You might have the best food and drink in the entire city at your restaurant, but if not enough people know about it, you could still have a lackluster business which struggles to stay profitable. Of course, if you are serving the best steaks in town, eventually that word-of-mouth will start circulating and people will come in, but until then you may have a lot of empty tables. Try using promotional items.
That means you need to get the information out to the restaurant-going public about what great food and drink your restaurant serves, and why the public should be patronizing your particular restaurant, as opposed to the one down the street. Before word-of-mouth has a chance to kick in and momentum can build about what great food you serve, you need to promote your restaurant in a way that makes people curious enough to get in the doors and give your establishment a try.
To some extent, advertising through the local media and on your website can reap benefits as well, but you should use supplemental methods to raise awareness about your restaurant. Here are some of the possible promotional giveaways you could use to carry your branding and possibly a brief message you wish to convey to potential patrons.
Which Promotional Items Should you Choose?
It isn’t good enough to simply give away items that have your company name or logo printed somewhere on the exterior as a reminder for future patronage. It can be much more effective if you choose the right promotional items, which will have value and usefulness to the target audience you’re trying to reach.
One way to be sure that you get this right is to offer a number of possible promotional products to potential customers, to see which ones they actually favor, before placing a larger order of these same desirable giveaway items. If your budget won’t allow a strategy like this, you can still rely on the tried-and-true methods which have proven successful for decades.
In general, people will appreciate giveaway items which are durable, and you should favor this yourself because you want a lasting impression in the minds of your patrons. Pens are always useful, so these are a good possibility, but in this digital age something which has provided universal functionality and value to people is the USB thumb drive, which everyone uses to store data files and photos on.
Whenever possible, try to fit your promotional giveaway items to the image of your company, so that the promotional item will be a reminder of the restaurant itself. When you’re ordering your giveaway items, make sure to factor in plenty of lead time, especially if you’re going to tie the item to a specific event like a grand opening or the introduction of new menu items.
Best Promotional Items for Your Restaurant
Clothing items are always popular, because people love getting new clothing, and if the item itself is something which can be worn externally, it can become a walking advertisement for your business. T-shirts are particularly effective for this function, as are baseball caps and other wearables, and they provide a broad enough surface that you can convey practically any kind of message you want to pass on to future patrons.
Umbrellas can be a terrific giveaway item because they provide so much value to potential customers and because they also offer the opportunity of a broad external surface for imprinting your brand name and other important information about your restaurant. Since umbrellas will always be used outdoors, that makes it likely that a great number of people other than the owner will see the umbrella, and will potentially take note of your restaurant name and address for future reference.
Through the years, some of the most popular promotional items for restaurants and any other businesses have been glasses, mugs, and cups. Every home in America has room for one more glass or one more mug in the kitchen cupboard, and they are highly functional items which can have daily usage. In addition to providing value within a given home, they can be seen by visiting friends and relatives so that an additional audience is reached, so your message can extend beyond the household of the owner.
Plates which have been emblazoned with your company logo or branding information can have a similar effect as cups, glasses, and mugs, in that they provide a very useful function in the household, and will be much appreciated by the owners. These also have the potential for being noticed by friends and relatives and creating a little buzz about your restaurant. One of the best ways of getting these dishes in the hands of your patrons is to offer a promotional discount on some kind of entrée or beverage and then using the branded glass or plate to contain the featured item, after which the patron gets to keep the plate or mug.
A leftover bag is one of the more unique promotional item giveaways that you can use to highlight your brand and to include your restaurant details on the side of the bag. Restaurant patrons frequently have leftover food which they would like to take home with them, and if you can provide them with a handy and durable leftover bag for that purpose, it can be a constant reminder of an enjoyable experience they had at your restaurant, as well as a convenient transport for the leftovers themselves.