Smart Strategies to Run a Successful Restaurant Business (Secrets and Examples)

In this article, we’ll share some smart ideas for your restaurant you can use to win more clients and separate yourself from the competition.

  1. Integrate online reservation platforms

Online booking platforms are a must-have for restaurant marketing as they help them get discovered by a broader audience and receive more bookings. The most popular platforms to try are:

  • OpenTable
  • Eat App
  • Resy
  • Wisely
  • Table Agent
  • Eveve
  • Tablein
  • Add a reservation link to Google Business

Today, Google dominates online food searches.

When someone looks for a business on Google, they see a profile on the right side of the screen. That is a Google My Business listing. Google created this free tool to help businesses, owners, and visitors.

On top of displaying open hours, location, driving directions, reviews, and photos, restaurants can also add a link and take reservations directly from a GMB page.

Business for Restaurants

It’s also possible to add your URLs for specific actions such as:

  • Viewing the menu
  • Booking an appointment
  • Searching for items
  • Placing an order.
  1. Implement smart email marketing

Dozens of articles dedicated to restaurant marketing suggest implementing an email newsletter as a great free opportunity to get more clients. But almost all companies, including well-known players, use email marketing. So just sending out a generic email with some news and updates once a month will usually have little to no impact.

However, email still remains an excellent marketing channel if you know how to use it. One of the most crucial things to keep in mind is that you’re competing with other brands for attention in people’s inboxes.

So how do you stand out from the crowd?

  • Send email before b-day to offer to book a table for a celebration

It’s always a smart idea to send personalized emails. By using your customer data, you have a chance to create email marketing that is relevant to clients rather than just acting blindly.

Let’s take birthdays. This is one of the most important days for most people. So it’s very likely they’ll want to have dinner with their friends and family. If you’re smart about your marketing, they’ll choose your place.

So start with recording the birthday dates of your guests along with email addresses when they are making an online booking or receiving a bonus card.

When you have a database of such email addresses, you can send your customers personalized emails two or three weeks out from their birthdays telling them you have an excellent venue for their event.

  • Use a professional email signature with CTA ( book a table or with new dishes)

The email signature is like a digital business card you can include in every email you send. With this signature, you will let recipients know who you are, what you do, and most importantly, what you want them to do (it’s called call to action). Just imagine the number of extra guests you could get to your restaurant if you simply include a link to your menu or the option to book a table in your email signature.

Take a look at the best email signature examples to get a taste of what we’re talking about.

The signature can be easily created with the help of an email signature generator.

  1. Hire a professional food photographer

It’s not enough to write the name of the dishes on the menu or on the restaurant’s website to attract new visitors. You need to take quality, appealing photos so that when people see what you have to offer, they would want to come and try.

Food Photography

Professional food photography is significantly different from what you do yourself: you won’t be able to get high-quality pictures on your phone or camera unless you have a lot of practice styling and photographing. In addition, you need special light, professional equipment, and, of course, artistic taste.

So hiring a pro food photographer is one option that shouldn’t be overlooked, even though it isn’t cheap.

Still not convinced? According to this survey, people specifically look for food photos on restaurant websites and social media. For example, 60% of Generation Z and 55% of Millennials check out food photos on a restaurant’s websites before they decide to order. Furthermore, 50% of Generation Z and 44% of Millennials say they scrapped the idea to visit the restaurant because the food photography wasn’t enticing.

  1. Be in touch with local food bloggers and influencers

Look for influential bloggers that have a large following in your city. The common practice among restaurants is to invite such bloggers to your restaurant and offer them a free dining experience. As a rule, influencers feel their audience very well and can easily find a way to highlight the benefits and advantages of the product or service. According to statistics, 49% of consumers depend on the recommendations of influencers.

Food Blogger
  1. Best restaurant digital marketing examples

What do Wingstop, Sandwich Hag, and Steak’ n Shake have in common? Hint: it’s not just tasty food on the menu. All have adopted smart digital marketing strategies to grow their businesses. Let’s get inspired.

  • Wingstop

Wingstop, a chicken wing fast-food network, launched a smart campaign where they provide 1,000 branded merchandise items to those who will post on Wingstop’s Instagram. The brand also offered $10 via mobile payment to each user who posts an ad for the restaurant on their public Instagram profiles. The trick might work no worse than inviting bloggers.

On top of that, they announced that twenty-five million consumers are now placing orders digitally. This is 65% of all orders.

  • Sandwich Hag

The restaurant promotes the individuals behind their company to humanize the consumer experience. How can you use it?

The study reveals that 55% of people find stories more persuasive than facts and data. Try posting about what happens behind the scenes in your restaurant, and see how your audience responds to this tactic.

Customer Experience - Food

  • Steak’ n Shake

Everyone knows the importance of email sign-ups. So do Steak’ n Shake. That’s why the company uses its Instagram profile to direct visitors to their email sign-up. On top of that, they add an enticing incentive – a free shake to everyone who signs up.

On their Instagram, you can see many professional food pictures and photos of guests and staff, which also keeps people interested in the restaurant.


Here’s the restaurant marketing ideas list in full for your reference:

  • Integrate online reservation platforms such as OpenTable, Resy, Eat App, and others
  • Add a reservation link to Google Business
  • Send personalized emails based on customer history with your restaurant and before b-day
  • Use a professional email signature with CTAs (add links to a menu or online booking)
  • Hire a professional food photographer
  • Cooperate with bloggers and influencers
  • Reward your customers for reposts and sign-ups
  • Show what happens behind the scenes to humanize the consumer experience.