By Nick Fosberg   |   October 20, 2015

5 Profitable Ways To Go About Marketing A Restaurant 

1. Facebook

According to 71% of adults use Facebook. That’s the highest of all social media outlets as of now. Where twitter comes in at 2nd place at only 23%.

The best way to use Facebook is to use Facebook ads, but do it using the “Power Editor.” Why? Because you can target people based on their purchase behavior. For example you can target people based on if they are buying beer, wine, liquor, or meals at other bars and restaurants in your area!

If you’d like to see a video of exactly how to do that, you can do so by clicking here

Big Tip: If you are going to use Facebook ads in order to get the greatest return, you must make them an offer! Don’t just promote specials and prices. You want to make them an offer and have them come in to redeem that offer or take them to a lead capture website, a one page site that collects their information in exchange for the offer.

When you advertise like this on Facebook, you’ll be able to track the results better. You’ll know how many people came in or how many people opted in to get your offer.

2.  Restaurant Review Sites

Restaurant review sites are the perfect opportunity to place an ad because you are popping up in front of people who are LOOKING for a place to eat or drink. Perfect audience to target right?

In my opinion I’d have to say that Yelp, Urban Spoon, and Zagat are the top 3 players in the review site niche. Look them up on google and test our $100 or so in ads and see what kind of results you get.

Just remember, you want to focus your marketing dollars on where you think you can hit your prime target market. Restaurant review sites is perfect for this!

3.  Retargeting Banner Ads

I LOVE retargeting banner ads! Retargeting banner ads can be set up with Google Adwords or other 3rd party companies, but what this is is where you place a piece of code within your website that allows you to put your promotional banners in front of them on thousands of different websites.

What’s great about this strategy is you are ONLY marketing to people who have expressed interest in your bar or restaurants website. Meaning you are targeting highly qualified prospects with your promotions.

Here’s another thing to think about. If you do e-mail marketing, you know that most of your emails don’t get opened. I think the average our industry see’s is around 15% open rate. So if you have 1,000 people you e-mailed, only 150 are opening and reading about your new promotion or special.

If you have retargeting banner ads set up for your business, you’re ultimately going to hit 100% of those 1,000 people because most likely they are on the internet at least a few times per week and these people have been to your website because this is how you probably got their email right?

Here’s some stats of a retargeting campaign that I ran last month to promote our life entertainment.



We had multiple size ads like this popping up all over the internet, following around people who have hit my website.

As you can see our ad was seen nearly 5,000 times by ONLY people who have expressed interest in my bar and we only paid $13 or so. Would you pay $10 to $15 per week to have your best promotions in front of your perfect audience?

4.  Google Geo Targeting

Google Geo targeting is similar to the retargeting, just a little bit different. You would still use banner ads on the internet to promote your specials and promotions, but instead now you target people by their demographics. Such as age, gender, where they live, etc, etc.

Geo targeting is great for attracting brand new customers to your bar or restaurant and being able to target down to exactly the types of customers you want. Unfortunately you can’t target based on purchase behavior like you can with Facebook, but it’s still extremely inexpensive.

My suggestion is when you use Google geo targeting, make the ads go to a one page website that has a RETARGETING code put on the page, this way you’ll always be able to put ads in front of everyone who shows interest in your first geo targeting ad. But also make sure these first geo targeting ads lead them to a lead capture page so you can get their e-mail address and any other personal information you need within your follow up marketing system.

5.  E-mail Marketing

E-mail marketing is nothing new to you I’m sure, but are you using e-mail marketing effectively? Are you generating thousands of dollars from your e-mail marketing campaigns? I’ll give you some tips in a second on how to make this happen but first let me go over why E-mail marketing is so important today!

Everyone pretty much lives on their smart phones and tablets these days, which all are connected to e-mail. What this means is we are able to communicate with our customers instantly, just like a text message.

What I like most about e-mail though is that you can type as much as you want, you can be personal, you can build relationship with your customers, and it can be FREE to use! There’s some services such as that will let you use their email marketing services for free for up to 2,000 contacts and 12,000 emails per month!

Big Tips About E-mail Marketing Success

Your subject line is the most critical element of your e-mail. I read an article a few weeks back that stated 64% of people say they open an email BECAUSE of the subject line.

The best way to write subject lines is to use curiosity. Draw in some curiosity and get people to say “I gotta read this!” For example, you could use “What Do You Think Of This Discount?”

By asking a question they are going to wonder and they are going to see a value because you are talking about a discount. This always gets great open rates!

You can also use value driven subject lines to get great open rates. Such as “Free Appetizer Enclosed!” This is going to get people to open this if they want a free appetizer or open any email if they know there is something that is going to BENEFIT them inside. Remember that!

All people care about these days is “What’s In It For Me?”

You can’t ignore e-mail marketing. It’s extremely profitable if you use it in the right way and continue to provide value to your customers. If you only send updates about specials and promotions with ZERO value, this is like saying “Come in and spend your money with me!”

You have to give a little at times to keep a valuable relationship going with your customers and making them WANT to open up your emails.


The 5 internet marketing strategies I just gave you are the easiest and most cost effective ways to go about marketing a restaurant. They are guaranteed to bring you a greater ROI on your marketing dollars than any other offline strategy, I can promise you this because I personally oversee about $15,000 a month in digital advertising dollars for my private clients.

Some of these strategies such as the retargeting and geo targeting might be hard for you to grasp and understand right now, but it’s critical you apply them to your business and learn more about them. As the world changes, as people change the way they communicate, your business changes too. You must adapt to those changes in order to continue to grow your business.

On the bright side, all of these strategies extremely targeted and low cost which means you can cut your advertising budget down by at least 25% to 50% and get the same, if not BETTER results.

My advice is take just one hour a week to research digital marketing trends in the bar and restaurant industry. If you feel you don’t have the time to focus on growing your business with digital marketing strategies, then hire a company or someone who does.


Nick Fosberg

Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. 

Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.

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