R is for Restaurant Week: ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing

This Sunday is the first day of Center City Restaurant Week in Philadelphia.  During Restaurant Week, participating restaurants offer three-course dinners for only $35 per person. In addition, many of the participating restaurants will also be offering a three-course lunch for $20.  It’s a great way for people to check out new restaurants and parts of the city.

An event like Restaurant Week could help your business in a couple different ways:

1.  Write a blog about Restaurant Week.  You can connect with your customers by showing how you’re involved in the community and that you keep up with trendy events in the city.  Check out this blog post I wrote for The HUB on Chestnut about Restaurant Week.

2.  Duplicate the idea.  If your business is located on a retail strip or in an area with a few scattered businesses not too far away, why not partner with your fellow business owners and put together your own Restaurant-Week-type of event.  University City District does this well with their Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll – which is a series of outdoor festivals along Baltimore Avenue where m ore than twenty-five participating businesses set up shop on their stoops to offer $1 specials, as attendees walk the streets enjoying live music, street performances, and additional vendors.

3.  Piggy-back on the event.  If your business does not have any nearby neighbors or if Restaurant Week is happening near you but you’re not a restaurant, how about find a way to incorporate your business into the event.  For example, if you’re a nail salon, you could advertise a girl’s night out package.  Your ad could say something like, “Restaurant Week means Girl’s Week Out – get 20% off all manicures during Restaurant Week.”  Or if you’re a clothing store, get playful with it and change your display window to show a “three-course outfit” – a breakfast outfit, lunch outfit, and a dinner outfit.  This is your chance to be creative!

ABC’s guide to shoestring marketing is a series of blog posts featuring quick, easy tips for marketing on a budget.