Restaurant Marketing Strategies for Generating Customers, Showcasing Food and Handling Negative Reviews

The following are three common questions we receive from restaurants.

  1. How can I get more people in the door?
  • Co-Branding with other businesses.
    • Where is your restaurant located and what is surrounding you? For example, is your establishment near a movie theater, nail salon, etc.? Is it a lone restaurant in the middle of nowhere, with no other businesses in sight?
    • Surrounding businesses bring more traffic to the area of your restaurant, that is why it is beneficial to co-brand with them.
    • Partner with another business and allow customers to bring in a receipt from your business partner to receive a discount on their food then reciprocate this deal with your business partner.
  • Create a Facebook/social media culture.
    • This is HUGE!
    • Have your employee’s and friends “Like” your Facebook page, share your page, comment on events and photos, leave reviews, etc.
      • You need to start somewhere, and if they are not doing it, it will likely be impossible to get others to do so either!
    • Ask customers to leave a review on Facebook when you bring their check or as they are leaving your restaurant
    • Offer Facebook only specials and deals.
      • For example, if your customers check in or tag themselves while at your restaurant, offer them some incentive (Free drink or appetizer, discount of some kind., buy one get one deal, etc.).
      • Facebook specials garner great results.


  1. What is the best way to showcase my food?

Social media is a visual monster! So you need to post amazing pictures.

Pro Tip: Investigate other (successful) restaurants to see how they showcase their food online and mimic the way they post on their social media. “Imitation is the highest form of flattery!”

  • Name the food item specifically, and include the price so customers know exactly what to ask for when they come to your restaurant.
  • Be sure to use a photo editing application/program when creating your graphic!
  • Include a message such as, “Mention you saw this menu item on Facebook and receive $2 off!”


  1. How do I handle negative reviews?

Negative reviews through Yelp! Facebook, or other sites, can sink your restaurant in no time! We live in a society where marketing is not based on you telling your story but rather the consumer telling your story. However, this can actually work for your benefit!


A negative  review can be a game changer for you – in a good way! Respond to negative reviews on your social media and invite that customer back in to offer them better service, it makes the customer feel like they were listened to.


Pro Tip: Respond gracefully in public, and also send the customer a private message to apologize.


Remember: You cannot hide from negative reviews. They are a part of our society, so accept and learn from them.


Positive reviews: You should also of course be showcasing these reviews on social media as well! Turn them into Facebook and social media posts so customers can see them when they are scrolling through!



Grab our FREE Restaurant Marketing Toolkit, which includes all of the content we covered today and a bunch of other helpful resources to get you going!


If you would like the Branning Group to help you with your marketing needs, fill out the form below or call us at (661) 946-0888

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