Restaurants are a tough business and with a 60% failure rate in the food industry, it's a priority for restaurants to have a top-notch marketing strategy in place. In such a saturated environment, you want to make sure your restaurant stands out above the rest.

The following marketing strategies are great for restaurants that want to capture the attention of foodies and fill your dining area.

Advertise in your local newspaper - As one of many restaurants, it is important that you showcase your restaurant in the easiest way possible. A newspaper is a great way to do that and you can target the local market, which is even better.

Take high-quality photos of your dishes - It is important that any time you advertise your restaurant that you use high-quality images. Each of your menus should also include these high-quality images, as well as any billboards, signage, and print or digital ads.

The only time you should have images that are not high-quality within your marketing strategy is with customer engagement on your social platforms.

Create social media accounts - If you haven’t already jumped on the social media bandwagon, now is the time. It’s crucial that you have a platform to connect with past, current, and future customers.

Social media also allows real-life images and experiences to be seen when customers take photos in your restaurant and tag you on their post. This creates an atmosphere that newcomers will appreciate when they are looking for new restaurants to try.

Utilize email marketing - It may seem odd to ask customers for their email addresses but in doing so, you set yourself up for relationship-building in a crucial way. Your customers are your customers. When you engage with them on social media, they are users of those social platforms - not yours. The only way to connect with them personally is through email.

For a restaurant, obtaining customer emails can be challenging. One suggestion is to place a flyer somewhere on the table or at the bar area that offers your customers a 10%-off coupon for giving you their email address. It’s a win-win!

Connect with food apps and delivery services - This is huge! If you know of any food apps in your area, get in touch with them to find out how you can be included. This way, they do the marketing and you reap the rewards!

Create a loyalty program - Another easy, yet often overlooked way to market your restaurant and continue to fill your tables is to create a loyalty program. A loyalty program can simply be a punch card that your customers get each time they dine with you and after filling up X amount of punches, you give them something in return, such as a free entree or appetizer.

Reach out to food bloggers and influencers - After you’ve set up your social media channels, this is a great thing to do next. By reaching out to food bloggers and influencers you are asking them to review your restaurant or mention it in a post. This gives you a wider audience.

Start a blog - A blog is a great way to showcase your restaurant, staff, and menu options.

Share positive reviews and user-generated content - You can use both social media and your website to get your reviews and user-generated content shared. People love to go where everyone else is going. Create a buzz around your restaurant and you’ll have tables filled in no time!

Offer coupons and discounts - If you have Groupon in your area, find out how you can get an advertisement in there. You can also offer discounts for people who come in to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, or holidays. Everyone loves a deal, even if it’s simply a free appetizer!

Use geo-targeted ads - You can also invest in your restaurant with ads. By getting online, you can target geographical areas where your customers are.

Build a website and include an online menu - A website is a must these days. It allows you to show your menu, take reservations, and highlight any specials you may be having for that month or week. When people are looking for a business online, they often use their website as real estate. Make sure yours is high-quality and done with professional imagery.

Advertise on Union Leader - Give your restaurant the exposure it deserves by advertising with us on The Foodie Page. Your business will reach thousands of readers every week in our Food and Dining section.

Union Leader is a great place to get your local or geo-targeted audience’s attention. We will work with you to create the perfect ad space, so your restaurant is highlighted in the best way possible. Contact us today.