5 effective offline marketing strategies that also work for online-only restaurants

Call them cloud-kitchens, ghost restaurants or simply online restaurants, these intangible eateries are slowly and steadily gaining grounds in the food sector. Everything that they do is online - from taking food orders to marketing and customer feedback.

Customers are rapidly discovering new eateries online that serve delicious food and quick delivery at reasonable prices. All in all, online establishments are flourishing, and all of their online marketing efforts are giving good ROI. But what about offline marketing?

While online marketing strategies have a tremendous impact on customers looking to explore new food experiences, one question still remains: Is it enough for a business to put on a spurt?

What if we told you that if you flex your marketing muscle, you can triple your sales in 2020?

Most successful restaurants practice a healthy combination of online and offline marketing strategies to generate leads and increase sales. Here are five offline marketing tactics that still do the job for online-only businesses.

Take part in local events

95% of marketing experts believe that participating in live events prove beneficial for forming connections with their customers, states the Event Marketing 2018 Report.

Local events like food festivals, sports matches and concerts are great opportunities for you to find people who are genuinely interested in your offering. If they like your food at the festival, they would most certainly remember you the next time they think of ordering in.

Alternatively, you can collaborate with local event organizers as well as non-competing restaurants and create your own innovative food fair for local communities. Such events are an excellent way of displaying your best to the customers.

Support a social cause

The increasing number of studies show that today’s customers are gravitating more and more towards a brand with a purpose. This has given rise to what is known as ‘cause marketing’, which essentially means that you need to put yourself out as a company with a conscience. Businesses that get more involved in social issues and openly talk about them are seeing a rise in revenue because of their activism

In a survey conducted by Brandwatch, 91% of consumers said they were likely to switch to a brand that supports a good cause, while 92% said they would buy a product with a social or environmental benefit.

As a restaurant, try and pick a related cause like raising awareness about and curbing food shortage, food wastage or supporting local farmers, etc. Consider having someone outside the company analyze your strategy to predict how your target audience will react to your effort. Once you begin, it’s essential to stay the course.


Branding doesn’t just consist of a cool logo and an attractive color scheme but includes every single experience a customer has when he or she comes interacts with your restaurant.

Memorable branding can be one of those touchpoints. Branding not only has to be appealing but also consistent. On the offline front, you can work on creating an interesting packaging, an attractive menu design, train your delivery persons to emulate your brand’s voice or even leave personalized notes whenever possible.

Word of Mouth

One of the most trusted marketing tools in the world is the good old “Word of Mouth” marketing or WOM. For an online-only restaurant, where the opportunity for one-on-one connection with customers is absent, a recommendation from a friend or family helps develop that missing personal touch. Encourage your friends, colleagues, and customers to spread the word about the quality of your food, packaging, and/or quick delivery. Here the thumb rule states: the better the customer experience, the better your customers will talk about your services.

Getting people to talk about your brand, or in digital terms, making it go ‘viral’, is not an easy task. It takes a collaborative effort of great service, memorable branding and some smart marketing. But once your restaurant becomes the talk of the town, growth is inevitable.

Public Relations

Believe it or not but traditional advertising, which includes print, TV, radio, and billboard, isn’t completely obsolete.

According to the State of Advertising report, released by the World Federation of Advertisers, 60% of businesses surveyed said that offline media advertising like TV and radio are still a priority. You can connect with food journalists in your state/locality and invite them to write about your restaurant.

Alternatively, if you are having a TV commercial on a weekend, introducing weekend offers or new loyalty programs will encourage viewers to immediately order from your restaurant. Try several ways until you find the one that works best for your business.