Honest marketing for your restaurant

Marketing is strategic, there’s no question about that, but businesses need to be careful that they don’t overpromise and underdeliver. When trying to get attention and increase visits, restaurants without a solid marketing strategy may find themselves with a line of disappointed customers.

Authenticity is so important these days, from social media to sales, so restaurants need to focus on a marketing approach that builds trust with their customers. Here’s how to deliver on your marketing promises with an approach that will keep guests coming back and build your bottom line.


By their very nature, these promos exist for a limited time only, but that doesn’t mean that customers aren’t expecting them to be available through the selling period. Including a date in your signage means that you need to be able to fulfill those orders right up to the end of the promotion date. Some businesses add the words ‘while supplies last,’ and that might allow you a defense, but it will not encourage guests to visit you again. Disappointing customers means losing trust and the possibility of receiving negative reviews.

The bait and switch

Using marketing techniques to draw people in is a smart move, as long as you can deliver. Recently, McDonald’s was called out on their one-dollar menu, with customers all across the U.S. posting screen shots of menus where no items that cost a dollar could be found. This type of bait-and-switch makes customers frustrated, breaks the trust they have with your business, and in this case, led to a substantial negative social media campaign that could really hurt a restaurant’s reputation.

Social media

Social media can have a bad rap with accounts using filters, curating content, and editing but when used properly, it offers your restaurant the opportunity to get real with your community. People love authentic content where they can get to know your business. Engaging with your customers means you reach more people, build trust, and draw attention to your business. Think about sharing behind-the-scenes videos, news of upcoming promos, details on your loyalty program – you can even spotlight top customers or team members.

90 per cent of restaurant visitors look the location up on social media before visiting, and 93 per cent of Canadians will visit a restaurant after seeing it recommended in their social feeds. With such a vast potential audience, social media is a critical part of your honest marketing strategy.

RELATED: Marketing tips for your next campaign

Marketing is necessary to stand out from your competition, raise your revenues, and create excitement around your business. Be careful not to overpromise and underdeliver – building trust with your guests will have them returning, and they may even sing your praises online.