These ideas for promotions aren’t strictly limited to the springtime season, and in fact, can be conducted at any time of year, but with the connotation of something new and fresh, the spring does provide an excellent backdrop to a brand-new kind of promotion for your restaurant. One of the great things about initiating a springtime marketing promotion is that the success of the campaign could be something that carries through the entire rest of the year, and builds momentum for all the other seasons.
The whole idea of a springtime promotion for your establishment is to try something you’ve never done before, and which carries the hope of a level of success that your business has perhaps never achieved in the past. Here are some fresh new ideas that you might want to consider incorporating into your own spring campaign, to build patronage and to increase customer loyalty with all your existing customer base.
Automated Email Marketing
Using automated email marketing can be a great way of increasing customer loyalty and building relationships, without having to spend a lot of money on any purchases or implementing new services. Encourage your customers to voluntarily enroll in your automated email system by strategically placing a fishbowl in a location where it can be easily accessed, and where they can conveniently jot down their email addresses and drop them in the fishbowl.
If your business participates in online ordering, you can use this built-in vehicle for increasing your database of customer email addresses as well. As your database of these email addresses begins to swell, you can reach more customers with a weekly or monthly message that will increase the connection between you and your patrons.
You can also use this as a means of announcing new menu items, or any other promotions you’re offering for an upcoming period. As an example, you could broadcast coupon discounts which can be used to take 20% off any given entrée the next time the customer visits your restaurant. One important aspect of this kind of promotional strategy is that you have to make it worthwhile for the customer to provide you with that important email address. To encourage patrons to give you their address, offer some kind of discount or free menu item to increase participation.
Unveil New Menu Items
The spring season is a great time to develop and market brand-new menu items that you are offering to the public. These can be exotic new selections developed by your head chef, new variations of menu items you’ve offered in the past, or possibly couplings of existing menu items at a lower combined price. Even without doing anything extra, you could provide a brand-new menu item to your patrons by offering a menu entrée for two, at a lower price than the same menu items purchased individually.
If marketed correctly, these kinds of promotions can be made to seem very exciting and appealing, something patrons are eager to try for themselves. To give the whole idea more of a boost, you can also link that to some kind of a springtime discount which should increase the appeal and the eagerness of your patrons to give it a try.
Use Social Media
You can make clever use of social media in promoting your restaurant if you give it some thought, and the potential results may be extraordinary since the reach of social media is nothing short of astounding at times. One idea would be to choose a hashtag that exemplifies your restaurant, for instance, #eatatJoe’s, and then encourage all your patrons to utilize that hashtag with photos taken of entrées they are served.
For the duration of the marketing promotion, you will be building up visibility for your restaurant as well as broadcasting the visual appeal of your fine food and beverage. At the end of that time, you can choose one or two winners from all the entrants, and provide them with a coupon for a free dinner, or a specific amount of money off their next bill at your restaurant. If you can create a buzz in the social media about your establishment, the domino effect can really be impressive.
Surprise Order Additions
If your restaurant is one which typically has a high volume of takeout calls, this can be a perfect promotion to increase customer loyalty, and generate some favorable word-of-mouth about your establishment. The way it works is by selecting one random winner each day on a takeout order, and then including some extra menu item along with what was specifically ordered.
The extra item can be almost anything, but in order to ensure the patron will really appreciate it, it should probably be one extra of whatever they ordered in the first place. For instance, if a pizza was ordered, you might include an extra slice, and if a roast beef sandwich was ordered, you might include an extra sandwich.
To avoid any confusion about having the wrong order, you’d also have to include a little note advising the patron that they are the lucky winner of the day. You can promote this order addition campaign right at your restaurant, and through whatever media you typically make use of, and it should encourage your patrons to order more takeout, so they can increase their chances of winning.