Restaurant Marketing: Print Ideas for New Business Owners
You just opened the doors to your brand new restaurant or you’re nearly ready to welcome your first customers. Now it’s time to spread the word—without breaking the bank. Your food will speak for itself and word of mouth will help you gain popularity in the local market, but to get started, you need to tap into different marketing channels to generate buzz about your new business.
In addition to marketing your restaurant online, bring offline marketing into your strategy with these tried-and-true print materials that will help spread the word about your business.
“Now Open” Banners
A well-designed banner let’s you share that your restaurant is open for business, or will be opening soon, even if you have a small social media or online following. Here are a few banners to design and print as you prepare for opening day.
- Main banner: This should include your restaurant name and logo. It should also be easy to read from far away, so people on foot and driving by can see it. You can hang your banner in the window or on the top or side of your building.
- Grand opening or soft opening: Let people know when they come check you out for the first time. Even if the soft opening is only available to family and friends, a banner shows you’re almost ready for business, which can help drive buzz.
- Coming Soon: If you’re still a few months out from opening, answer the question on everyone’s mind: “I wonder what’s coming in here?” by putting up a “coming soon” sign.
- Now hiring: If you’re looking to staff your restaurant, a “now hiring” banner is a good way to let the local community know. This is usually hung in the window of your store along with contact information for anyone who’s interested.
Check out our restaurant banner templates >
Customer Loyalty Cards
Once customers are coming in the door, you need to keep them coming back for more. While your delicious food and hospitable service speaks for itself, it never hurts to incentivize return visits and a customer loyalty card helps you do exactly that.
While a standard loyalty card, like “Buy 5, get the sixth free” is easy enough to create and share, you may want to get creative with your loyalty program to keep customers excited and engaged. According to Oracle’s, Recipe for Engagement report, 73 percent of customers said they’d join a loyalty program based on the relevance of the rewards. So first and foremost, consider how you can tailor a loyalty program to each customer. For example: let them choose to redeem their reward for an online purchase or in-store, rather than just one or the other.
The same report found that 68 percent of customers cared about how easy it was to redeem their points or rewards. Keep this in mind when customers come back ready to get their free or discounted item. Make the cards easy to use and ensure that all employees know how to perform the transaction accordingly.
Check out our loyalty card templates >
Promotional Flyers and Postcards
If you aspire to be the type of restaurant where “everyone knows your name,” you have to get out there and introduce yourself—but you don’t necessarily need to attend a local event to do so. Instead, you can spread the word in your neighborhood with marketing flyers or direct mail postcards. They’re easy to design and print in large quantities, and you can distribute at local shops and businesses, or reach local residents by mail.
When designing your flyers and postcards, don’t forget to include the essentials: business name, address, contact information, and logo. Here are a few ways to make them more effective:
- Include high-resolution, professionally photographed images of the food or inside of the restaurant. If it’s family owned, you may even want to include a family photo to introduce the faces behind the establishment.
- Mention menu options, including a mix of unique items and crowd pleasers.
- Include an offer for each customer’s first visit, which will encourage them to come in and check it out. Don’t forget to use a custom offer code, allowing you to track the success of your direct mail campaign.
Check out our restaurant flyer templates > and EDDM postcard templates >
Menus are a must for any restaurant, but don’t just stop after designing and printing the ones your servers pass out to your guests. Menu boards at the front of your restaurant are an easy way for take-out customers to scan and order when they have limited time.
Be sure to have a stack of menus to take home, as well—if it’s sitting at home with all the other menus they’ve collected, you’re more likely to get a call later. You can also mail these to local residents ahead of opening.
Finally, don’t forget to put a menu sign outside of your restaurant so potential patrons can browse when they walk by.
Looking for a few more ideas? We put together this graphic to help you visualize a plan for where you can get the most out of your menus.
If you’re just starting to design your menu, check out our post on the 9 Menu Secrets Every Restaurant Owner Should Know.
Don’t forget to take a look at our restaurant menu templates > they make designing faster and easier.
Stickers are easy to design and cheap to print in bulk. Plus, when someone asks a friend about their sticker, there’s an opportunity to talk about your restaurant. Include your logo and contact information, like phone number and website. After printing, make the most of your first order of branded stickers with these ideas:
- Put them on your carry-out boxes.
- Toss them into bags for take-out customers to boost brand awareness.
- Pass stickers out at local events
- Mail them to people who live in the area
- Give stickers to employees to put on their personal items like, laptops and water bottles.
Check out our restaurant sticker templates >
Table tents allow you to reach customers when they’re most engaged: sitting at a table, waiting for their food and enjoying the experience of your restaurant. This inner-restaurant marketing tactic can help you achieve a few things:
Drive social media follows: Include a call to action for customers to follow you. Make sure you spell out your username to make it easy. You can even use a scannable QR code that takes them right to your profile.
Drive repeat business with daily specials: Use your table tent to display daily specials. If someone’s craving at taco on Thursday, but sees you have a special on Tuesday, they may come back to your restaurant when Tuesday rolls around.
Upsell on desserts: Get your customers to try just one more dish by using your table tent to display desserts. Include high-resolution images to make an impact.
Give it a try with our restaurant table tent templates >
Get Your Print Marketing Materials Together Now
An eye-catching design, structured layout and clean font will all make for memorable print marketing materials. These well-designed print materials, like flyers, postcards and banners, help you generate buzz about your restaurant and get new customers in the door as soon as you’re open. Once customers are lining up outside, get cooking and keep them coming back with loyalty cards and stickers. Make sure the neighborhood knows you’re there with both your online marketing and offline print materials.