In the past couple weeks, I’ve been continuously impressed with the different ways restaurants have been promoting themselves. With dine-in services suspended across the nation, restaurants everywhere have had to get creative – and fast. It may be an uncertain time, but people still need to eat. And restaurants are rushing to meet that need.

One silver lining? This situation actually presents a good opportunity for your restaurant to reach a new audience. There are people who are relying on restaurants for the majority of their meals. They’re not all ordering from the same place every time. Many will be looking to try something new.

Here’s five creative ways to keep your restaurant promoted.

Takeout And Delivery Deals. When it comes down to it, if you want to catch people’s attention, all you have to do is provide a deal. I’ve seen restaurants get pretty aggressive with their deals, offering deep discounts on their entire menu paired with free delivery. That’s not feasible for everyone, which is where the creative part comes in. Consider what your restaurant can offer that won’t cut profits too deeply. Is it a free appetizer with every purchase? How about a free kids menu item?

To learn more about how your restaurant can drive takeout and delivery sales during coronavirus, check out this article we posted last week.

Outdoor Signage. You need to promote your restaurant any way you possibly can. And that means expanding your outdoor signage. I’m not just talking about the standard outdoor signage you might already be using right outside your restaurant. I’m talking about getting it to the places where people are currently most likely to see it.

For example, consider where people are driving. Is your restaurant in a mall or shopping center? See if you can get a sign out on the main road. Have a spare food truck? One local restaurant close to my home parked their truck on the side of a heavily trafficked road. You need to think about every option you have available. Get creative and let people know you’re there.

Charity. Like all of these ideas, this really comes down to whether or not you have the available funds to swing it. But as it stands, charity is an effective way to get more eyes on your restaurant, especially during these troubling times. (It’s also just a great thing to do, period.) Try finding a way to help those most affected. You could donate meals to the underprivileged, hospital staff, or even essential businesses in the local area.

Meal Kit Promotions. In last week’s takeout/delivery article, I discussed the importance of updating your menu to feature more home-friendly selections. One way restaurants have been embracing this mentality is by offering meal kits designed to serve entire households. Ordering out for the entire family can get expensive, which is why many restaurants are turning to bulk options. It’s an excellent value proposition when you can say “Feed a family of five for only $30.”

Alcohol To-Go. Some states, as discussed in this article from Eater, are allowing restaurants to send alcohol home with customers. In the past week, I’ve seen a number of restaurants embrace this trend, offering everything from jumbo margaritas to mimosa pitchers. Alcohol is what keeps many restaurants profitable in the first place. If the option is available in your state, give it some thought.

Digitally Promote With CoGoBuzz

Of course, there are other ways to creatively promote your restaurant. One affordable solution? CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art digital marketing service. Our service will directly promote your services to customer mobile devices. Leveraging state-of-the-art WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, our service is designed to promote your restaurant both in-store and out. It comes packed with a fully digital, text-based loyalty program, allowing you to let your customers know what services you’re offering – all with just a simple text.

Click here to learn more about CoGoBuzz.

Whether you’re one of our current customers, or you’re interested in joining the CoGoBuzz family, we’re committed to helping businesses affected by COVID-19.

For current customers, we’re providing free text message service, allowing you to send a link to order online, purchase gift cards, and/or notify customers of new hours.

For new customers, we’re offering our hardware at cost, donating our services, time, and covering shipping costs. Prepare for the future with CoGoWiFi Free to collect your customers’ phone numbers. There are no contracts or monthly fees, and we offer unlimited customer data storage.

Click here for more details on how we’re handling the crisis.

What promotions has your restaurant tried so far? Let us know in the comments.

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