Promote New Menu Items Without Spending a Fortune

Whether you are coming out with some brand new menu items or adding just one new item, you are going to have to promote it as much as you can. You should target both your regular diners and new customers. This will help you to ramp up the big excitement until the release day. This article will discuss exactly how you can promote these new menu items with some creative thinking, hard work and commitment! Not to mention, without breaking the bank! Let’s get started!

Use Social Media To Promote New Menu Items

Social media is going to come up a lot in this article. That is because there are so many food promotion ideas that work there. For now, you can use social media to tease your new menu items. For example, you could do a poll on Instagram Stories where you ask people to comment on what the new dish is before you reveal it to your customers. Then, the first person to guess the correct dish will get it for free when they visit your restaurant. In addition, image teasers work like a charm on Instagram. 

Particularly if they are accompanied by a catchy new menu caption. In addition, you should try to come up with a creative hashtag specifically for this menu item and be sure to use it whenever you promote the item on social media. You can also tease these items on Facebook. For example share the story behind how you came up with the idea. In addition, you can add some behind the scenes photos of your chef preparing dishes. The key to discovering how to market food is to get the customer to want it. 

Promote New Menu Items in a Promotion or Deal

Promote New Menu Items

What is a better incentive for customers than to try the new dishes at a discounted price? You could offer a 30% discount on the new item the first week after releasing it. Alternatively, you could bundle it with something else and create a special offer. In addition, to get people to try it with their friends you could do a buy one get one free deal!

Do Free Samples To Promote New Menu Items

Promote New Menu Items

Prior to launching the new menu item, entice your customers by offering them a taste of the dish. Offer a free sample to your customers who are getting ready to order food. If they like it, you can bet your customers will want to order it. Not to mention, they will most likely visit you again or tell their friends about it. If not, you will get feedback and through this you can discover how to improve. 

Use Emails and Newsletters To Promote New Menu Items

If you have a list of emails from your regular customers, send them an email to let them know that you have released a new item on the menu. To show them you value their loyalty, offer them an exclusive coupon code that they can redeem to receive a discount on the new dish. Ensure the coupon has an expiration date also. This will motivate your customers to visit you sooner. Make sure that the text you include in the email creates some urgency and include a call to action so they know exactly what to do. Another option is to send out regular newsletters. You could make one that entirely focuses on the new menu items. 

Take your Customers Behind the Scenes To Promote New Menu Items

Promote New Menu Items

This is another tactic whereby social media comes into play. Show your customers how the dish is prepared and share information such as ingredients, why you decided to add it, the inspiration behind it etc. Social media is the place for transparency. Videos are also a plus. Consider conducting video interviews with your staff and chef about the new items. 

Ask Your Customers to Share the Love

You can motivate your customers to talk about your new menu items by offering them free meals or discounts. They will share your posts on social media, use your customised hashtag and check-in to your restaurant when they come to try the new dish etc. If you do not know how to come up with menu item names, you could create a contest on Facebook whereby you ask customers to name the items. Then, ask them to share the post with their friends. The most popular names will get to try the new dish free of charge with a friend. You can also do this on Twitter and other social media platforms!

Contact Influencers

Promote New Menu Items

You can promote new menu items to local foodies by reaching out to local influencers. These local influencers are a gold mine when it comes to boosting interest in a product. So, get in touch and ask them if they want to be a part of an exclusive tasting. They can try the new items for free prior to customers and post about them on social media. 

Announce New Items on your Website

Promote New Menu Items

Your website is one of the most relevant spots to post about your new dishes. Anyone who visits your website will see that you have new additions to your menu. In addition, add a note about this that shows on each of your pages. 

Highlight the New Items in your Printed Menu

Promote New Menu Items

Customers need to be able to tell by looking at your menu which items are new. Add a small text next to them saying ‘NEW’. Alternatively, you could dedicate an entire menu section to new items if there are many. To make them irresistible to your customers, include some mouthwatering images. 

Contact Food Critics and Put Out a New Menu Launch Press Release

Contact your local newspapers and craft a press release for them that centres around your new menu items. Also consider getting in touch with local food critics as their voice counts for the local foodies. The local foodies will be much more interested in trying your new dishes if food critics love them!


Introducing new menu items can be a lot of work in itself, without even considering the promotion of the items. In saying that, the dishes may end up buried somewhere at the bottom of your menu without you finding out ways to promote them. I hope these restaurant ideas have sparked some creative thinking and that your new menu items will be a success!

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