6 Restaurant marketing ideas for summer

By 3.7 min readPublished On: May 24, 2019

Summer is approaching and everyone is ready to come out of hibernation and spend some time and money on good food, and social experiences. However you can’t rely on the good weather to attract your customers. You need to convince them why they should be spending with you instead of your competitors.
This all comes down to your unbeatable marketing tactics. Summer is about  creating envious Instagram pics and experiences worth dressing up (or down) for. If you’re not sure how to turn those insights into a successful seasonal marketing campaign, you can borrow from some of our tips below.

1. High heat, low prices

First and foremost the easiest way to attract loads of customers to your restaurant is by slashing your prices. Think day-long happy hours, free refills on lemonade or free beverage with your meal.  The one thing you need to do is to be careful not to hurt your profit margins with these promotions. A day-long happy hour deal is a great idea when done occasionally but financially, it’s unfeasible as a daily offering. You should let your  inventory influence your specials. Fresh ingredients keep for shorter periods in the hot months and you can get rid of them quicker by putting them in dishes and drinks on promotion.

2. Refresh your menu

It’s always exciting when a local restaurant has a new menu. It feels like a relaunch on a smaller scale. You can introduce a whole new menu or create a seasonal menu.  A good idea would be to go local. Opt for dishes with local produce such as strawberries, tomatoes, arugula, salad greens, peaches, bell peppers, squash, zucchini and fresh herbs.  If your near the sea ad fresh seafood dishes. You can keep your menu fresh with daily dishes. You can  find the inspiration from your patrons. What are they always asking for that you don’t offer? It might be beneficial to run a survey or finally go through that mostly ornamental suggestion box you have at your front of house. Give the people what they want and they’ll keep coming back all summer long.

3. Put yourself on the map

Most millennials and tech-savvy patrons  will type in or “beer garden near me” instead of looking up a specific restaurant by name. This means that you need to optimise your restaurant’s Google search-ability.  There are a few things you can do to do this.  You can invest in Google Ads, claim your listing on Google Maps, or optimise your website’s SEO so your restaurant ranks highly in organic Google search results. If any of this sounds foreign to you, consider enlisting the help of a digital marketing specialist or take an online course for some basic training.

4. From May to Sept 

Don’t forget to maximise on every holiday that occurs throughout summer. From memorial day, to 4th of July and straight through to Labour Day people will find any excuse to celebrate, and you can use this to your advantage. So find all the days that you can celebrate fun occasions. If it fits your restaurant’s image, you can provide live entertainment and charge a small entry fee.

5. Summer events

There are so many events during the summer no matter where you live. Find out what’s happening locally, and see whether you can run a booth or sell food from a trailer or a food truck. A mobile POS system makes these kinds of sales easy to manage. Regardless of whether you can participate directly, you can piggyback on the event with social media marketing and GPS-targeted advertising campaigns.

6. Partner with local tourist attractions

During the summer, referrals from local hotels, motels, museums, art galleries and amusement parks can increase your revenue and cover the shortages caused by reduced business from regular customers. Your customers are traveling, so it makes sense to replace them with tourists to your city.
You can offer discounts for hotel guests, leave copies of your menu in the lobbies of local hotels or provide hotel delivery service to capitalize on visitors to your city.
Getting creative with marketing ideas for summer can help keep your restaurant busy in summer.
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See you next week!
Your devoted hostess,

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