Restaurant Marketing to Summer Tourists


Summer is just around the corner; those long, hot days when you can almost smell the sunscreen wafting from your flip flop-clad guests. They’re obviously on vacation – meaning they just as obviously won’t become regulars – so why give them any extra attention or effort? Here’s why restaurant marketing to summer tourists is worth it.  

People on Vacation Spend More

It really is that simple. Vacationers drink more, order more appetizers, go for the bigger items on the menu and splurge on dessert. Then, when they find a place that has great food and an even better time, they keep coming back … on this vacation and those to come. Add those facts to the statistics that show more people are traveling this summer and you’ll see why it’s smart to make a little extra effort in your restaurant marketing for passing-through guests. 

Summer Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Here are a few ideas for boosting your vacation business during summer.  

  • Signage. Welcome tourists on your door or with exterior signs. Make sure signage welcomes visitors and promotes specials. Keep the outside area as clean and inviting as possible. You may have the best wings in the world, but no one from out of town will know that … and they won’t even slow down if your exterior isn’t up to par. 
  • Social media. Use Facebook, X (Twitter), and Instagram to advertise to friends of your followers. Look for events on LinkedIn to connect to people coming in from out of town for business this summer. 
  • Old school ads. People do still read things in print – especially when they’re traveling. Place an ad in your local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) visitor guide. Most CVB’s do an excellent job distributing their guides from hotel rooms to malls and a lot of other places in between. 
  • Coupons. Ask nearby hotels if they’ll provide guests with your coupons featuring special tourist offers (“bring in your out-of-state license and get a free appetizer”). Promote an “out-of-towner” special to your regulars to encourage them to bring in family and friends visiting this summer. 
  • Attitude. Prep your servers and greeters with local activities and hotspots (for families, singles and couples) so they can seamlessly direct touring guests. 

Employee Training First, Great Marketing Second

Remember, any restaurant marketing program will fall flat if your staff isn’t trained to handle increased traffic, provide exceptional service, and make helpful suggestions. No train, no gain! 

Well-trained restaurant employees will give your great marketing ideas a higher ROI. The Service & Sales Excellence Waitstaff Training Series is based on Service That Sells!, a restaurant training philosophy developed by restaurant owners for restaurant owners. Click here to learn more. 


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