Events, Marketing, Restaurants

Key restaurant marketing event ideas to attract customers

Restaurant marketing event ideas for hosting events that bring crowds, revenue, and loyal customers to your restaurant.

70% of the people attending an event will become regular customers of your business after it. The power of in-person events to boost marketing efforts is unprecedented, especially for physical establishments like restaurants that rely on the physical attendance of people for their business. 

No matter how small or new your restaurant is, hosting events is an effective way to attract and retain customers. Events such as social get-togethers, political meetings, business lunches, and theme nights bring in a variety of customers. You may partner up with local vendors to make it a collaborative event garnered toward the community. 

Let us take a look at why events are a boon to your restaurant’s PR and some of the top restaurant marketing event ideas to host one yourself.

Benefits of hosting events for restaurants

In-person events help you attract the attention of your community. You can raise awareness about your establishment and the type of services you provide. Other than the obvious perk of bringing crowds to your restaurant, there are some huge benefits that accompany events. The most prominent ones are listed below:

Increase sales

The more people visit your establishment, the more likely they are to engage with it. 59% of people who attend an event do make a purchase. The focus of the event should still be to gather as much crowd as possible. The sales will come with them. 

The aim of these restaurant marketing event ideas is to drive revenue, here are some ways they can accomplish that goal: 

a)    Impulse buys — The most common way people engage with events is by picking up products of choice on a whim. An impulse buy is categorized as one that has no planning behind it. The more people visit your events, the more they are likely to purchase something simply because they like it and/or want to. 

b)    Product samples — You may hand out samples of your products to let the people get a taste of them at no cost. Being able to test a product at no cost helps a customer make an informed decision. More importantly, it has a positive impact on their behavior and makes them more likely to give it a try. 

c)    Demo — Events offer opportunities for potential buyers to see your services in action. They can understand how you function better and make a decision regarding engaging with you. Additionally, it becomes easier to gauge a customer’s reaction to a product or service when they are right in front of you. 

Form connections with your patrons

Events give you an opportunity to form deep bonds with your customers. You can interact with them, learn about them, and receive valuable feedback from them that helps you improve as a business. 

You can work toward building a community as you gather qualified leads. People will be intrigued to be a part of it as you grow. You can also use events to thank your patrons or offer them valuable services to grow the bond you make with them.

Build a brand image

One of the most obvious benefits of hosting an event is creating a positive buzz around your restaurant. It gives you exposure and gives potential customers a chance to try you out. You can build your brand image through the service you provide. 

Research suggests that loyal customers drive as much as 80% of your business. Building positive interactions with your customers is an excellent way to earn their loyalty. They can help spread positive word of mouth in the community, bringing new customers with them.

A step-by-step guide to hosting an event at your restaurant

You must already have some restaurant marketing event ideas in your head about promoting your restaurant. Here is a handy guide to add to those ideas, put them to work, and boost your business:

1. Host themed events for greater traction

There are many restaurant marketing event ideas to choose from when it comes to hosting an event. You must choose one that is topical and profitable. 

For example, the National Retail Association reported in a study that Father’s Day spending is continuously increasing to reach all-time highs. Centering an event based on Father’s Day celebrations could be a profitable venture for you. 

Similarly, you can host business lunches to attract the corporate crowd or Valentine’s Day events to bring in couples. Alternatively, you can also do something out-of-the-box and creative, such as hosting a ‘Hollywood Night’, ‘80s Night’, ‘Star Wars Night’, ‘Football Night’, etc.

2. Decide menus, discounts, and other details

Once you are set on what the event will be, it is time to finalize every detail around it. Ideally, you should give yourself some days or weeks to prepare and promote it. 

First, you need to come up with a special menu. Consider creative names for your dishes, such as ‘Darth Vader’ sandwiches for the ‘Hollywood night’ event. You can shape the sandwiches like a helmet! Create incredible-looking templates easily using PosterMyWall’s range of menu templates.

You can also have discounts, deals, and decorations based on the theme of the event. Tip: Don’t do something too extravagant — keep it simple so you can do it again without feeling overwhelmed.

3. Partner up with other vendors or businesses

Partnering up with local vendors like food suppliers or decorators serves two purposes. Firstly, it makes it easy to put everything together as you can delegate tasks to them instead of doing it all yourself. 

Secondly, it brings their patrons to your business as well. They would promote the event to their audience and essentially increase your outreach altogether. You gain access to a new and unexplored audience. 

Such an audience engaging with you for the first time will already have a high opinion of you as they are coming through the vendor they already trust. You can capitalize on these opportunities to make the event easier while attracting a bigger audience.

4. Promote

Perhaps the trickiest step in the process is promoting the event. You may have an excellent event waiting in the wings, but it will not bring you much business unless you get people to learn about and reach the event.

The aim should be to reach out to as many people as possible. Make sure the event details are easily understandable to them. And when they RSVP, see that you convey the time, date, and venue to them clearly. 

Additionally, you may also remind them as the event approaches or get confirmation about their attendance if you can. 

Here are some ways you can promote your event to reach the widest audience:

Create an event page

Research suggests that more than 80% of restaurateurs think that creating an online presence is of vital importance. Create an events page for your event first and foremost. It will help put all the relevant information about the event as well as your restaurant in one place. 

Treat it as the center of your promotional efforts. All other promotions can simply link back to it. This way, you can see how many people RSVP to the event. You may also use the data you gather now for future events by analyzing how much traffic each promotional event brings to the page, and plan your future campaigns accordingly.

Promote online

There are many platforms that will help you create a buzz about your event online. You can create an attractive event poster with the help of PosterMyWall. Highlight the event’s main attractions along with exclusive deals to catch people’s attention. 

Share posts about the event on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Post on local forums of your community to create a buzz. Email everyone in your list and put the event in your signature for the time being. You can create eye-catching promotional content for your restaurant using one of PosterMyWall’s restaurant flyer templates.

The key is to link every post you share back to the event’s page so that is where the traffic comes and people can RSVP.  

Another aspect to remember is to gather general information about what form of social media is generally used in your area or community. Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are generally popular, but it can very well not be the case with your community. 

It can happen to be more active on local forums or TikTok, for example. So, learn about what is popular in your surroundings before you begin promotions to gain the widest reach.

Promote locally

As big as social media is today, local events still draw a lot of traction with traditional marketing. Flyers, posters, local newspapers, and radio stations are a great way to connect with your community and invite them to your event.

On-the-foot marketing is still relevant, especially in closely-knit communities. Make the most of it by spreading the word about your event. Collect their RSVPs to go with the online RSVPs that you collect.

Promote through your partnerships

If you are partnering up with other businesses, you can advertise that you are doing so on your restaurant flyers, It helps you reach a wider audience by getting the attention of your partner’s patrons as well. 

Similarly, they can also promote your upcoming collaboration on their promotional channels. The general public who is not a patron of either of you might also take an interest in an ambitious collaboration between two businesses. You can certainly promote it as such. 

Ask your partner to inform you of attendees coming through them. It will help you keep an accurate record of the success of your promotional efforts.

Final thoughts

Events are an excellent way to drive crowds to your restaurant. There are many restaurant marketing event ideas that will help you create a positive buzz around your restaurant. 

The key to hosting one successfully lies in creating an enticing theme to attract people and promoting it adequately. 

The ideas presented above will hopefully help you host unforgettable events with the utmost efficiency. 

Always be open to feedback and remember that the most important aspect of your event is that your patrons have a great time.