Searching for inspiration for the best restaurant ads? You’ll find some great examples right here.

You’ve read our list of restaurant management books and scoured the best restaurant blogs for ideas. The final piece of the restaurant marketing stack is to design effective ads that will lure new customers through the front door. Here’s CandyBar’s guide to restaurant ads.

 

Why is advertising important for restaurants?

In a saturated food industry, obtaining a desirable restaurant location, serving good food, and running a traditional marketing campaign just doesn’t seem to cut it any longer.

So, in order to be noticed, restaurant owners have jumped online. Running thousands of banner ads online per month and generally making life harder for any budding or up and coming restaurants.

How then can you stand out from such stiff competition?

By running restaurant ads.

Ads that get your customers excited to visit your restaurant and help your business stand out from the magnitude of other establishments.

And that’s exactly what we are going to cover in this post.

Here are some awesome tips to help you get customers literally flocking through your door as well as 21 examples of the best restaurant ads for you to pull inspiration from.

How do restaurants advertise?

From traditional advertising to social media, there are many ways to run an advertising campaign. One that seeks to reach your target audience and promote your restaurant’s food and values.

Your choice of restaurant advertising will largely depend on your preferences, marketing budget, and target audience.

Here are some tips to help you out.

1. Traditional Advertising: TV, Print Ads, Newspapers, Billboards (for Visibility)

Frequently used by big companies with big budgets, traditional advertisements like billboards and print ads can be costly, but they allow your restaurant to stand out boldly and attract customers.

When people are looking for a new restaurant, your eye-catching restaurant advertisement can be the main deciding factor for them to give your establishment a go. Run an eye-catching ad and you’ll likely influence them to try your food and spread the word about their experience in your restaurant.

These advertisements also tend to appeal to the slightly older customer demographic who tend to read newspapers, magazines, and watch television regularly. With that in mind, target this older generation with suitable content, make it relatable, and don’t be too next-gen.

2. Social Media Ads: Facebook, Instagram (for New Promotions)

Often less expensive than traditional advertising, social media advertising allows you to grow and build a strong online presence for your restaurant.

This form of advertising is best for customers who are frequent users of social media. Social media will help extend its reach beyond more traditional marketing strategies, help your restaurant attract new customers, and create brand loyalty for your existing customers.

Platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Yelp, Flickr, Instagram, and Foursquare, allow you to build an online identity for your restaurant. You can see which social media strategies work, and make improvements while running your marketing campaigns.

Most of these sites have analytics that allows you to see your restaurant’s business growth online and check up on your competitors.

All very handy metrics to know.

3. New Restaurant Advertising (To Launch a Brand)

When it comes to advertising your new restaurant, timing is key to making your restaurant marketing campaign work. People are keen to be the first to try new things and places, so leverage on the FOMO effect and make your first marketing campaign a big and enticing one.

Knowing your target audience and budget allows you to customize your marketing campaign. For instance, you could use Facebook Ads to send posts of restaurant events, new menus, etc. to customers who are interested in your restaurant’s cuisine or may even live nearby. 

Teaming up with online delivery services such as GrubHub and Uber Eats allows your restaurant to be seen by a lot more potential customers and drive more attention to your new restaurant.

Feature-benefit selling is another way to help your food stand out. This makes your food and restaurant memorable in your advertisements. Eg: vegan/vegetarian options, farmer’s market organic foods, and allergy-friendly menus.

4. Seasonal Advertising

With the change of seasons, yearly holidays, and sports events, tailoring your restaurant ads allows you to reach out to your customers and grab their attention. Advertising your restaurant throughout the year creates consistency and helps you remain relevant to your customers.

Whether it’s the Christmas holidays or slow periods, User-Generated Content (UGC) like contests and discounts allow you to create interest and engage your customers. These promotions make your customers feel important and in return, they’ll continue regularly visiting your restaurant and spread the word to their friends.

Seasonal advertising also strengthens top-of-mindshare, helping your restaurant to stay relevant and connected to customers.

For instance, seasonal restaurant advertisements may look like this:

  • Saint Patrick’s Day (Buy 3 beers get 1 free)
  • Valentine’s Day (Meal for 2 deals)
  • Christmas holidays (Christmas dishes with free drinks).

