Burger chains have exploded in popularity in recent years. Sometimes, it’s difficult for smaller or medium-sized chains to stand out from the major players and dominate the market.
But with some clever, and inexpensive, marketing techniques, you can carve your niche and attract new customers. Here’s a few of our quirky gourmet burger shop marketing ideas to sink your teeth into.
Create on-brand flyers and distribute them locally
Aside from the taste, nothing beats the visual image of a good burger. Why not capitalise on your delicious creations by incorporating them into flyers and leaflets?
Snap a few images of your signature dish and add it to your artwork – with accompanying details, such as:
- Restaurant name
- Promotional offers
- Contact details
Make sure your flyers are on-brand and include elements related to your business colours, logo and theme.
Once they’ve been printed, hand them out around the local area to spread the word in the community. You can either pay a professional company to handle it, task some of your employees to door-to-door distribution or hand them out on the streets.
For more advice, check out our guide on the most effective ways to distribute leaflets.
Establish your brand with your menu, theme and story
Every burger chain or restaurant, big or small, has its own branding quirk. Think ‘The King’ for Burger King, or the iconic chequered red and white colour scheme for Five Guys.
Find your own niche and carve an identity that is unique to you through promotional materials.
Think about what makes you special, for example:
- Does your menu have a burger flavour no other restaurant offers?
- Perhaps you have a fun restaurant theme to shout about?
- Maybe you offer regular promotions or events at your restaurant?
Whatever your quirk is, emphasise it. Remember, your branding, colours and logo is the first point of contact between you and a prospective customer. It’s crucial to nail this first time around with the fine details.
Hold a PR event and invite influencers & journalists
Hosting a launch party, themed PR event or VIP taster night can help spread the word about your burger restaurant to news websites, social influencers and local press.
Check out who are the local food critics and influencers in your area – or who are visiting your area – and what they are likely to charge in return for some coverage.
Having them do the promotion for you can make things a little easier, as they have the platform to influence more people. The right influencer can, for example, post a photo of one of your delicious quarter pounders’ and recommend it to their followers.
Imaginative and creative PR and marketing ideas, that are also perfectly timed, can generate lots of coverage and buzz about your business.
Get involved in digital ‘days’
National days have taken over the digital world as of late, with ‘National Burger Day’ posts flipping into your social feed or ‘National Hot Sauce Day’ hashtags squeezing into your notifications. Take advantage of the opportunity and hop on the trends.
These days, almost every day is a celebration of something on social media, especially in the food and drink sphere. Take part in the conversation, post some of your good-looking burgers and start celebrating.
Make an offer in your digital marketing
A good way to get customers to like your social media pages, or subscribe to an email newsletter, is to give them an offer they can’t refuse. Maybe it’s a free burger on the house? Or perhaps it’s being entered in a competition to win a meal-for-two?
Whatever the prize, boosting your reach across your social channels can help build an engaged audience that love your grub.
Tell a story with your signature burger
More than any other type of restaurant or café, a thriving gourmet burger restaurant is built on the success of a truly outstanding burger as the centrepiece of the menu.
Creating or promoting an existing burger that has the ‘wow factor’ is a vital part of marketing your brand.
Look at the competition when you’re doing this and collaborate with your chefs to research:
- Rival signature burger names
- The ingredients that make up those burgers
- Price points
- How they promote them
Once you know all this, you can tailor your own invention to capitalise on areas your competitors have missed with their flagship dish.
A signature burger is something that visitors will tell their family, friends and work colleagues about. Get mouths watering, then the Tweets and tongues will soon be wagging about you.
Use your food and staff to tell a social story
It’s good to post the latest business news and offers on your social channels, but these efforts don’t really connect with your audience.
Customers love to interact on a personable level – people like businesses with a ‘face’. Use your staff and your food to tell a story on social media – introduce your chefs, tell some funny stories from the working day (provided you have everyone’s permission of course) and make your restaurant relatable.
Develop a loyalty card scheme to reward customers
Half the battle is getting customers through the door. The other half is ensuring they come back – loyalty cards are especially useful to encourage repeat visits to your venue.
Try introducing a scheme for your restaurant that rewards those who return to your restaurant.
They’re simple to set up. You can either opt for an app-based system that is used by establishments like Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Or, keep it simple with a paper-based loyalty system. This uses a well-designed membership card, where customers can receive a stamp and earn when they eat.
Why not introduce deals like buy seven burgers and get the next one free? Just stamp the customer’s loyalty card every time they purchase a burger.
Run a ‘Design-a-burger’ competition on social media
Social media has the power to propel the popularity of your gourmet burger restaurant – use it to your advantage and promote fun competition ideas.
You could challenge your followers to create their own juicy burger and ask them to share their efforts on Instagram?
It’s a fantastic way to engage with your customer base and promote regular interaction, which may be picked up by the followers of those who have entered your competition.
You can also create hashtags unique to your company and encourage people to use these when they’re posting or tweeting about their experience at your restaurant. Make sure you add these to any posters you print or flyers you hand out.
Always remember the “social” in social media. Inspire people with yummy photography of your food and drink.
Or, why not get customers to vote for their favourite burger at your place? Run an online poll to see what kind of burger, side dish or dessert they’d like to see added to your menu next.
Share user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is a great free marketing tool when used correctly.
People are forever posting pictures of their dinner on Instagram, so when your restaurant gets tagged, go ahead and share it. Get involved in conversations with happy customers, thank them for leaving good reviews and follow up on the not-so good ones with ways you can remedy the situation.
Fill out your online profile
Filling out your online profiles will make it a lot easier for potential customers to find out more information about you.
This can include your opening times, menu, location, contact details and even a few well-taken photos showcasing your restaurant’s ambiance. Make sure all Google’s information on your business is up to date and your Yelp and TripAdvisor bios are fleshed out.
Whatever your marketing ideas, make print a part of them with Solopress. We have a huge range of printed materials, including flyers and leaflets, and promotional gifts to get your name out there – all with free UK delivery – get started today.