Whether you are fine dining establishment or a quick service restaurant flyers are a cheap way to get your customers coming back through the door more frequently.
Remember it is easier to sell more to an existing customer than it is to find a new one!
In our restaurant, we constantly hand out flyers to our customers and I wanted to share with you some of the most effective restaurant flyer ideas we have used so far.
Use Flyers to Always Promote Catering
If you have read any of our other posts you should know that we are huge fans of restaurants offering catering services. Flyers are great way to let your current customers know that you offer catering.
The reason we like to promote catering is because the average ticket is so much higher than the average ticket of your dining room sale.
If your average catering packages serves 20 people it might sell for $200 or $250 where your average ticket in the dining room will only be a fraction of that.
Sure, in the beginning you might not sell a ton but you don’t need as many to have the same effect on sales. If your average ticket in the dining room is $20 you would need 10 customers to come in to make the same sale as one catering order.
As your catering operation grows, you might find yourself selling 1-5 of these $200 packages a day! This is where you will really start to see the benefit of offering catering.
With flyers it is easy to catch people when they are already in the buying process. You can offer a summer picnic packages and then turn around in September and offer tailgate packages for football season. November and December come around, offer holiday meal packs.
Besides normal holidays, there are always reason to order catering:
- Birthday parties (every month!)
- Graduation (May)
- Wedding rehearsal dinners
- Office training lunches (you never know which of our current customer orders is catering for their office!)
These are just a few of many reason why your customers may want to order catering and this is why we suggest always promoting catering on your marketing materials.
Use Flyers to Push a Coupon
Flyers are a great way to push out coupons to your customers. Coupons may or may not make sense for your restaurant.
We worked hard to get away from them for a couple years but let’s face it, everyone once in a while you could use a nice bump in traffic.
It doesn’t have to be a large coupon however, the larger the offer the better the response.
Maybe your night time sales have weakened and you are looking to get some traffic back, you could offer a free dessert or appetizer with dinner
If you are just starting to offer catering services, a coupon for free dessert would also be a great way to entice your customers to give one of your new packages a try.
The great thing about these restaurant flyer ideas, is that once you designing them yourself, you can test an unlimited number of coupons and see what kind of response you get.
I would suggest offering ‘value added’ coupons instead of heavy discounts. This might attract more bargain shoppers which is not the type of customer you want. If you do decide to offer a discount, we have seen better results by offering ‘$$ off’ vs. ‘% discount’.
I think restaurant customers see more value in knowing exactly how much money is discounted instead of having to do the math themselves.
Flyers are Great for Promoting Limited Time Offers
Promoting your limited time offers on your restaurant flyer is another great use of space. Limited time offers are a great way to drive traffic instead of using coupons or discounts.
Especially if you have a great chef in the back, I’m sure you customers will love to see what they can create!
We usually test different types of specials to see what kind of response we get (the best part of taking control of your restaurant marketing!).
One month we might contact our supplier and see if they have any deals or closeout specials. This is a great way to offer a high perceived value item to your customers.
The next month we might offer a premium product that might not sell as many but will put more gross profit dollars in the register.
Build Your Customer Database
A couple times a year you should definitely use a flyer to build your customer database. You can do this in a number of ways.
You could do a monthly drawing for a gift certificate. Or take it one step further and offer free food for a year if you want to get a bunch of responses!
This is a huge value to the customer but in reality it is only 52 plates that you can choose they can have. Maybe $200-300 over the course of a year. What if you get 1,000 names to add to your database, isn’t that worth it?
You can promote different databases, maybe you just started a birthday club or a kids club. Any area of your database you would like to grow you can use these flyers to do so.
Remind About Your Daily Specials
This sounds simple but with all of the other restaurants out there these days competing for the same dollar, your customers may just need a reminder from time to time about what you offer.
One trick I like to use is to put dashed borders around the daily specials so they look like coupons. Some of your customers will bring these in thinking they have to even though it is an all-day special.
I feel like it creates more of a sense of urgency, increasing the effectiveness of the flyer.
Sometimes your specials change as well so you need to let your customers know. When you find a popular daily special that works, keep that one rolling and rotate out your others to try to incrementally increase your weekly sales.
We had awesome specials throughout the week but could never seem to find a good one for Thursdays so we constantly were switching that out.
In reality, our customers probably just can’t eat BBQ every day! Nonetheless it is still fun to try new things and see the results.
These are just a handful of effective restaurant flyer ideas. I now encourage you to go design and print a flyer tonight!
These can literally be printed for pennies and you can get them in almost every customer’s hand.
Sure, most of them will hit the trash but remember the marketing is a numbers game and at least they had to look at your flyer before it goes in the trash.
If you strike a chord with 10% of the customers who received your flyer, well those 10% may not have come back so soon without them…
Let me know if you have any questions further explanation of these in the comments below!