Promote your Café without Advertising or Discounting

Posted on May 18, 2018 by Ash Bennett

You shouldn’t have to take a loss or undervalue your product to promote your business. While advertising does help a food service business, it lacks the buzz that social media and publicity can create. Let your market know who you are, give your cafe or restaurant a personality. The public will respond with support and comradely.

Host Events

Draw in new patrons through hosting themed events at your restaurant or café. Business socials that highlight the food make excellent opportunities to get the word out about how great your business is. Partnering with neighboring businesses or charities will only increase interest in the event and help you to reach out to new markets. Take the opportunity to snap mouth-watering photos of your product. Host food-themed events that incorporate local produce, or ideas for upcoming holidays. Consider hosting cooking classes that help customers make their favorite meals at home. Even non-food related events bring in business, if you’ve got tables, then you’re a venue. Knitting groups, music groups, activist groups in the region are always looking for somewhere to call home. Why not your place?

Social Media and Newsletter

Social Media, blogging, and writing an annual newsletter are the best ways to reach out to the public and establish your personality. Post photos of menu items, happy staff, and customers, even photos of the events you host will help paint a picture of who you are. Dig into the community to establish roots there. The buzz will bring in business. Newsletters are your opportunity to network your business and tell stories about who you are. Feature local heroes, regular customers, and tell your start-up story. Your blog is your restaurants’ voice; use it to establish new friendships.

Menu Games

Customers delight in creativity; menu games are an excellent way to add joy to their experience at your business. Menu Bingo is a way to expose customers to new menu items, and old menu items they’ve never tried. This game gives prizes for customers who order five or more different meals on the menu within a period. On slow days consider a toss-up game that gives guests the chance of having their lunch paid for on the house. Incorporate a bell that gets rung each time a guest orders something significant on the menu, or a new item during a promotional period.


Publicity stunts are becoming an attractive avenue for business to promote themselves in new and creative ways. Videos of skydivers trying to eat one of your meals while falling through the heavens will certainly create a buzz. Stay innovative, set up challenges with your staff or neighboring businesses like creating the ultimate sandwich competition, then leave it up to the public to choose the winner. Challenge guests to use your restaurant as a foodtography hub and plate your meals in Instagram-worthy ways.

The way in which business interacts with the public and the community is changing, so change with it. Stay on top of new trends, and challenge your staff to come up with exciting ways to promote your business.

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