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There’s no lack of restaurant advertising options these days. Facebook and Twitter offer business ads that are easy to understand and even easier to buy. Gone are the days where small businesses only had the newspaper, direct mail, and radio to spread a message.

Finding an audience for advertising isn’t particularly difficult, but getting an audience to pay attention can be much harder, especially with the sheer volume of online advertisements. Below we have five key elements to a restaurant marketing strategy to follow so your advertisement will be successful.

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1. Headline

The headline is a pivotal part of any advertisement. The initial words contained in advertisements need to hook your audience’s attention quickly.

If the headline fails to hook them—or worse, alienates them—you’re success rate will be low, especially with all the competition online.

So what works in a headline? Make it short, sweet and memorable.

2. Images

Consider your brand and target audience while creating advertisements.

If you have a fun, carefree environment, you may want to try humor in your ad copy or imagery. Just make sure all content is fully aligned and the viewer knows what you’re selling.

Make sure that you take advantage of all the free tools out there already and share multiple photos on social media as well. Not sure how to start with Instagram? Read more here.

If your establishment is more high-end, make this blatantly clear in your ad. A picture of your food’s presentation can be a giveaway, showing its caliber. Images of well-dressed guests or the chef also help paint an accurate picture of high-end restaurants.

3. Colors

Colors stimulate the senses, so you want to make sure you’re sending the right signs to potential guests.

Warm colors, like bright red, orange and yellow, are known to create excitement and are often used on menus, particularly in fast food restaurants. According to WiseGeek, “warm colors are some of the best colors for advertising food as they are known to increase appetite, which may translate to higher revenue.”

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On the other hand, a color like blue is often associated with calmness and some studies have shown that its influence in slowing heart rate also decreases appetite. Traditionally blue has been avoided in advertising because of its tranquil state.

If you want to avoid too much color, black and white are good options for advertising because they complement each other well through contrast, as well as signify opposite emotions.

Customers at tables and waitress in busy restaurant interior

4. Relevance

Two of the most important areas to stay relevant: design and advertising location.

If you’re promoting on local websites, you’re already guaranteed exposure to the community. If you decide to pay for cost-per-click (CPC) advertisements, you will want to target geographically.

Proper geographic targeting assures your ads will only be shown to people in your area. Often times you can assign a certain location range so you can control a number of potential impressions by increasing the range.

As for the design of your ad, heavily consider showcasing your food. Guests will choose to visit your restaurant for a first time if your imagery is enough to make their mouths water.

5. Call to action

Just because potential guests see your restaurant ad, it doesn’t mean they will visit. Make it worth their while by presenting a reason to come in. If you’re running a promotion or have specials on particular nights, share this information in an ad and call your guests in!

Now that your advertisements are on their way, why don’t you take a look at your full restaurant marketing strategy? Get the guide.


Written by   |  
Meghan is an award-winning journalist and content marketing manager who lives to tell stories. Her favorites include highlighting all things restaurants, from front-of-house hospitality to back-of-house grit. When she's not writing about them, you can find her eating her way through Providence and Boston searching for inspiration with a rye Old Fashioned in hand.