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Restaurant Marketing: Grow Your Customer Base with Co-Promotions

By Elizabeth Kelly

How well do you know your neighbors—and neighboring businesses? Restaurants are intrinsically a local business. Whether you run a franchise of a multinational brand, or a small start-up, the majority of your customers live in your local community.

Working with neighboring businesses for co- and cross-promotions is an excellent way to grow your customer base. We’ve put together a few ideas for you to put co-promotion to work for your business:

Date Night: Dinner and a Show

Are you located close to a cinema, arena or theater? Take advantage of the traditional date night by offering discounts to customers who show you their ticket to today’s game or show.

This kind of cross promotion doesn’t require buy-in from the other business owner, but asking them to promote the deal at their location can amplify the results.

Co-Sponsor an Event

Get involved with local events like street festivals or community concert nights, and pair up to sponsor one! Co-sponsoring can help in a few ways that sponsoring an event alone can’t:

  • By co-sponsoring, you can create a positive association with another brand, showing that your businesses care about the same things. But be selective of which businesses you want to be associated with—your customers will judge you based on the company you keep.
  • Co-sponsoring can cut your costs in half.
  • And with both companies promoting the event, you can introduce both the event and your business to a wider audience.

Run a Contest

Team up with local businesses to contribute prizes for a contest, whether it be a social media, a draw, or scavenger hunt. The sky is the limit, as long as your contest introduces all of the businesses to new customers.

Share Your Space

Share a little counter space in your pizzeria for information about nearby businesses, and ask your neighbors to do the same. A hungry shopper picking up her dry cleaning next door may see your menu and pop over!

Deliver Right to the Bar

Do you offer delivery? Many breweries and wineries don’t offer food for their customers, or only offer a small menu. A Boston brewery teamed up with local restaurants to offer pop ups and delivery in their taprooms. Wineries and breweries often also host special events. Work with them to sponsor or cater a few events a year to introduce your food to their customers.

Owning and running a local restaurant means you are part of your local community. Make connections with other business owners and discuss promotions that can benefit both of you.

Looking for other promotion ideas? Read Summer Promotions & Database Marketing That Can Help Drive Restaurant Profits »


Posted by Elizabeth Kelly

As the Marketing Specialist for SpeedLine Solutions Inc., Elizabeth is the Managing Editor for On Point: The Restaurant Technology Blog. Have an idea for an article? Send her a message!

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Tags: Restaurant Marketing

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