11 Creative Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Hospitality Business

11 Creative Marketing Ideas to Boost Your Hospitality Business

In the competitive world of hospitality, standing out is essential. From boutique cafes to bustling restaurants, attracting and retaining customers requires innovative marketing strategies. Whether you’re a seasoned restaurateur or a budding entrepreneur, here are eleven creative marketing ideas to boost your hospitality business and captivate your audience:

Host Special Events:

Organise themed nights, live music performances, or culinary workshops to create memorable experiences for your customers. These events not only attract new patrons but also encourage repeat visits. E.g. DIY Pasta workshops for Italian restaurants, cocktail-making courses for bars, trivia nights for pubs or live music on Sundays for wineries for music in the vines. There are a number of possibilities to create special events, irrespective of space. Remember, the first event or 2 likely will have a small turnout and will gradually grow unless you put money behind marketing it.

Collaborate with Influencers:

Partner with local influencers or food bloggers to promote your establishment on social media. Their authentic reviews and recommendations can significantly impact your online presence and attract a broader audience. While some people will argue that it doesn’t work anymore, users can tell a genuine review from a fake one, so pick people who will actually enjoy your venue. You’ll find if they are truly interested in your venue and what you have to offer, they’ll do the post in exchange for a free meal and cocktail for them and a friend. Influencers aren’t dead, the approach has just changed. 

Offer Loyalty Programs:

Implement a loyalty program to reward frequent customers and encourage repeat business. Whether it’s a points-based system or exclusive discounts, loyal patrons appreciate the recognition and incentives. Sometimes traditional coffee cards are enough to incentivise regulars. You could also consider a points system like the ones companies like Mcdonald’s have adopted with their app, so save up points to select the food item of their choice. Even a monthly draw for a free $50 voucher can be all that is needed for a cost-effective loyalty program. 

Run Paid Ads:

While posting organic content is great to remind your audience you exist, it’s harder to branch out and get new customers who don’t know about your business. If you offer something you know will bring in customers, set a targeted Facebook/Instagram ad (proven best ROI platform in 2023) for your desired location and target an audience who is interested in your style of business. Location truly is key, so set a smaller radius and expand later. Ideas of some ads to boost include new menu items, exclusive deals and unique selling points of your business e.g. we deliver.

Embrace User-Generated Content:

Encourage customers to share their experiences on social media using branded hashtags or geotags. Repost user-generated content on your profiles to showcase authentic testimonials and engage with your audience. Not only does it help build a sense of community and loyalty with the customer, but it also helps get your brand out there organically, similar to how influencers work. It also feels less self-promotional and is less work for you (just remember to tag the original content creator).

Partner With Local Businesses

Collaborate with neighbouring businesses to cross-promote each other’s offerings. Whether it’s a joint promotion or a package deal, strategic partnerships can expand your reach and attract new customers. E.g. burgers and beers – partner with your local brewery to cross-promote to give you both more exposure and build hype. Another example is a local bakery partnering with local jam artisans, beekeepers and dairies to create “exclusively local” products.

High-Quality Content:

Invest in high-quality food photography and videography to showcase your menu items in their best light. Share visually appealing content on your website and social media platforms to entice potential customers and drive traffic to your establishment. Remember to mix the types of posts up too, people want to see scenery and staff too. Help create an atmosphere people want to be a part of. Sell the lifestyle but also the food people want to eat.

Exclusive Deals/Promotions:

Provide exclusive discounts or special offers to loyal customers. You can send out email campaigns with exclusive deals or give discounts to those who follow you on social media. These incentives not only encourage engagement but also build a loyal online community. Even consider doing SMS messaging with exclusive offers similar to companies like Dominos (which works well for businesses with the ability to order online). 


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Host Tastings or Sampling Events:

Organise tasting events or offer complimentary samples of your signature dishes to passersby. Sampling opportunities allow potential customers to experience your cuisine firsthand and entice them to dine at your establishment. If you are a restaurant, consider offering a “tasting” for those looking for engagement venues or larger parties rather than handouts. You could also give “free tasters” to patrons dining in or give “complimentary entrees” if you have a new item you want to push.

SEO Strategy:

SEO is often overlooked by hospitality businesses, however, people will often use Google to find new places to eat, especially if it’s something unique. Depending on your business and the type of client base you want, consider optimising your site for relevant keywords. E.g. “gluten-free pizza Sydney” or “vegan restaurant Brisbane”. This is solely for businesses with a website that are looking to broaden their customer base.

Local SEO:

Do you have a Google Business Profile set up? There are a few key reasons why you should. Most importantly it’s one of the ways customers will engage with your business. Have a look in Google Your Analytics and see how many users called, asked for directions or clicked on your website in the last month. Customers will also use it to check opening hours (remember to update during public holidays if closed) and post frequently. Also, encourage customers to leave reviews, it helps with visibility! 


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Implementing creative marketing ideas can elevate your hospitality business and differentiate it from the competition. While these tasks may seem tedious or a lot of work, it’s all part of growing your business and will be worth it. Remember, if you have a website, ensure you are looking at analytics to see where users are coming from, especially if you have booking systems. This will help to indicate the effectiveness of your efforts. 

If you have questions or would like a quote on personalised strategies for your business for RJE Marketing to implement, we would love to have a chat with you. Book a time that suits you here: https://calendly.com/rachael-rje/intro