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5 Simple Tools for Small Restaurant Marketing

The meteoric rise of the Cleveland food scene has local restaurant owners scratching their heads on how to stand out!

The lucky ones have marketing ‘people,’ but if you don’t, here are some simple tools that you’ll grow to love!

FACEBOOK – Yep, people will tell you this is a waste of time. Don’t listen. It keeps you in front of your customers and provides simple, cheap ways to get more.

And all you have to do is ‘boost’ a post once for a mere $20 to see its value. But don’t let it just sit there. Post frequently, create events and tell customers about your page, and you’ll definitely see growth.

One mistake we see most often is not utilizing the ‘restaurant and cafe’ template, so ensure you do that first!

DESIGN - Nothing makes restaurant owners cower more than writing a check for ad design (or any other design work). No more! is intuitive and cheap, and although it takes a little time to get acquainted with the online tool, it will allow you to create beautiful graphics for whatever you need.

EMAILS - Sending emails has lost a bit of its luster for both businesses and consumers over the years, but don’t discount its value just yet. The best approach is to collect email addresses at every chance through reservations or just a notebook at the hostess stand. Then sign up for MailChimp (which is free until your list gets bigger) and use their simple templates to create an email that promotes specials and events.

MENUS - Nothing tells the world who you are better than your menu. But paying someone to design one, and then continually make edits can be costly. So we tell our clients to try iMenu, a super simple online platform with hundreds of templates that make creating and managing your menus easy. But don’t forget to add social media icons and your website address!

REVIEWS - As much as you’d like to ignore them, don’t do it. Today, everyone's a critic and social media along with sites like Google Business and YELP! can make or break your business.

Once you setup your free Google Business and YELP! pages, make sure to constantly monitor them along with your Facebook reviews, and always respond. Then, when you get good ones, copy and paste them into a post because nothing is more compelling than a testimonial.

Also make sure to always update your business information on all these sites, having the wrong operating hours (or other wrong information) can affect sales and credibility.

ZOOM! Branding Group has helped dozens of small restaurants set up cost-effective, sustainable marketing solutions that they can eventually manage on your own. To learn more, call 440.343.3362 or send us an email.


Jennifer Frimel is a seasoned marketing generalist that has contributed to nonprofit, for-profit, B2B and B2C organizations for more than 20 years. Her passion lies in helping small- to mid-sized businesses find new ways to cohesively (and creatively) use content to enhance brand recognition, lead generation and speed to sale initiatives.

ZOOM! Branding Group, which by design is a small, agile one-stop branding solution provider with tremendous access and buying power. In fact, we have more than 3,500 national resources we can use to design a simple, sustainable and results-oriented brand presence for any business, minus the hefty agency price tag. Check out our full idea center.

#restaurant #marketing #cleveland

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