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10 Local Store Marketing Ideas for New Restaurants
Jason Frueh | Business, Marketing

10 Local Store Marketing Ideas for New Restaurants

Local store marketing is one of the many ways restaurants can attract new customers from within the community. Not only does this allow you to broaden your reach, but it can also help you build trust with customers who are new to your business because you’re associated with a company they know and love. 

Local Business

There are a wide variety of ways to work with local stores, so consider which is best for your business and start planning. 

Related Article: Why Your Restaurant Marketing Plan Needs Print

1. Hang Flyers Outside of the Store

Print marketing is valuable for restaurants. According to Toast’s 2019 Restaurant Success Report, 32 percent of restaurants still use newspaper and magazine ads, while 22 percent will use direct mail to reach customers. Even if you don’t plan on sending mailers or running ads, you can print flyers to hang outside of stores. 

Important: Always get the store’s permission before hanging your poster.

2. Leave Coupons at the Store Register

Coupons are a valuable promotional item to attract guests to your restaurant. Sixty-four percent of people surveyed admit they use coupons frequently for food and retail purchases. Ask for for permission to leave coupons or business cards by your target store’s register so customers can grab them while making purchases.

3. Add Coupons on Store Receipts

Take the coupon strategy a step further and ask local stores to include your coupons on the back of receipts. A study by IndoorMedia found that 58 percent of shoppers felt more favorably about a brand that was featured on the back on a grocery store receipt. If these potential guests already have a favorable opinion about your restaurant, they are more likely to visit.

4. Hold Fish Bowl Raffles or Giveaways 

You may already have a fish bowl of business cards at your cash register from patrons hoping to win a free lunch. Ask a few local businesses to set up the same giveaway format for you in their store as well. Better yet, partner with the store, offering a dual discount for the winner. This gives the store an incentive to help.

5. Team Up for Dual Events

If you’re looking for a way to attract a large number of new customers at one  time, host an event with local stores. Most marketers say that events are the single-most effective marketing channel over digital advertising, email marketing and content marketing. Team up with local businesses for street fairs, theme nights, or local neighborhood events.

6. Provide Food for Store Events

If you don’t want to headline an event, support local stores by providing food for theirs. In the end, your small contribution might be remembered more the guests because 62 percent of people admit they just go to events for the food!

Related article - Budget-Friendly Community Events to Reach Local Customers

7. Create a Pop-up Stand

You don’t even need to have an event to offer your food at local stores. More than half of chefs who responded to a National Restaurant Association survey called pop-up restaurants a hot trend. Create a deal to offer samplings of some of your best dishes to customers as they come and go from the store.

8. Get Social With Influencer Marketing

Let’s face it—you’re already using social media in your restaurant marketing plan. But you’re probably not investing in influencer marketing, which 89 percent of marketers say is now the most cost-effective of all digital channels.

Fortunately, you don’t have to. Just work out a deal with local stores to like, comment on, and share each other’s social posts to increase engagement and views. A  win-win for everyone involved!

Related article - How to Master Your Visual Social Media Branding

9. Trade Reviews

Whether your run a restaurant or a retail store, you know how important positive reviews are for bringing in new business. Research shows that 91 percent of millennials trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Encourage your store partners to write truthful and honest reviews about your restaurant and ask your employees to do the same. 

10. Offer Dual Loyalty Programs

A loyalty program is one of the best ways to develop repeat customers. However, half of customers say they only sign up for relevant and select programs. To make your program more appealing to a broader audience, partner with local stores so money spent at either business gives the customer rewards at both locations.

Use Local Store Marketing to Your Advantage

Not all partnership marketing efforts will lead to immediate sales at your restaurant, but these strategies can help improve brand awareness so you’re top-of-mind with potential customers. Add local store marketing to your restaurant plan to make the most of the many possibilities available.

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