Use Your Menu as a Marketing Tool

Social media is the key to marketing restaurants and bars. Every customer that looks at your food and drink menu provides an opportunity to engage him or her to spread the word about you to their personal network. How can you capitalize on this golden opportunity?

Announce a monthly social media posting contest in your menu. Offer a monthly prize that rewards your loyal customers (free dinner, a free beer or wine with every meal for the rest of the year). What you offer should be something that keeps them coming back and talking about you.

How can you entice customers to post pictures or write about your food or drinks? Offer a menu item that can be customized. To be sure it sells, choose popular comfort food items like burgers, nachos, pizza, fries or ice cream sundaes. To stand out from the crowd, be more creative – offer mix-ins for macaroni and cheese, salads, pasta dishes or steak toppings. Then have customers post their creations to your Facebook page.  Don’t forget your children’s menu-they use social media, too!

Blogger Tim Borden suggested having an extreme menu item that is so irresistible that customers are compelled to photograph and stare it. (5 ways to tweak your food and drink menu to turbo charge your social media September 6, 2014). He cites a “bloody Mary with a whole chicken” as an example of this powerful strategy.

Share your ideas. What is the most creative social media strategy you’ve seen used by a bar or restaurant?