This idea came about after I wrote a blog post about a restaurant marketing plan and one of those steps is exactly what I’m going to talk about in this post about the best restaurant marketing idea.

This is the video I made, but the blog post has more info


This idea is by far the thing you can do that will separate you from all of your competition, but remember it doesn’t mean the other steps are not important.

Only the freshest ingredients

Only the freshest ingredients

If you don’t have quality fresh food, then the best marketing strategies for restaurants are not going to help. Of course there are 100 other things that matter also, but I like seeing fresh veggies so I decided to use this one to get the point across 🙂

Prerequisite – You Need An Ambassador

Your restaurant needs one person who acts as the face of the restaurant. This person should be on every type of media that is made about your restaurant. And when I say “on” I mean front and center.

best restaurant marketing idea is to personalize all social accounts and website

me telling YOU to be the brand ambassador for your restaurant

This is the best restaurant marketing strategy you can possibly do, but it is predicated on your restaurant personalizing any type of media that is out there.

Everything from your website and social media, to any print advertising that you might be doing. This person should be synonymous with the name of your restaurant.

This person (I’m assuming it’s going to be you, the person reading this) needs to be in the restaurant at least 5 hours a day and that time should be the peak times when the restaurant gets the most amount of people. And this person should be spending at least 3 hours per day on social media engaging and interacting with people.

seems like I'm always picking on Hard Rock AC

seems like I’m always picking on Hard Rock AC

Don’t be like Hard Rock AC and have absolutely no personalized images and no restaurant personality for people to interact with on social media.

All of your restaurant social media accounts needs to have you on the header and your face as the avatar. This is because people who you will be interacting and engaging with, need to know it’s a real person who is talking to them.

Engaging With Real People Not Objects

Social media is very unique, nobody makes emotional connections with brand logos or inanimate objects like shoes or plates of food.

nobody gets excited to interact with a logo on social media

nobody gets excited to interact with a logo on social media

People make connections and want to engage with real people, just like in the real world. I wouldn’t call this even a restaurant marketing strategy, this is just how people are.

People ask me, meaning restaurant owners ask me if it has to be them that does this. I almost always say yes because it needs to be the person with the most passion for the restaurant. The person who wants this to succeed more than anyone else.

If you have someone working for you that fits these qualifications then I suggest you pay them accordingly and get them on board quickly.

Reverse Engineering The Idea

Gary Vaynerchuck wearing his reverse engineering shirt

Gary Vaynerchuck wearing his reverse engineering shirt

Why don’t you get more repeat customers, or why don’t your repeat customers come in more often?

It’s because you just are not on their mind on any type of consistent basis. Well then that is a problem you need to solve isn’t it.

What if I told you all customers of yours are somewhere that you are also, for about 15 hours per week, yes per week! Guess where!

Social Media! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram for the most part.

best restaurant marketing idea, use social checkins

This is where your customers are for so many hours each week! Go to them, find them!

So if they are on those platforms for at least 15 hours per week, then if you could find ways to interact and engage with them on those platforms.

But you don’t know which social accounts they are on, and what their usernames are. Hmm, we might be able to figure that out in a cool way that doesn’t cost us much.

Flat out asking them when they walk in to the restaurant isn’t the best idea, so let’s solve this a better way.

The Best Restaurant Marketing Idea

Let’s place nicely designed posters inside the restaurant that tells patrons they can get a free desert or appetizer if they do a social check-in on one of your social pages.

So they can go on their mobile phones, and post on their Facebook page while at your restaurant. Of course you would need them to tag  your Facebook page so people who read the post can get to your Facebook restaurant page.

me showing an example of tagging a restaurant

me showing an example of tagging a restaurant


But it doesn’t end there, that’s just the beginning of the relationship.

This all has to be done through you, the restaurant ambassador, the brand personality. You need to greet them at their table, after they have used their devices to check-in.

Do not leave this to the waiter to give them the free desert. This is the perfect opportunity for you to jump in there and say hi and introduce yourself. Talk about the check-in promotion and build a conversation with the patrons.

Get out your mobile phone and reply to their post that tagged your restaurant. Thank them in the post, but do this all while you are with them, chatting with them.

Even talk to them about this idea and why you think it is the best restaurant marketing idea, and ask them what they think. Be transparent and tell them you are trying your hardest to build your restaurants social media accounts.

After The Conversation

Now make sure to note down what you talked about with this person as well as their social media name. Take note of what they ordered and what types of foods they like based on your conversation.

This is very very important to take very good notes because you will be meeting many many people in a given day.


Repeat this over and over and over again with as many people as you possibly can in a given day. This is why it is so important for you specifically to be in the restaurant as much as possible.

Keep On Engaging With Them

So now, just because they leave your restaurant, that doesn’t mean your job is finished. That means it has just began.

use your computer, engage with your patron on social media

use your computer, engage with your patron on social media

You must now keep up the interaction with this person. If you know they love lobster, then comment on their profiles about an awesome lobster dish they can make at their house.

Maybe you really like this person and they are sharing your social media posts quite often.

I hope you are starting to see why this method is the best restaurant marketing idea. It’s not a hack or something easy to do that will get good success.

It will take a lot of hard work but you will win over your community and… screw “good success”… you will see HUGE SUCCESS.

Do What Other Restaurants Won’t Do

Take it a step further and do this, get your chef to make a lobster dish, and hand deliver it to their house. This means you, not the delivery boy your restaurant employs.

I can’t express in words the emotions that will come over this one patron if you go to the extent of doing that. I also can’t express in words how often this person will tell this story to their friends about the night you hand delivered a special dish just because.

Be The Restaurant That Stands Out

Do what your competitors are too lazy to do. Do what your competitors aren’t smart enough to do.

Change the restaurant marketing game with this awesome idea. Execute it well, but most of all really care and spend the time to get to know the people on social media in your local community.

Do it now, do it tonight at your restaurant. Make things happen.

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contact me if you’d like to work with me

Feel free to contact me if you are looking for a marketing consultant for your Restaurant and want to work with me.

Travis B Klein
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Travis B Klein

Marketing Consultant at travis b klein marketing consultant
I am very passionate about helping small businesses make big impacts using social media to connect people to their business.

I learn from people like Gary Vaynerchuck and Amy Schmittauer who have taught me a lot.

I'm from New Jersey and I love the Phillies, Flyers, and E-A-G-L-E-S.
Travis B Klein
connect 2 me