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CAFE & RESTAURANT MARKETING: The 10 best ways to market your cafe or restaurant in 2021

2020 was an insane year and certainly took its toll on the hospitality industry, as many cafe and restaurant owners would agree!

However, it has been incredible to see so many inspiring success and recovery stories of those companies that were able to persevere and adapt to the new environment that had been heavily impacted by COVID-19. Many small businesses took this time to focus on how they can grow their customer base and increase engagement through social media marketing. As CPM has specialised in the hospitality marketing sector for over 7 years, assisting over 100 restaurants and cafes, we believe we have a great amount to offer to small business owners.

We have developed a list of what we believe to be the 10 most important things to do to market your cafe or restaurant, so it will continue to grow and flourish in 2021.

1. Great content

As a cafe or restaurant, you want to WOW your audience, in order to gain traction on your Facebook and Instagram posts.You want people commenting on your photos and tagging their friends about how they MUST TRY your newest dish, or experience the excitement your ambience has to offer. The perfect place to start your growth is by investing in professional photography to ensure your brand looks amazing and professional. By having visually pleasing and entertaining content, customers are more likely to trust your business and engage with it.  Having a professional food photographer means your food and space will be captured in an attractive style, making people do a double-take on their feeds. Add value with each post – whether it’s aesthetically pleasing, informative or entertaining – ensuring that each post gives something to the viewer will make it more memorable and have a better chance of encouraging the viewer to become a follower (and better yet, a customer!) More information is on Alder Inn by Kera Bear Eats

2. Effective paid ads on FB & IG

A way to ensure customer and target market engagement is through targeted paid social-media advertising. The great thing about paid advertising is that it enables you to directly reach the customers you want and are most likely to engage with your service. Facebook and Instagram advertising is one of the most effective and efficient ways to align yourself with your target market if you are willing to allocate an adequate budget and considered strategy. Visit to learn more!

3. Good online presence whenever anyone checks you out online

Social sites are crucial for customers to learn more about your business. Website presence such as Tripadvisor, Zomato and Google ensures customers know how to engage with your cafe or restaurant directly; whether they want to make a booking, suss out your menu, check your opening hours or see where you are located. They are most importantly ways you can further your marketing strategy beyond Facebook and Instagram, gaining further credibility, trust, visibility and range. It is also a great way to gain new customers in your area so make sure you have good ratings!

4. Have an effective hook or signature you are known for

You want to define your brand, to differentiate yourself from the competition. Foodies love to try and experience something new and unique to your standard cafes and restaurants. Ideally, you should have something unique & exclusive on your menu, or an aesthetically-pleasing space that makes you stand out as your own brand. 

5. Become the local hero. Build up a good local following via deals, loyalty programmes etc. With people staying in their suburb, work out a way to become their go to place.

Creating customer loyalty is one of the best ways to have a constant influx of visitors. Once customers realise you have good food or good deals on offer, they will keep coming back for more. An effective and efficient way to achieve this is through basic loyalty programs, or regular specials and deals. Having something as simple as a coffee loyalty card will keep consumers coming back to visit you. It is also a good idea to build relationships with your valued customers, making your cafe or restaurant a pleasant place for them to get their morning coffee, have their family lunch, study over cake and more. 

6. Public relations

Public Relations is an ideal way to extend the market reach your business has. Having your business appear in the press will retain public interest and will allow you to tell your story. Online and print media is read by hundreds and thousands of people on a daily basis, making it an extremely powerful marketing tool. Sharing your business to the media is the best way to achieve maximum exposure, putting your restaurant or cafe in the spotlight of places customers should go visit. Your business is able to feature in the media following a well-written press release and many follow ups. Not only that, but increased exposure and publicity offers credibility – if the media is vouching for a place, it MUST be good!

7. Effective use of influencers

Influencers have taken over social media marketing over recent years. Instagram users love to keep up with their favourite creators, romanticising the life they lead and the places they go. Food bloggers specifically can directly affect consumer opinions and perspectives on your business. When a foodie influencer provides positive remarks regarding your cafe or restaurant, this builds the trust of tens or hundreds of thousands of their followers, who then become your potential customers. One post can reach hundreds and/or thousands of interested visitors, hence investing in cost-effective influencer marketing is a great way to grow your business. You can read about how to use them in detail here:

8. Signage, letter drops and other forms of traditional marketing to augment the digital campaign

Sometimes, you’re going through emails, or checking the mail, and a simple newsletter or pamphlet might just catch your eye. These traditional forms of marketing are a great way for potential customers to keep your business on the brain and on the lookout. It is a great way to directly target customers and gain exposure in your area, while also keeping them updated and informed regarding any changes your cafe or restaurant may have. It contributes to the overall brand awareness your business may have. 

9. Measuring and analysing the campaign and see what is working and what isn’t

Evaluation and reflection is a key component of business success, no matter the industry. Constantly reviewing your business model and marketing strategy shows perseverance and growth. It is important to understand what is working for your business so you can expand and improve on that aspect, or if something is not working so you can place your attention and efforts elsewhere. A great way to do this is by comparing your social media marketing strategy to your social media analytics and business performance.

10. Consistency and frequency

BE CONSISTENT. Show your audience that you are reliable and can be trusted. Stay in their social media news feeds and keep their attention. By reinforcing your brand messaging, customers are more likely to pay attention and engage with your business. An easy way to do this is through daily Facebook and Instagram posts, stories and ad campaigns. This is a great way to implement a long-term strategy and achieve traction and success.

With the hospitality scene slowly finding its way back to normality, we couldn’t recommend implementing a marketing strategy for your business enough. Success and brand awareness is so much more than the numbers you see on Facebook and Instagram. It comes with the effective use and combination of tactics to keep your business alive in the eyes of the consumer. With so many changes happening all the time it’s important more than ever to digitally stay in touch with your potential customers who are all now used to checking you out online before deciding to visit. We wish all restaurant and cafe owners the best heading into the New Year, and we hope this guide helps you achieve your marketing goals for 2021!

If you are interested in improving your marketing strategy for your cafe or restaurant, contact


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