5. Restaurant Flyers

Flyers are often distributed outside a restaurant or within a short distance from the restaurant, to attract customers to enter the restaurant and try the food.

A flyer is more than just a piece of paper – it represents your brand, theme, and food that your restaurant offers. It has the ability to attract your customers before they see your restaurant or look at your menu.

While designing your restaurant flyer, the words, typography, and images should appeal and easily relate to your target audience. It should clearly reflect your brand’s identity and feature the best dishes on your restaurant’s menu. This allows your customers to see the limited-time promotional deals offered and make decisions easily.

For an extra advantage, present your dishes in a high-quality resolution photo that makes it look delicious and irresistible, use numerical numbers for prices instead of spelling them out, and format your flyer with suitable colors, typography, and photos/artwork that reflects your restaurant branding, theme, and food quality.

Resources for restaurant flyers:

Check out these free Online Restaurant Flyer Makers to get started:

  • Canva – Canva has a drag-and-drop feature you can easily use to edit and design your flyers and posters. Its flyer maker is ideal for us non-designers mortals.
  • Postermywall – With thousands of templates to choose from, this free flyer maker allows you to create posters and flyers with stunning graphics without any design experience.
  • iMenuPro – Create and print great-looking menus with this free online menu maker. It is easy to use and has many templates to choose from.

Restaurant ad templates to help your marketing

Match your restaurant’s mouthwatering dishes with a visually appealing advertising campaign that entices customers to step into your restaurant.

We have handpicked these advertising template creators because they are easy to use and are great for those who don’t necessarily have an in-house designer or the time to figure out Photoshop. They are also free or come with free trials so you can explore your options without blowing out your marketing budget:

  • Venngage: advertisement template creator – This allows you to create amazing customized ads with its many features, such as texts, widgets, templates, etc. You can save your project as an image or download it as a PDF. Offers a free trial version and a paid version that starts at $19/month.
  • Biteable: restaurant advertisement template creator – A great video maker you can use to create stunning videos with high-quality effects and animation, and share easily on social media. There is a free trial version for you to create and share your own videos and the premium plan starts at $19/month on an annual plan with benefits of removing the watermark, 800,000+ extra clips to choose from, etc.
  • FotoJet: restaurant ad creator – Easily create and edit your ads with this online graphic designer, collage maker, and photo editor. FotoJet has a huge number of templates and clipart images to choose from and customize with. You can try out their free trial or pay $3.33/month on an annual plan to get more design features, remove the ads, and receive support for your project.
  • DesignCap: restaurant poster ad creator – With thousands of templates to choose from, DesignCap gives you easy control and safety advice over your own restaurant advertisements. This ad creator is a free version and does not have a trial.

Types of Restaurant Ads:

There are many ways you can create bold and attractive advertising campaigns for your restaurants. To help you out, here are some ideas that will help your restaurant stand out and attract customers:

1. Geo-targeted Ads: Find customers nearby

These days, many people use their mobile to search up restaurants and book reservations, this is where geo-targeted ads work super well. With geo-targeted ads, you can ensure that only locals in your city or specific area see your ads.

Most people look for restaurants close to them so having these ads help you to remove irrelevant clicks. There are many online advertising platforms such as Facebook and Google Ads that offer geo-targeting ads (opportunities) with no extra fees.

2. Social Media Ads: Lure with mouthwatering pictures

Promote your restaurant food with visually stunning, high quality, mouthwatering photos to tempt customers. Make your photographs stand out by adding texture to your images, making your food more appealing, and include a good amount of background for a clean look.

Once you create a post, you can also boost it to increase visibility so more users can see it.

You can also make use of video, which is becoming more important for social platforms. Why not pre-record a short video and upload it on Facebook Premiere. This allows you to broadcast your announcement live on your restaurant’s Facebook page on the day and time you set and alerts your followers to your post.

3. YouTube & Display Ads: Go where the eyeballs are

Instead of just advertising on platforms like Instagram or Facebook, why not create your DIY commercial and upload it on Youtube? Your video could be the first to show up when people search for ‘sushi’ if your restaurant was a sushi bar for instance.

Instead of traditional billboards and magazine ads, try promoting your restaurant on attention-grabbing digital signage. It is cheaper than traditional ads and can be used to promote anything, from menu dishes, promotions, events, etc.

