You’ve decided to host a summer restaurant event – congratulations! So, how do you spread the word? Here are a few simple steps for successful promotion.
Finalize the details
Once you’ve decided to host an event, make sure you have your ducks in a row before you begin promoting it. The last thing you want is reporters (or guests!) asking questions you don’t have the answers to.
Here are the details you’ll need to establish:
1. The “who, what, where, when, why, and how”
2. Pricing (if applicable)
3. How people should make reservations (also, if applicable)
4. A few lines of content that will get people excited about the event. This will be your opening lines for calendar listings, a media pitch, and any other promotion.
5. Photos! Make sure you have 3-4 high quality photos related to the event. These can be images of your restaurant, relevant past events you’ve hosted or food images.
Put it on the calendar
The easiest way to spread the word online is through promotion on local event calendars. Most newspapers, magazines, TV stations and city websites have online event calendars where you can submit your event for free. A quick Google search in your city for “food events” and “event calendars” can add a few more options to your list. Make sure the content for your calendar listing is catchy and concise, use a photo if possible, and include a way for readers to contact you – either a phone number, email address, or website link.
Get on media’s radar
Letting local food media know about your event is a key promotional step. Look through the list of food writers on your media list and do a quick search to see what they are writing about. Many of them will cover local food events or even do roundups of upcoming food events. Your pitch should be simple, and easily lay out the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” for the recipient. Also, make sure to extend an event invite to the reporter!
Alert your neighborhood
Chances are, a large percentage of your customers live nearby. Reaching out to media in your neighborhood is a great promotional tactic. Check online for neighborhood blogs, Facebook groups, or associations that you can share the news with.
Be your own media
Remember to promote your summer event through your own media channels! Does your restaurant have an online news section, blog or e-newsletter? If so, write up a quick post about the upcoming event. You can also promote the event in your restaurant through window signs, an invitation on the table, or other materials. Lastly, help ensure your already loyal customers hear about the event by posting about it on social media several times. You can also create a Facebook event, allowing people to click “RSVP” straight from their phone or computer.
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