Attract More Customers: Proven Marketing Strategies for Restaurants and Bars

The restaurant and bar industry is a competitive one, with new establishments popping up all the time. As a restaurant or bar owner, it’s essential to have effective marketing strategies in place to attract and retain customers. In this article, we’ll provide you with tips and strategies for effectively marketing your restaurant or bar, including traditional marketing, digital marketing, and event marketing.

Traditional Marketing Strategies

Traditional marketing is an effective way to reach customers, but it has its limitations. You’ll need to spend more money on traditional advertising than you would on social media and influencer campaigns.

Print Advertising

Placing ads in local newspapers or magazines is a great way to reach potential customers in your area. You can also consider advertising in niche publications, such as food or nightlife magazines, to target specific audiences. This type of advertising is usually more expensive than other types because it requires more resources (time and money) from both the advertiser and publisher alike.

Direct Mail

Sending direct mail to households in your area can be an effective way to promote your restaurant or bar. Consider sending coupons or special offers to entice customers to visit. But, if you don’t have enough people on the list who live within driving distance from where your restaurant is located, then this strategy might not be worth pursuing until later down the road when growth has been achieved through other means.

Local Listings

Make sure your restaurant or bar is listed in local directories, such as the Yellow Pages. This can help customers find you when searching for places to eat or drink in their area.

Digital Marketing Strategies

Digital marketing is the use of online advertising, social media and other digital platforms to reach customers. It’s an important part of your restaurant’s overall marketing strategy because it helps you reach new customers, stay connected with existing ones, and increase your online presence.

Social Media Marketing 

Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter are great places for restaurants to connect with their audience by sharing photos from events or promotions, asking for feedback on new menu items and providing updates about what’s happening at the restaurant (like special offerings, events and news). You can also run social media ads (e.g. promote specific posts), or collaborate with influencers to get your business highlighted for their audiences.

Email Marketing

Email marketing allows you to send promotional emails directly to your guests’ inboxes, so they can learn about upcoming promotions or specials right away. It’s a good idea to include relevant news or upcoming events in your newsletter, as well as links back to the website, where readers can find more information about these stories if they want it.

Online Listings & Reviews

Having listings on sites like Ociety, TripAdvisor and Google My Business helps drive traffic into your establishment while also ensuring that potential customers see positive reviews posted by previous customers who’ve tried out some of your best menu items already before deciding whether they’d like to come to visit too!

Event Marketing Strategies

Hosting events at your restaurant or bar can be a great way to attract new customers and build a loyal following. Here are some effective ways to use event marketing:

Hosting Events

Consider hosting events, such as trivia nights, live music, or wine tastings, to attract new customers and keep regulars coming back. Make sure to promote these events on social media, in local publications, and on your website.

Collaborating with Local Businesses

Partnering with other local businesses, such as breweries or food trucks, can help attract new customers to your establishment. Consider hosting joint events or offering special promotions to attract customers from both businesses.

Attending Local Events

Attending local events, such as festivals or farmers markets, can help you reach new customers and build brand awareness. Consider setting up a booth or handing out flyers to promote your restaurant or bar.

Other Common Marketing Strategies

Delivery Apps and Services

Delivery services like Grubhub, DoorDash and UberEats are a great way to market your restaurant or bar’s menu. These apps allow you to target potential customers in their own neighborhoods by showing them menus from nearby restaurants and bars. You can also use these platforms to launch new dishes or specials that aren’t yet on the regular menu.

As more people rely on delivery apps for dinner than ever before (nearly half of Americans have ordered takeout or delivery), it’s important to make sure your restaurant is listed in these apps so that they can order directly from you instead of going through another business first.

Website SEO

Website SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results. This can be done by improving the quality, quantity, and relevancy of the content on your site, which will help users find it when they search for relevant terms related to restaurants or bars.

The goal here is not just to get more traffic from Google but also from other sources like social media sites, directories and search engines like Bing or Yahoo!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  is a big topic and there are many ways to go about it. The process can get complex, but in short, it’s always a good idea to make sure that your website is up-to-date with all possible information and that it can be easily found by your customers.

