Whether online or in hard copy, restaurant ads are still an important tool to bring in your customer. Not only do they offer a snapshot of what you serve, but they play on a key desire: quick and easy answers. It’s no secret we all love to eat, but we also love to be told where to go and what to get. A simple, effective ad will go a long way as an answer. When crafting that perfect restaurant ad design, here are a few staple ideas to keep in mind.
Food Porn is Key
It’s no secret that people are visual creatures; we love to look at pretty pictures. This is especially true where food is concerned. Just take a look at websites such as FoodPornDaily.com or Food Gawkr, or check out Flickr’s Food Porn group, now up to 600,000 pictures and thousands of visitors daily. So how can you use this new obsession? Easy, looking at good pictures of good food makes people hungry. Not surprising, but more marketable than ever. Invest in a professional photographer and have your best offering ready for the runway!
Use the Right Colors
Much like pictures of food, colors can stimulate us in different ways. Think about what kind of mood and atmosphere you want to convey, and then find a color that matches. Do you want your customer to spread out and stay a while? Blue is your best bet. Want to increase interest? Yellow will grab them and pull them in. Pictures of food not enough to cause cravings? Make them even hungrier with red. Turns out knowing your colors is just as important as knowing your brand.
Keep it Real
Speaking of knowing your brand, that’s not just for your marketing copy anymore. Your ad should have just as much personality and relevance to your restaurant as any blog, except you only have a split second to convey it. Synthesize your brand identity into an ad by answering: who is your target customer, what is your restaurant’s specialty, and what message do you want to convey (with this ad and beyond)? If you are targeting college-age men, for example, your ad might focus on the size of portions as your unique selling point.
Customizing your ads to be relevant in any season is a great way to signal that your restaurant is relevant in any season too. Sure, they may love you in February when it’s cold and dark, but will they still be flocking in July when barbecues are rampant and being outside is so much more exciting? Consider the seasonal qualities of your restaurant and highlight them to the max around key times in the year; if you have a fixed price menu for Valentine’s day, consider highlighting that with your ads. If you plan to stay open on New Year’s Day, find a way to slip that in your body copy.
Show Them Where to Go
Put an address on it! This one might seem obvious, but as the need for ever-more creative advertising grows, the basics sometimes get lost on the way. How many times do we see an attractive, catchy ad only to realize a few minutes later we had no idea what they were selling. With a restaurant, burying the message might be more difficult, but your ultimate goal is to get a customer to walk through the door, so don’t forget to show them where it is!