Unique Restaurant Marketing Idea: effective and affordable
Updated: Jun 21
Is the majority of people know your restaurant in your city or town?
If your answer is yes, that's great! But if not, you might be a victim of the greatest enemy every restaurant owner in this business could ever have, OBSCURITY!
The main reason why you don't have customers is because of obscurity which refers to the state of being unknown or insignificant. If there are not enough people who know about your restaurant, you are obscure, you are suffering from obscurity and this is not okay! So you better find ways to get out of the "dark" and get into the "light", be known and be recognized by the people.
Here's what happens, if none of the people know about your establishment, they don't know that you exist, it does not matter what you do in the restaurant. No matter how much you improve your service, ticket times, give discounts, etc., it won't help if you are in the state of being unknown.
Sometimes you're in the restaurant, you talk to your manager. You try to strategize like we should do this promotion, we should not increase our prices, we should come up with a combo, get one free, we should change our specials, maybe our menu is this, etc. However, when there are fewer people who know about your restaurant, all of these plannings could be useless.
It doesn't really matter what is it that you do in terms of improving your service or anything like that, you are just meeting the minimum of what you need and you know that in this business, you need a thousand of customers for you to succeed.
There is an easy and affordable way to fight obscurity for your restaurant business, the Guerilla Marketing strategy.
What is Guerilla Marketing?
Guerilla Marketing is a well-known creative marketing concept which term is inspired by warfare. It's a budget-friendly method that requires a little bit of creativity and hustle to make it successful.
Three of its advantages are:
👌It is memorable
👌It will cost you less than $100
👌It is effective
Imagine you are driving by the highway at five o'clock in the afternoon and you are really tired of a long day at work.
You're on your way home and you know that when you get home, you will be cooking for your family. Everybody's home and hungry and then out of the blue, you see this person on a pizza costume, on the side of the road!
You appreciate a little bit of the hustle, and you were like, "What's that place, is that a pizza place that I never knew about?"
Would it draw attention? Definitely yes, who wouldn't take a look at a dancing "pizza guy" on the roadside? We do that quite often. A couple of years ago, we used to do that daily. We had our pizza guy out on the side of the road every single day, especially during rush hour. That used to get a lot of attention. People would honk horns and they would shout, "Hey pizza guy!" or they would take pictures of it.
This has been an effective method for our restaurant to involve our team, especially during a slow shift. When we were slow, we have too many people on the clock, we assigned one of them to put on one of our pizza costumes to promote our pizzeria. If you have a burger, taco, fries or whatever you have in your restaurant, you can find a costume for that and you too can surely do this!
Aside from that "dancing" costume guy on the roadside, you can have it visit different happenings around your area so it would gain more attention from the crowd hence promoting your restaurant.
When does the costume guy visit?
1. Events that we host - in our case, the pizza guy visits whenever we host events like birthday parties especially on occasions with lots of kids attending. The pizza guy comes out in costume and everybody just wants to take pictures with him.
2. Friday nights - when we are very busy in the restaurant and we want people to get distracted for a few seconds, the pizza guy comes out in the hallway. Everyone wants to take photos, he goes around, the kids get excited and gives them a hi-five.
3. On high school football game/game nights - we are in San Antonio, Texas and football games in high school is a big deal. So whenever we have games or game nights going, we'll have the pizza guy appear. We may even take the pizza guy where there's a lot of traffic, people are going to attend or leaving the game, wherever the traffic is where people come in and out, the access road or whatever that is, you place your costume guy with the sign of your restaurant hanging on his neck and do some dancing.
In these 3 occasions that I mentioned, make your own costume guy show up and that will for sure, kill obscurity about your restaurant!
Our restaurant is very close to the main road, we are on the strip mall and the main street is pretty busy especially between 12-1 PM and at 5-6 PM. There is so much traffic, people have plenty of time to just sit and watch our pizza guy. And again you have that staff number on the clock, it is really not costing you much per hour when you look at it that way and our people do take turns.
Here's a little challenge for you!
So here is what I would like you to do if you are thinking now if it is going to work for you or not, I know that it has worked tremendously good for us. Go to Amazon.com and search for food costumes. There are dozens of food costumes that they are selling there, from ketchup, mustard, fries, avocado, tacos, peanut butter jelly, beer, burgers, pizzas, and all kinds of food costumes that you can think of. You can purchase one on Amazon.com for less than $50 and literally, all you have to do is to look it up. Implement this and make some dough for your restaurant!
Get some attention to your restaurant, kill obscurity. If you meet anybody off the street and they are like, "Who are you?", and you say, for instance, "I own this restaurant called Joe's Pizza or Joe's Burger" and they are like, "Oh, where are you located?" You will know that you have not done a good job and you are still obscure in your own town. The work is not done, and this Guerilla method as I mentioned, it is memorable, it is very cost-effective, it will cost you less than $50 and you will use that costume for years.
Guerilla marketing is absolutely a unique business marketing idea that is effective and affordable, apply this tactic to your restaurant to promote it, let people know and recognize you, and see great results!
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