When you introduce new menu items, you need to share the details and alert both regular customers who frequent your restaurant and new customers who haven’t visited your location yet.

Here are a few ways you can do both and effectively promote your new food menu items to existing and new diners.

Tease New Menu Items & Offer Incentives For Trying Them

Even before your new menu items are released, you should start your marketing initiatives. Leading up to the launch of your new items, begin to build interest by teasing audiences about what’s coming. In the other tips in this post, you’ll see how there are opportunities to promote before the new products are available.

Another way to build interest during the launch and early days of your new menu items is by offering specials, deals, and discounts for your new foods or drinks. Using the other promotional tactics in this post, consider how you can offer coupons for savings, buy-one-get-one offers, or discount add-ons and combo packages to create interest in new menu items.

Visibly Promote New Menu Items in Your Store

The first audience you want to introduce your new menu items to are existing customers who are already in your restaurant. This group of customers is likely to try new options from your brand because they are already familiar with your restaurant and a fan of your food. Use the following in-store marketing tips to connect with this engaged set of consumers.

  • Highlight your new menu items on digital signage and touch-screen ordering kiosks. Use formatting to call attention to the new items on your menu listings and devote an entire screen to showing photos and descriptive words for the new menu item.
  • In your handheld menus, also use call-out sections, photos, and special formatting to call attention to the new offering. Or, add an entire insert dedicated to promoting new foods or drinks.
  • Leading up to the introduction of your new offerings, tease new menu items by featuring launch dates, brief descriptions, and photos of your new menu items on your digital menu boards. Because you can easily change digital menu content, you can affordably promote messages that are time-sensitive and need to be changed in only a few days or weeks.
  • Offer free WiFi to your customers. Then, on the pages that customers use to log into your free service, display landing pages that promote the new item and offer incentives for trying it during their visit.

Alert Your Email List

If your brand has actively built an email list that includes customers who love your brand, you can use this connection to promote your new menu item. Prior to the launch, build up interest by teasing the new menu items. Then, when the new items are available, alert your subscribers.

To drum up more interest, offer incentives such as coupons and combo offers to encourage customers to try your new offerings. Also, include time-sensitive offers that will prompt customers to come in and try your new foods or drinks before the coupon or deal expires. Make sure they know about your curbside or online ordering options as well.

Don’t have an email list? Use this guide to learn how to start collecting valuable customer contact information for your QSR restaurant today.

Use Social Media to Spread the Word

While an email list is the most direct way to contact your loyal brand fans, you can also leverage social media in a similar way. Use it to connect with existing customers who already follow your brand and attract new customers who may have never visited your restaurant before.

  • Share the story of your new menu item on social media. Explain how you developed the new menu item or where the inspiration came from. Show pictures and videos of the items being prepared.
  • Assign a hashtag to your new menu offerings. Use it to promote the posts you share about the items.
  • Encourage customers to spread the word about your new menu items through social media. Invite them to share photos of the food or drink while using your branded hashtag, and ask them to check-in on social sites when they visit. Consider giving prizes or rewards to customers who help share content about your new items through their social media accounts.
  • Invite local social media influencers to come and try your new menu items in exchange for sharing their experience on their social media channels.
  • Run social media ads that promote your new offerings to people who already follow your brand or live in your area. By using targeted ads, you can connect with people most likely to visit your restaurant and try your new items.

Promote New Items on Your Website & Other Third-Party Websites

Make sure that when interested customers go to your website to view your menu options and store details, it’s easy for them to notice your new offerings. Also, reach out to other blogs or restaurant review sites in your area and invite them to come in and sample your new menu items.

Turn Your Staff into a Promotion Team

A final way to promote your new menu items to customers already in your store is by training your team to promote food and drink options while they interact with guests. Make sure your entire team is familiar with your new items and knows how to promote them. Conduct training sessions where staff members can taste and try all new menu items, and then give them tips on how to introduce and explain those new offerings to customers.

Effectively Promote Existing and New Menu Items in Your Restaurant

The tips in this post will help you alert both new and existing customers about new foods and drinks that are joining your menu permanently or seasonally. Use them to drum up interest for new promotions, and also use these tips to consistently promote your standard menu items.

Make it a part of your regular marketing plan to use in-store and digital marketing tactics to get customers to spend more during their visit, try new things, and come back again and again.

For more tips on how to use menu boards, digital screens, and other in-store marketing tactics in your restaurant, download our free ebook: How to Provide Exceptional Customer Experiences Using Audio and Video. Or, contact us to learn more about how Spectrio can help you better engage the customers and diners in your restaurant.