4. Make use of influencers: Follow their following

Technically, this isn’t an ad, but some influencers may request payment while others will accept a food tasting for a review. Be sure to make sure you’re finding the right influencers who are likely to help your brand not hurt it.

Inviting food bloggers to try your food and leave reviews is a great way to generate interest in your restaurant. Some bloggers have thousands of followers who trust their opinions, making them hugely influential in providing word-of-mouth advertising.

Best restaurant ad examples

Be inspired by these advertisements from restaurants that have succeeded in communicating their restaurant branding, unique values, and identity to their target audience.

Fast Food Restaurant Ads

1. Wendy’s: Made to Crave

best restaurant ads wendy's made to crave

The use of blinking graphics and burgers make it eye-catching. The red logo of Wendy’s resembles a button, creating a call to action for customers to click on the ad and make an online order.

2. Chipotle: Pass it On

best restaurant ads chipotle pass it on roll

The white background, unique black typography, the restaurant logo, and product placement catch your attention immediately. It has a humorous take on how their rolls are so good, it’s a crime to have one.

3. Burger King: Always Better With Fire Flame-Grilled Burgers

best restaurant ads burger king better fire

Using cute dormant and active volcano illustrations to catch attention and remind customers of how their flame-grilled burgers are more tantalizing than non-flame grilled burgers.

4. McDonald’s: Share The Love of Fries

best restaurant ads mcdonalds diversity share love fries

The creative use of hands in this ad shows the McDonald’s logo and a social message that McDonald’s welcomes diversity.

Food Products Ads

5. Tabasco Sauce: Steamy!

best restaurant ads tabasco steamy

 

How hot do you like your hot sauce? Hot enough to spice up your tastebuds and steam up your glasses! This simple yet straightforward ad sums up the restaurant’s product with only a single word association, a bottle of Tabasco Sauce, and a pair of steamed up glasses.

6. Simply Orange Juices

best restaurant ads simply orange fresh squeezed

This is a creative take on a poster appearing like the juice is being squeezed into the bottle, illustrating its freshness and farm to customer message.

It’s also an eye-catching display ad, which is a sometimes overlooked format.

7. Dr. Pepper: Sweet Meets Heat

candybar best restaurant ads dr pepper sweet meets heatThere’s more than 1 perfect pairing.

This cheerful and mouth-watering ad shows the many tasty ways Dr. Pepper can easily compliment any meal, be it salads, snacks, or fast food.

Italian Restaurant Ads

8. Gustoso Italian Restaurant

best restaurant ads italian restaurant

The cute image, funny blurb, and creative fonts sure caught your eye and tempt the tastebuds with Neapolitan pasta.

9. Scaddabush Restaurant

best restaurant ads best italian restaurant ad feed the soul

Feed your soul and give it the occasional glass of red.

Unique graphics and typography used in this image make it attention-grabbing and memorable. The image of a smiling lady paired with wine links it to the restaurant’s delectably, satisfying food.

Cafe Ads

10. Paul Bassett: Sweet & Chocolate

best restaurant ads best cafe ad paul bassett

With just simple typography and images of beverages and ingredients, the pouring of milk and chocolate into the cup tempts us into wanting a freshly brewed cup right away.

11. Starbucks: Summer Outside the Lines

best restaurant ads cafe ads starbucks summer fizzes

These eye-catching fruit smoothies pop out with their bright colors, bursting with fresh and cheerful vibes of summer.

Takeaway Restaurant Ads

12. Nando’s Restaurant: Hot Bird

best restaurant ads fast food nandos hot bird ad peri peri

Known for their Afro-Portuguese flame-grilled peri-peri chicken, unique typography, and illustrations, this ad uses a humorous blurb and their signature peri-peri spice scale to catch our attention and tempt us with their yummy chicken.

13. 4Doner: Chicken Europe Doner

best restaurant ads 4doner europe doner

Combine bright colors, unique illustrations with the ingredients of the Doner spilling out and you have a delicious and mouth-watering reaction.

Best Facebook Ads for Restaurants

14. Shari’s Berries

best restaurant ads bakery shari's berries bundt cake

This ad effectively uses a good photo of yummy bundts and a catchy line to attract attention. A link to its social media account also allows customers to stay updated with its yummy looking food photography to keep them returning for more.