Loyalty Program

The loyalty program could be a great addition to your marketing efforts since it helps to increase customer retention, increase customer visits (or loyalty), boost sales, gather customer data (e.g. emails that you can use for other marketing strategies), and attract new customers. Depending on what resources you have, you can create different types of reward programs, including special offerings/discounts, contents, giveaways and even birthday gifts to your customers.

Happy Hours and Specials

Happy Hours and different special offerings are a classic way to market your business as well as get more customers in your door. As long as you always highlight your Happy Hour or Specials menu on social media, business listings, and turn your customers into promoters, it should help to increase customer traffic, sales and your brand awareness.

As a business owner, you should never be afraid to experiment with different promotions. Make sure that you track how many customers come in from each one and what types of items they’re ordering during their visit. This will give you an idea of what works best for your establishment and what doesn’t work so well.

Ready to reach a wider audience? Join Ociety and start promoting your Happy Hours and Specials to thousands of potential customers.

Tips for Restaurant and Bar Marketing Strategies

  1. Create a marketing plan. A marketing plan is the foundation of your restaurant or bar’s marketing strategy. It includes all the information you need to know about your business, including who your target audience is, what they want from you, and how they prefer to be reached (Email? Social media? Print ads?). This will help guide the rest of your decisions as you move forward with other tactics from this article.
  2. Establish a brand identity for yourself. When people think of what makes them want to visit a particular restaurant or bar, what do they say? What do their friends say when recommending them as an option? If you don’t have an answer for either question yet, then now’s as good a time as any to establish your brand identity! Look at other brands in similar categories that have strong identities: maybe even competitors who seem like they’re doing something right (and maybe even wrong). Analyze why these brands resonate with customers so strongly, and then use those learnings when developing yours.
  3. Set goals and measure results regularly throughout each campaign cycle so that if something isn’t working out quite right anymore, there are always other options available which could help improve upon whatever areas may need improvement before starting over again from scratch.
  4. Creating new content regularly (blog posts, videos, podcasts) that’s valuable for potential customers and/or influencers in your industry. This will help keep them coming back again and again, so they’re always learning something new when they do. It also makes it easier to build relationships with your customers.
  5. Getting feedback from customers and influencers on what they like and don’t like about what you’re doing so that you know where to focus your efforts in order to improve upon those things that aren’t working quite right anymore. This will help ensure that future campaigns are as successful as possible.
  6. Listening to what people are saying about you online and offline so that you can find out what they’re interested in knowing more about. This will help guide future content creation efforts and improve upon those things that work well already.
  7. Being active in the community and networking with other people who are working on similar projects as you. This will help you learn more about what’s working for them, what challenges they’re facing that you haven’t encountered yet, as well as how they’re handling those challenges so that you can apply the same methods to your own business.

How to tell whether your marketing strategy is successful?

  • Analyze your data. Are you getting more traffic? Are people spending more time on the site? Are they buying more products or services? Analyze your website’s traffic through Google Analytics. Look at how much traffic is coming from searches vs referrals (i.e., people typing in the URL directly), and how many people are viewing each page on your site, so you can see what content is most popular.
  • Look at your analytics and sales numbers. Do they match up to what you were expecting, or do they tell a different story than you expected?
  • Analyze results from social media engagement (likes, comments, shares) to see if there are any patterns in the way people respond to posts about certain types of content. Also, always check if you’re getting any natural followers and if there is any increase in numbers of comments and DMs.
  • Analyze your email list and see if it’s growing, how many people are opening each email, how many people click through to your site from those emails, etc. Use tools like Mailchimp to analyze open rates and click-throughs.
  • Most importantly, always set the goals for each of your marketing campaigns, so you could always tell whether the campaign hit the goal, or something went wrong on the way.


Marketing your restaurant or bar effectively is essential to attracting new customers and building a loyal following. By using a combination of traditional marketing, digital marketing, and event marketing strategies, you can create a comprehensive marketing plan that reaches potential customers through various channels. Remember to regularly measure the success of your strategies and adjust them accordingly to ensure continued success.

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About Ociety

Here at Ociety, we’re dedicated to making NYC and the world a better place through strengthening the ties that bind together our communities and cultivate an inclusive society. So, whether you’re a restaurant or someone that’s just looking to leave the world better than how you found it, we’re here to help along the way.

Interested in learning more about how Ociety and our mission? Check out our website or reach out today for more info!

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