5 Restaurant Marketing Ideas for Small Business Saturday

By Ariana ChomitzNov 10th, 2021

Local restaurants can prepare for Small Business Saturday to drive more sales and customer loyalty

Small Business Saturday is coming up—is your restaurant ready? On November 27, diners will look for ways to support neighborhood favorites by “shopping small” and choosing to invest in their own communities. Restaurants make up an important core of those communities—last year, diners spent an estimated $20 billion at independent restaurants on Small Business Saturday, so getting your restaurant in on the action is worth the prep.

At ChowNow, every day is Small Business Saturday—our whole mission is to help local, independent restaurants thrive! We’re experts in year-round strategies to celebrate the connection between diners and their favorite eateries, but here are our top tips to make this Small Business Saturday your biggest one yet.

1. Leverage social media.

Diners rely on social media to stay in touch with their favorite restaurants as well as to discover new ones. Plus, it’s the fastest and most cost-effective way to spread the word about any upcoming events, new menu items, or specials you’re planning to offer on Small Business Saturday. Get on your diners’ radar early by posting about your plans in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, keeping in mind that this is a time when consumers will be seeing many other ads as well.

Restaurants can prep for small business saturday by offering a diner promo or hosting an in-store event

2. Thank your diners. 

You can offer a promo, a complimentary item, or host a giveaway. Or, simply take the time to share your appreciation for the fans and supporters who made it possible. One easy way to do this online is by reposting some of your favorite pictures of your food or restaurant that you’ve been tagged in—just remember to ask permission first!

3. Tell your story. 

Chances are, you got into the food and hospitality industry because you had a passion for it. This holiday, highlight the family history, favorite recipe, or origin story behind your business. You can get creative by including an easy recipe card of a crowd favorite menu item in every to-go order, or posting some throwback photos from your business’s early days. These are the kind of details that make your restaurant’s personality shine, and your diners will love sharing that sentimental connection to your brand.

Share the story behind your restaurant and spotlight your staff--diners will love the sentimental connection to your brand

4. Spotlight your staff. 

Shout out your awesome team—even if it’s just you! Diners will love knowing more about who is (and has been) serving them, so take the time to do a “behind the scenes” post on social media or in a restaurant e-newsletter. Tell us how long an employee has worked there and what their favorite thing is on the menu. Or, show your bartender or baker in action and film a clip of them doing what they do best.  Are you a one-person show? Tell us about yourself!

5. Rally the community. 

Restaurants are the natural hubs of any community—tap into that power and bring people together! Get together with other small businesses nearby and host an online or in-store event, or use Instagram’s new “Guides” feature to create a list of other local businesses that your diners should hear about. 

Talk to an expert today to find out how you can power up your online ordering and take control of your brand.

We hope these ideas give you a head start on this Small Business Saturday! We’re also here to support you year-round with tailored marketing help and the convenient ordering experience your diners crave. 

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