How to Promote Your Restaurant

Source from: The Balance Small Business | by LORRI MEALEY

"Happy Hour

A classic restaurant promotion, if there ever was one. For those not familiar with Happy Hour, a restaurant offers specials, both drink and menu items (usually appetizers) for an hour (sometimes longer, but happy hours sounds silly), usually between 5pm-7pm. Happy hour is meant to draw in the after-work crowd. You can upsell customers who come in for a discount beer, by offering them a dinner menu and the nightly specials, as they sit at the bar. Read more about affordable restaurant advertising.


This is another promotion that has withstood the test of time. Customers love a bargain, and two dinners for one price is no exception. The trick with two-for-one specials is to offer menu items with low food cost, which in turns keeps prices low. Pasta specials, chicken, inexpensive cuts of beef or pork and certain seafood are good options for two-for-one dinner deals. You can upsell two-for-one specials by adding dessert, coffee or a couple of drinks.

Wine or Beer Tasting Dinner

Wine tasting dinners are great promotions for slow seasons, as the end of winter when people are suffering from cabin fever. Your wine distributor can act as a sommelier and help you plan a prix fixe menu with the right pairing of wine. An artisan beer dinner is a good alternative to wine and will appeal to lovers of microbrew. Read more about how to plan a wine dinner.


Holidays can be very lucrative promotions for restaurants. Offering a prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or other special occasions is a good way to keep the kitchen out of the weeds during a dinner rush. Also carefully spacing your reservations will help the night go more smoothly and ensure that customers have an excellent dining experience.  Check out this sample holiday menu."

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