You know you need to market your restaurant. If you’ve been around for any length of time, then you’ve probably tried a lot of different things – some that worked, some that didn’t.


This is the story of virtually every business in existence, and even if you follow someone else’s strategy verbatim, you are not guaranteed the same results. There are nuances that can make or break a strategy, and things don’t always go exactly as you expect them to.

No matter what your marketing program looks like, no matter what you’ve tried or what you haven’t, here are several ways you can improve your restaurant marketing.

80/20 Your Marketing

One of the key things you can do to improve your marketing is apply the Pareto principle to it. Pareto principle suggest that you’re getting 80% of your results from 20% of your efforts. If you were to analyze how you’re spending your marketing dollars, you would probably discover that a small number of activities and advertising endeavors are accounting for a bigger portion of the results.

So, it’s time to trim away the fat. What ads aren’t working? What social media channels are proving ineffective? Is the ad in the community newsletter worth it? It might feel risky to discontinue the marketing efforts that aren’t getting results, but think of it this way – you can invest the time and money you free up back into marketing that is getting results! By focusing and scaling your efforts, you can get a better return overall.

Focus On The Food

Per Mondovo, 60% of customers say delicious food is the main driving factor for repeat visits to a restaurant.

In your marketing, you may be focused on customer acquisition – in other words, the process of getting new customers through the door. This is important. But what about customer retention and customer lifetime value? If you can keep the same customers coming back, you don’t have to put so much time and effort into generating new ones.

It may seem obvious that the main thing that brings a customer through the doors is your food. But this also plays an important role in repeat business. Repeat business helps you drive more profit from the same customers. It helps you spend less bringing new customers to your place of business.

So, focusing on your food is a good idea, whether it’s posting photos of your dishes on your website and Instagram, developing an eye-catching menu, or offering specials at strategic times.

Dive Deeper Into Your Target Customer

Businesses are often built off of hypotheses. X customer is looking to have Y problem solved, so therefore Z is the solution they require.

Certainly, you may have done your fair share of market research before opening your restaurant. But if you want to improve your marketing, now’s the time to dive deeper into the data.

By now, hopefully you’ve built a substantial database. Analyzing this data can help you get a better idea of the kind of people that walk through your doors. And, once you know who that is, you can approach your marketing with increased confidence, knowing that you can attract more customers just like them.

Final Thoughts

You already have a marketing program in place. Some aspects of it are probably working. Others may not be. It’s important to analyze your promotion efforts if you’re looking to adjust your strategy. Oftentimes, a small tweak is all it takes to improve – you may not need to make huge adjustments to see huge results.

Use the above strategies to identify where you’re falling short, and what you could be doing to drive better ROI from your marketing.