Question: I have no money for marketing my restaurant. Other than social media, what is your best low cost marketing idea that I can utilize to get the word out?
Write Articles for Other Blogs
"Figure out the top bloggers in your industry. Reach out to these folks, pitch them on some article ideas you'd like to write, and (hopefully) write these articles for them. If you write a thoughtful piece, then these bloggers will be happy to publish your work as well as attribute you/your business. Bloggers are always looking for great content."
Go to the People
"People love face to face interaction so go to local events or meetings where you can hand out your store's business card, menu or even a sample of something on the menu. Never miss the chance to tell others about your business no matter where you are, it's free. See if you can put menus at local stores or small businesses and if they like you the word of mouth will be spread for you."
Event Calendars on Local Sites
"Ruby Media Group specializes in managing social media for restaurant brands throughout Westchester County. A very effective low cost marketing tip is to add relevant events to your local "Patch" or news sites in their free local event calendars online. This is a great way to spread the word about events and specials that are happening at your restaurant, and to build viral buzz for your outreach."
Create a Buzz
"Give people a reason to come to your restaurant--Now. Maybe it's a jazz trio or a non-profit fundraiser or a holiday party or a limited-edition menu item. Whatever it is, create a reason for a whole bunch of people to come within a limited time frame and you should see business, and repeat business, pick up. "
Use Your Food As Currency
"As a restaurant on a shoestring budget, use free food to draw in repeat business. Maybe offer a free appetizer on a return visit. Better yet, offer something that requires the customer to bring a friend. Create a situation where people have incentive to bring their friends and then focus on giving those customers the best experience possible. "