant, I'd love for you to come by." Then smile, walk away, look back and wave if they're still there.

    Ask EVERYONE who comes there to tell their friends "if they enjoyed the meal".

    Your success will be predicated upon your service and the quality of your food, but I still maintain after all these years that the human touch is what makes or breaks many businesses.

    If all else fails, send out some young girls with big dinners and low-cut blouses to represent your place...
    #16
    garryd451
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/04 15:51:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bushie

    The girls with the "big dinners" and low-cut shirts have worked for me, but what has really impressed me in the past is someone who represents their own place (restaurant or other).

    I know that the restaurant is 24/7 for you at this point, but I would make up some decent flyers (with menu items) to hand out every chance you get. I'd walk some streets in the mid-evening (or send out some RELIABLE representatives), knocking on doors and doing NOTHING more than handing them a flyer and saying something like, "Here's my new restaurant, I'd love for you to come by." Then smile, walk away, look back and wave if they're still there.

    Ask EVERYONE who comes there to tell their friends "if they enjoyed the meal".

    Your success will be predicated upon your service and the quality of your food, but I still maintain after all these years that the human touch is what makes or breaks many businesses.

    If all else fails, send out some young girls with big dinners and low-cut blouses to represent your place...


    Bushie idea about flyers is GREAT! But expand on it, by figuring out what time of day or which day of the week is slow for your restaurant.Then figure out who would be eating at this time of day or day of the week.

    1.If any factories get out of work at your slow time or slow day , put flyers on all the wind sheilds in all the cars in the parking Lot of the factories.

    2. If is evening time, put them on all the cars in the parking lots of Bowling Alleys, Churches, Golf Courses, Baseball Park, football fields and any other place where large numbers of people leave at the same time and might be hungry. When I mentioned Churches it can be after a regular Sunday service for dinner or it can be a week-night and they come in late to your place for dinner or a snack.

    And the same things would work for all the other businesses or places that i mention above.
    #17
    -Tricky-
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/04 16:02:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Beam

    I am trying to come up with some ideas for generating publicity for a new restaurant. Any ideas that have worked for you or that you have seen work effectively?


    This is kind of the other way around, but this weekend when I was out visiting my husband. (He has moved and I'm following once I find a job.) He's the chef of a brand new restaurant in a small town. The company who owns the restaurant is a large resort not far from said small town, and the resort owner has donated a lot of money for its revitalization. He has become a local hero.

    The restaurant only opened very recently, and the staff is all still working ridiculous weeks. 16 hour days, 7 days a week. So each weekend when I come out (and manage to see him only while we're asleep) I stop and get donuts Sunday morning before I go to church. The cooks insist that they come from a small locally owned shop, so on Sunday when I was in, I mentioned for where I was buying the two dozen donuts. The owner was so tickled that the cooks of the "nice restaurant" like his donuts that he gave me a dozen free. He told me I had to take them home with me; I took half back to our home and gave the guys the other half.

    I'll never get donuts anywhere else in that small town.

    It doesn't work to get them in, but it might help keep repeat business if you take note of those people who are becoming your "regulars" and engage them. Ask about their lives etc... Soon they may bring others with them, who in turn can help build business...

    I wish I'd been more help...
    #18
    Rusty246
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/04 17:11:22 (permalink)
    Call your local PBS stations and get prices on underwriting. Different shows have different underwriting costs. Cheaper than commercial radio. IF you wanted I could send you one of our "packets" so that you could get some ideas.
    #19
    kareno
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/12 12:44:34 (permalink)
    As several have stated, fund raisers, fund raisers, fund raisers :)

    EVERYONE needs to raise money for their group. Sell 200 Pre-printed tickets to a group, with the ticket price .50¢ or $1 over your cost for the sandwich. Tickets are good for X number of days from 1st date of sale.

    Have a fund raising 'night' where the group supplies volunteers to make the product and X % of sales goes to the group.

