Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Restaurant Advertising

Whether it’s just starting out or an established restaurant, advertising is the key to any successful business.
One of the best places for restaurant advertising is the local newspaper. The majority of adults read newspapers daily, especially for local and community information; and they are still the primary advertising medium for over 90% of all retailers.

Whether it’s just starting out or an established restaurant, advertising is the key to any successful business. If a restaurant has been around for awhile, there is a tendency to cut back on advertising — especially in these difficult economic times — however, restaurantreport.com suggests that this is exactly the time to step up marketing efforts. Word-of-mouth isn’t quite as reliable these days, and unless a restaurant is new, people won’t necessarily have a reason to come out and try it again.

One of the best places for restaurant advertising is the local newspaper. The majority of adults read newspapers daily, especially for local and community information; and they are still the primary advertising medium for over 90% of all retailers. Be it in print or on the web, a restaurant can’t afford not to have their name out there.

METHODS OF ADVERTISING RESTAURANTS:

When and Where to Advertise
It’s important for restaurants to run their ads repeatedly. This creates familiarity, which leads to trust. The best days to run restaurant ads are Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

Aside from the obvious suggestion of placing ads on high-traffic areas of the newspaper, specialized sections — like Dining & Entertainment, Food, etc. — are great locations. Restaurants should also consider advertising in niche publications — particularly tourist and college papers. These ads would specifically target an audience that tends to frequent restaurants.

Restaurant Directories
Restaurant directories are great tools for everyone involved — the newspaper, the community and the restaurant. By publishing a restaurant directory, newspapers have the potential to secure recurring advertisers. One way of enticing, and hopefully retaining, customers is by publishing a citywide restaurant directory and listing everyone for free for the first month, and then charging for each additional month. You can also sell display ads surrounding the directory. Incorporating maps is a great way to spice up your directory and make it more interactive. You may also consider offering a specialized guidebook; for instance, a directory of restaurants where kids eat free, have Sunday brunches or delivery.

Menu Inserts
Menu printing/inserts are a terrific way to promote a restaurant — along with informing potential customers about the restaurant, they allow the food to speak for itself. Menu printing also offers additional marketing opportunities: restaurants can print coupons or special offers on the menu, ask customers to mention the ad and determine if the insert works.

Menu inserts also are a good way to conduct target-marketing research. Newspapers are already delivered to targeted, neighborhood audiences — restaurants can specifically choose which zip codes they want their menus inserted in. From there, they can easily determine which neighborhoods respond to their ads and where they should continue to advertise in the future.

Promotions
One way for a restaurant to capture the public’s attention and keep them coming back is through promotions. Restaurants can make themselves “the place to be” on any given day by offering a specialized promotion for that day. This is most commonly used on the weekend (particularly Sunday brunch), when most people go out to eat. If a restaurant is in a centralized corporate area, they may want to consider offering a lunch special. Kids menus and discounts are great ways to bring in families with children. Promotions like food nights, discounts, special events, free birthday meals or free drinks with every meal are reasons for patrons to keep coming back for more.