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How to Market a Restaurant: Coupon Marketing

When you think about how to market a restaurant, “coupons” are usually one of the first things that come to mind. Coupons can bring in new customers, encourage repeat business from old customers, and provide valuable insights into consumer behavior. But, as with all things, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use coupons:

DO use coupons to build your social fan base.

The more fans you have on social media, the further your reach on the internet. One great way to get more fans is to offer coupons to your followers. In fact, when Razorfish asked consumers why they would “friend” a brand more than 35% of customers said they followed the brand for exclusive deals and offers.

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Once customers follow you on social media, they are more likely to keep your restaurant top of mind and more likely to come back.

DO use coupons to create a sense of urgency.

Scarcity can be a great motivator and people love to feel as if they’re catching a once-in-a-very-long-time deal. ¬†Give customers a little bit of a shove by putting prominent expiration dates on the coupons you offer and DON’T offer coupons so frequently that customers feel like they can always get another coupon if they pass up this one.

DO use coupons to say thank you.

When a customer is leaving your establishment, thank them for their patronage by offering a unique coupon they can use the next time they come in. In doing so, you show your customer that they’re appreciated and end your interactions with the customer on a positive note. Plus, it’s a great way to encourage word of mouth marketing if they pass the coupon on to a friend.

DON’T forget to track your coupons.

If you offer coupons via more than one channel (via your Facebook, your newsletter, and perhaps a print advertisement) make sure track how many people redeem which coupon. If you don’t, then you won’t actually know which of your channels is generating the most business and you won’t be able to calculate whether your spending your dollar appropriately.

Got more coupon marketing best practices? Share them with us!

5 Responses

  1. wayne says:

    Are you aware there is a platform that allows restauranteur to fan gate their Facebook page with guest unlocking coupons by clicking the like button. The coupon is sent to their phone and redemption is on the phone providing daily records for coupon redemptions, in addition to creating a database for the restaurant to market to on a regular basis. Cool or what?

  2. Ersi says:

    I find that restauranteurs have a hard time tracking coupon redemptions so I can definitely see how useful something like that would be!

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  5. Audrey says:

    This would be great! Giving a coupon redemption can attract more costumers then who’s not want to get a discount right? I find your blog more informative and good luck.