15. El Pelon Taqueria: Taco Tuesday Delivery Special

best restaurant ads el pelon tacqueria taco tuesday

Using a photograph of fresh tacos and a $1 deal tie-in with an app, this post effectively uses FOMO to tempt customers with their irresistible deal and easy ordering options.

Best Restaurant Poster Ads

16. KFC: So Good Burger

best restaurant ads kfc so good burger sogood

There is nothing more memorable than using a cute image of a child with a burger-shaped smile. This creative image is eye-catching and reminiscent of Charlie Brown from Snoopy.

17. Dom Francisco’s Restaurant: Valentine’s Day

best restaurant ads dom francisco valentine's day

By adding a little risque humor to fit the mood for Valentines’ Day, this ad uses a fork, spoon, and napkin to resemble a couple in bed, tying in the idea of a memorable dinner date at Dom Francisco’s.

Best Restaurant Flyer Ads

18. Domino’s: 4pm Sliders

best restaurant ads domino's pizza sliders fast food ad

Domino’s $4 Pizza Sliders

This advertisement uses a font that is bold and simple, plus a little FOMO to promote a cheap, ‘limited time only’ deal – an effective call to action – appealing to customers who don’t want to miss out on a bargain.

19. Burger King

best restaurant ads burger king super valueBurger King’s Limited Time Super Value Promotion

The bright red background with white font makes the products and low prices eye-catching. The time limit and cheap deals make it hard for customers to resist.

Best Restaurant Video Ads

20. KFC – I’ve Fried Everything

 

This delicious ad is filled with overflowing, golden-brown fries that will make anyone’s mouth water. It not only introduces a new product, ‘Secret Recipe Fries’, but also a new menu offering.

21. Church’s Spicy Tenders Ads

 

The close up of fresh ingredients and crispy golden fried chicken make Church’s food look very tempting and delicious, thus creating a call to action. And notice how the camera is focused on the food, eliminating all other distractions than the product.

How can I increase restaurant sales without advertising?

To grab the attention of hungry customers and returning diners, check out these highly effective tips to help you promote your restaurant:

1. Create a visible presence

Be active on social media accounts. Practices like being responsive and posting on a regular basis will help your restaurant to remain relevant online. Make your restaurant memorable by consistently connecting with new and loyal customers throughout the year. Social media allows customers to find you easily and gives you a platform to build up hype around your restaurant by actively engaging your target audience.

Create and maintain your restaurant’s profile on various social media platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter to respond to feedback and create promotional content. Eg: Post behind the scenes content about how your food is prepared and where your ingredients are sourced to create interest and transparency with your customers.

Social media doesn’t have to be the only outlet for promotion. In 2020, companies like Pret a Manger and Nandos reopened to cater to hospital workers and offered hefty discounts – which got them visibility in both offline and online press.

2. Use Restaurant Loyalty Programs

Regular customers are equally important as new customers as they already know about your restaurant and more likely to return with some form of incentive. Create loyalty programs to reward regular customers loyal to your restaurant and attract new customers.

For example, the Starbucks card allows diners to collect points with every purchase to redeem free food and drinks during future purchases.

3. Engage on Online Platforms

Set up easy online reservation and delivery options for your customers.

Eg: Open Table, Uber Eats, etc. Customers really love it when it’s super easy to make restaurant reservations and online orders. This reduces the loss of potential diners who may be turned away due to having no available seating in the restaurant.

4. Create geo-targeted advertisements

If you have the budget, you can create geo-targeted advertisements using online advertising platforms like Facebook and Google Ads. These restaurant advertisements allow you to target customers within your area and save money from non-relevant clicks.

Final thoughts

Creative restaurant ads can help you reach more customers than ever before. Simply by implementing an interactive and creative restaurant advertising campaign, like the examples above, you’ll soon be engaging more customers than you ever thought possible.

It’s time to take your restaurant to new heights!

Joanne Hum

Posted by Joanne Hum

Jo is a freelance writer passionate about marketing, business and literature. When she isn’t busy writing, she’s helping others as an online Business English coach and getting creative with making jewellery. You can catch Jo on twitter.