In these modern times, there are two approaches used to promote restaurants locally – digital marketing and the traditional method.

Although digital marketing is popular and very much the trend of the moment, there can still be benefit gained from using the more traditional restaurant marketing approaches. These traditional approaches to marketing include radio, mail, print (including newspapers and magazines) and printed flyers.

The power of traditional marketing is that it gives you a viable way to reach local target markets. By combining traditional marketing with digital, you’ll be able to grow your restaurant business. We recommend a spend of 80%/20% on digital / local.

To make the best of that 20%, here are ways that can bring you the return on investment that you’re seeking.

Publicity Stunts

Brainstorm ideas that are likely to secure you a visit from the local newspaper and radio journalists. Consider devoting a day to cooking and delivering food to local homes for the elderly. Or how about inviting local school children for a cooking demonstration or local celebrities for a bake-off or a cook-off. Ensure that you invite journalists to take pictures and write a story about your event.

Partner with a local business

Choose a local business partner who you can work with on promotion. This promotion may come in the form of a new product, i.e a special meal accompanied by wine from your business partner. How about a highly promoted social gathering for business networking? Other ideas are working with the local car sales showroom to provide food for their events, or local growers. Again, invite local news to gain media coverage.


One popular and effective approach is to offer ‘come-back soon’ coupons. If you’re doing well at lunchtime but not so much at dinner, the give your clients a discount coupon for them to come back at dinner time.

Promote your Restaurant Locally.

Birthday Club

With so many people wanting to eat out for their birthday meal, make the best of this opportunity by sending them an invite. The result will be increased sales and increased customer loyalty. To get this promotional tactic rolling, collect contact information such as physical or email addresses in addition to birthday information. You could send either a postcard or a digital birthday card along with a voucher for a free dessert or a discount. Be sure to send it a few days in advance, so that you can reach them before they book their celebratory meal at another spot.

In summary, both digital and traditional marketing can help to grow a restaurant business. Which traditional marketing approaches have you tried that have worked for your restaurant?