Burger chains have exploded in popularity in recent years. Sometimes it is difficult for small or medium-sized chains to differentiate themselves from the major players and dominate the market.
But with some smart and inexpensive marketing techniques, you can carve out yourself and attract new customers. Here are some of our wacky gourmet burger shop marketing ideas to sink your teeth into.
Create branded brochures and distribute them locally
Apart from taste, nothing beats the visual image of a good burger. Why not capitalize on your delicious creations by incorporating them into flyers and brochures?
Take some images of your star plate and add them to your artwork, with details attached, such as:
Name of the restaurant
Make sure your brochures are branded and include elements related to your company colors, logo, and theme.
Once they are printed, distribute them throughout the local area to spread the word in the community. You can pay a professional company to handle it, have some of your employees do door-to-door distribution, or distribute them on the streets.
For more tips, check out our guide to the most effective ways to distribute brochures.
Establish your brand with your menu, theme, and story
Every hamburger chain or restaurant, large or small, has its brand quirk. Think "The King" for Burger King, or the iconic red and white checkered color scheme for Five Guys.
Find your niche and form an identity that is unique to you through promotional materials.
Think about what makes you special, for example:
Does your menu have a burger flavor that no other restaurant offers?
Maybe you have a fun restaurant theme to yell at?
Maybe you offer regular promotions or events at your restaurant?
Whatever its peculiarity, emphasize it. Remember, your brand, colors, and logo are the first point of contact between you and a prospective customer. It is crucial to nail this first time with the fine details.
Optimize your marketing materials to reflect this. Modify elements such as menus, posters, websites, and social channels to develop your brand character.
Host a public relations event and invite influencers and journalists
Hosting a launch party, PR-themed event, or VIP tryout night can help spread the word about your burger restaurant on news websites, social media influencers, and the local press.
Check out who the local food critics and influencers are in your area, or who are visiting your area, and what they are likely to charge in exchange for certain coverage.
Getting them to promote for you can make things a bit easier as they have the platform to influence more people. The right influencer can, for example, post a photo of one of your delicious quarters and recommend it to their followers.
Imaginative and creative marketing and PR ideas, which are also perfectly in sync, can generate a lot of coverage and buzz about your business.
Participate in the digital "days"
National days have taken over the digital world lately, with "National Burger Day" posts on their social media or "National Hot Sauce Day" hashtags on their notifications. Take the opportunity and get on the trends.
These days, almost every day is a celebration of something on social media, especially in the realm of food and drink. Get in on the conversation, post some of your attractive burgers, and start celebrating.
Make an offer in your digital marketing
A good way to get customers to like your social media pages or sign up for an email newsletter is to offer them an offer that they can't refuse. Maybe it's a free burger on the house? Or perhaps you are entering a competition to win a meal for two?
Whatever the award, increasing your reach through your social channels can help build an engaged audience that loves your food.
Tell a story with your signature burger
More than any other type of restaurant or café, a thriving gourmet burgers restaurant relies on the success of a truly exceptional burger as a centerpiece of the menu.
Creating or promoting an existing burger that has the "wow factor" is a vital part of your brand marketing.
Watch the competition when you're doing this and collaborate with your chefs to research:
Rival names of signature burgers
The ingredients that makeup those burgers
How they promote them
Once you know all of this, you can tailor your invention to capitalize on the areas your competitors have overlooked with your flagship dish.
A signature burger is something that visitors will tell their family, friends, and co-workers. Make your mouth water, then Tweets and tongues will soon be talking about you.
Use your food and staff to tell a social story
It's nice to post the latest news and business deals on your social channels, but these efforts don't connect with your audience.
Customers love to interact on a pleasant level: people like companies with "faces." Use your staff and your food to tell a story on social media - Introduce your chefs, tell some fun workday stories (as long as you have everyone's permission, of course), and make your restaurant identifiable.
Develop a loyalty card scheme to reward customers.
Half the battle is getting customers through the door. The other half is making sure they keep coming back - loyalty cards are especially helpful in encouraging repeat visits to your place.
Try to introduce a plan for your restaurant that rewards those who return to your restaurant.
They are easy to configure. You can opt for an app-based system used by establishments like Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
Or keep it simple with a loyalty system on paper. This uses a well-designed membership card, where customers can receive a stamp and earn when they eat.
Why not come up with offers like buy seven burgers and get the next one for free? Just stamp the customer's loyalty card every time you buy a burger.
Host a "Design a Burger" contest on social media
Social media has the power to drive the popularity of your gourmet burger restaurant; use them to your advantage and promote fun ideas for the competition.
Could you challenge your followers to create their juicy burgers and ask them to share their efforts on Instagram?
It's a great way to engage with your customer base and promote regular engagement, which can be captured by the followers of those who have entered your competition.
You can also create hashtags unique to your business and encourage people to use them when posting or tweeting about their experience at your restaurant. Be sure to add them to any posters you print or brochures you distribute.
Always remember "social" on social media. Inspire people with delicious photos of your food and drink.
Or why not get customers to vote for their favorite burger at your place? Take an online survey to see what kind of burger, side dish, or dessert they'd like to see added to their menu next.
Share user-generated content
User-Generated Content (UGC) is a great free marketing tool when used correctly.
People always post photos of their dinner on Instagram, so when your restaurant gets tagged, go ahead and share it. Engage in conversations with satisfied customers, thank them for leaving good reviews, and follow up on the not-so-great ones with ways you can remedy the situation.
Complete your online profile
Completing your profiles online will make it much easier for potential clients to find more information about you.
This can include your opening hours, menu, location, contact details, and even some well-taken photos that show the atmosphere of your restaurant. Make sure all Google information about your business is up-to-date and that your Yelp and TripAdvisor bios are complete.