You’ve probably heard the saying, “No man is an island.” The same is true for your bar or restaurant! You’re part of a community, and it only makes sense to form bonds and engage local businesses to help your own business. Read on to find out how partnerships with local media, charities, and even your competition can help bring in new customers.
You’d probably love to get written about in a local publication or talked about on a local radio station…without actually paying for the advertising. One easy way to do this? Try hosting an event for the local media! Consider having a release party for the newest issue of your city’s arts or culture magazine. You’ll bring in a crowd, get free advertising, and likely get a write up in the publication after the party. And think about involving local radio stations in your strategy. Would they be interested in sponsoring concerts or a battle-of-the-bands at your bar? Or maybe the station could guest DJ at your restaurant. Either way, you’ll get tons of free publicity every time the station announces the event.
You can get more customers and show your business’s heart by partnering with a charity. Try hosting a party with all cover charges going towards the charity of choice, or see if any charities are interested in hosting their silent auctions in your space. Or you can do as some big chain restaurants do and donate a certain percentage of each diner’s bill to a charity on a designated night. Customers will enjoy knowing that their dining dollars are going towards a good cause, and you’ll present yourself as a compassionate member of the community. Another bonus of teaming up with charities? They heavily promote the event, which is just more free advertising for you. Check out our 7 other reasons why cause marketing is a win-win.
It goes without saying that you want your restaurant or bar to be the best, but that doesn’t mean you should wage an all-out war against your competition. Try banding together with other businesses in your area for a bar crawl, an art hop, a “Taste of the City” event, or a block party. If you work together to advertise and spread the word, you can draw in far more people than your business could by itself. You can also try creating a good-natured rivalry between businesses in the area by starting a best bartender (or barista, or chef) competition. Remember that a healthy local economy means more people in your neighborhood and more customers in your business!
Taking advantage of the publications, radio stations, charities, and even other bars and restaurants in your bar is a smart move that shows your business is an engaged part of the community. And (perhaps even better!) it will help your restaurant or bar increase sales and get new customers.
How are you engaging with your community?