Thinking Outside the Regular Audience for Restaurant Marketing

 In 4. Jenny Brooks, Marketing, Public Relations

By Jenny Brooks

Read this article for some fall promotional inspiration from the Big Chains.

In offering this recommended reading, I’m not suggesting you should copy the promotional ideas, especially if it’s not right for your establishment. For example, a fine dining establishment probably isn’t going to an outstanding increase in sales if it ties into football!

Rather, I’m suggesting you read this article as inspiration. I don’t know about you, but when I think IHOP, I don’t think football. Yet, the company has signed up as the NFL’s official “full-service restaurant partner.” Their marketing team looked at a not-so-obvious opportunity and decided the demographics lined up correctly, the message could be made clear and the tie-in could work. They saw an opporutnity to expand their reach and increase their sales with this promotion.

In addition, the NFL looked at ways they can extend their brand, the excitement for the game and the teams. They’re looking for ways to increase their customer participation and sales as well.

Do you have your targeted demographics outlined? If not, start there. Who do you appeal to? Who do you want to draw to your restaurant? What would your ideal customer do for a living? Where would they live and how much do they make? What are these people interested in? What will bring them into your restaurant?

Involve your team in a brainstorm session, looking for all the different subjects, themes and media where you could create a special promotion that appeals to your targeted demographics. Look to the chains as inspiration, but look in your own backyard and what you know about your neighborhood.

Don’t forget to tell people about it, whether it’s on Twitter, your facebook page, in a news release or with simple fliers in your restaurant.

Jenny Brooks is a public relations professional providing expert and strategic methods for businesses trying to increase awareness about themselves and their products. She is also the editor of SMART Systems Insider, a monthly newsletter from Restaurant Expert David Scott Peters. Questions about PR and how she can help your restaurant? Email her or visit her Web site at

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