Restaurant Marketing is Not All the Same


Over the past year, we have been busy marketing three different restaurant venues. In all cases it has been important to keep the brand front and center to build value, while at the same time offer promotions that incentivize people to visit the restaurant. 

The Heart of Northeast is a small business neighborhood with a mall footprint – an area across the Hennepin Avenue bridge from downtown Minneapolis, stretching up to Central Avenue NE, and extending a couple of blocks on each side. It’s a European style, walking neighborhood that holds 38 bars and restaurants offering a wide variety of food, drink and ambiance. The entire neighborhood suffered through a summer of road construction on E. Hennepin. On October 1, the orange traffic cones were put away allowing easy access again. During the summer we worked on a general promotion that would apply to all the restaurants and bars - a BOGO deal, with a punch card that was offered to customers for only $10. Seventeen of the restaurants participated and we sold over 150 BOGO cards. Because we work and live in the Heart of Northeast we received first hand very positive anecdotal information from the businesses, the best of which was that it attracted many new customers.

Blue Village Grill serves American food with a Mediterranean flare. They are located in the Blaine Village Shopping Center, near Hwy 35N and Lexington Avenue. We have already reported in this space about the brand we created for them to include their graphic identity, interior design and website. We also needed to help create awareness for the location, the type of food and what cooked to order meant to the customer. The website and social media, in which we posted multiple times weekly helped drive business to the location. Exterior signage brought attention to the restaurant from the shopping center customers. Specials throughout the week helped provide incentives to purchase and also the opportunity to show off the type of food. For example, Monday is Burger Monday offering a 10% discount that includes their special Mediterranean burger with feta cheese and cucumber, and their gyro burger. The biggest challenge was to make sure people understood the advantages of cooked to order. This is not fast food. This is food in which the cooking starts just when you order it and an important differentiator relative to the brand. We initiated a call ahead campaign that is constantly promoted.

Slim’s has been going strong for five years. During all of this time they have stayed true to their brand, “Fresh Food for Any Mood.” They have carried this through by keeping their marketing efforts fresh with updated food photography for new menus, constantly offering specials and refreshing their website. They have added drive thru convenience and the new food photography helps customers quickly identify what they want to order and many times creates add-ons to their orders.

Ellen Puls