    Have a fund raising day, where the group volunteers come in on your 'off' hours and makes a product for them to then sell. They pay X for the product to cover your costs, and be sure your 'ad' is on the wrapper when the product sells.

    Donate X amount of items for special functions. The good will will pay you back in droves

    Take out a sign board at the local kids field. Soccer fields, baseball/softball, midget football fields often will 'sell' signs for $500 and it's up all year long.

    In -some- cases, what you are donating can be written off!
    #20
    UncleVic
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/12 13:07:35 (permalink)
    I did something as simple as giving a free cup of coffee every day to a local radio personality. I knew when he was running late, and had it ready for him at the counter. 5 days a week our place got a pitch or 2 (every day) from him on the morning show! (He even used me in one of the station promotions (voice wise)).. Cheapest advertising I've ever seen (next to totally free)...

    Another thought would be is to print up t-shirts for kids... Hand them out randomly when they come in and eat with the parents... "I ATE AT so and so's" or something like that... That way teachers, and neighborhood parents get your advertising in their face everyday!



    #21
    mayor al
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/12 13:08:45 (permalink)

    Michael,
    I don't know where you are located but will assume it is in the Rochester area. If your target is the College Crowd-Young Adult group Aim some of your flyers for the folks who attend sporting events within a reasonable distance of your business. The Aftergame crowd tends to spend freely and can be a real boost to both eat-in and carry-out. You have minor league Baseball going now and College sports most of the year. Contact the teams PR people for schedules and see what they charge for name appearance/coupons sponsors on their programs.
    #22
    garryd451
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/12 13:13:12 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Bushie

    The girls with the "big dinners" and low-cut shirts have worked for me, but what has really impressed me in the past is someone who represents their own place (restaurant or other).

    I know that the restaurant is 24/7 for you at this point, but I would make up some decent flyers (with menu items) to hand out every chance you get. I'd walk some streets in the mid-evening (or send out some RELIABLE representatives), knocking on doors and doing NOTHING more than handing them a flyer and saying something like, "Here's my new restaurant, I'd love for you to come by." Then smile, walk away, look back and wave if they're still there.

    Ask EVERYONE who comes there to tell their friends "if they enjoyed the meal".

    Your success will be predicated upon your service and the quality of your food, but I still maintain after all these years that the human touch is what makes or breaks many businesses.

    If all else fails, send out some young girls with big dinners and low-cut blouses to represent your place...


    This topic was started on 4-28-2005, if your sales hasn't drascially gone up by now, It would seem,like it is time to bring out the young girls sith the "big dinners and low-cut blouses.
    #23
    WaffleHouserules
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2005/05/18 23:28:55 (permalink)
    Do something exotic.
    #24
    Riss
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2012/05/25 10:33:35 (permalink)
    In our college town, one local restaurant has a food challenge. Food challenges are the rage anyway right now for college and high school students through their social media connections (facebook more than twitter.)
     
    A food challenge is a menu item of ridiculous proportions... when the customer agrees (and signs whatever waiver about getting sick from eating a 5lb hamburger or whatever) the customer gets photographed, put on the wall of fame and gets a T-shirt or something.
     
    In our community, our local food Truck, The Crave Truck, focuses on social media which connects with customers and also gets the traditional media's attention for various feature/news stories.
     
    There is also a flier distribution for specials that we call Dorm Busting- the flier with coupon is distributed to all the dorms and sororites/fraternities. The Crave Truck has not tired Dorm Busting yet because while it is cheaper than traditional advertising, it still has an unproven cost.
     
     
    #25
    Foodbme
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2012/05/26 06:00:57 (permalink)
    Riss,
    You did it again! Look at the date of the last post before yours 2005!
    Nothing wrong with opening an old thread, but the original poster hasn't been back to Roadfood since that post in 4/05!
    #26
    CCinNJ
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    RE: How to get publicity for your restaurant? 2012/05/26 14:21:51 (permalink)
    Great review on the front page...Riss!
    #27
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