Restaurant PR – Best Practices for Using Public Relations to Boost Sales


Restaurant PR – Best Practices for Using Public Relations to Boost Sales


Restaurant PR is a powerful marketing tool that can help restaurant owners attract new customers and increase sales.

With the right PR strategies, you can elevate your brand’s visibility and reputation in the community, enhance customer loyalty, maintain relationships with stakeholders, establish industry partnerships and collaborate with influencers – all of which will help drive business success.

However, successful implementation of public relations starts with having a clear understanding of its fundamentals and best practices.

Here are some expert tips on how to do just that and make the most out of restaurant PR initiatives for boosting sales in your establishment.


1. What is restaurant PR?
2. The different types of media options available
3. PR agencies vs in-house PR
4. Take advantage of influencers
5. Make industry partnerships
6. Launch local events
7. Become a community participator
8. The purple cow method
9. Specialise in something and become an expert
10. Have an edge and curate a worthwhile experience
11. The help a reporter out method
12. Ride the wave when you do get press
13. Experiment with press releases


1. What is restaurant PR?


Restaurant PR, or public relations in the restaurant industry, refers to the practice of building relationships within the food service sector.

It is all about creating a positive public image and strengthening customer loyalty by utilising influencers, media relations, social media campaigns, promotional activities and other initiatives that showcase an establishment’s brand and values.


What is restaurant PR


Restaurant PR is an important tool for businesses looking to focus on long-term success in various customer segments and give their brand visibility within target markets.

Understanding which channels work best and why can help restaurant owners devise an effective PR strategy that will increase customer engagement with the company and its products.


2. The different types of media options available


Restaurants have access to a variety of media options when it comes to public relations.

Paid media refers to paid advertisements placed in other outlets, such as newspapers, television commercials, paid social media posts and sponsored blog content.

Owned media encompasses content created by the restaurant itself, such as website copy and blog writing.


Different types of public relations


Finally, earned media includes reviews posted by customers on eatery rating sites, viral content related to the restaurant and word-of-mouth advertising from external sources.

Integrating all three types of media is key for effective public relations for restaurants.


3. PR agencies vs in-house PR


Deciding between PR agencies and in-house PR teams is a decision that poses a unique challenge for every business.

On one hand, outsourcing to an agency allows for greater flexibility and the benefit of specialised industry knowledge and experience, which can be invaluable resources.

On the other hand, in-house staff are more heavily invested in your brand and have the advantage of being onsite and better aligned with the values and vision of your management team.


Restaurant PR agencies


Ultimately, the best option for any organisation depends on its individual needs because each approach has its own benefits, depending on what a restaurant seeks to accomplish.

In our experience most restaurant owners and staff simply don’t have enough time to do their PR properly, so seeking out a restaurant marketing agency is usually the best option.


4. Take advantage of influencers


Due to social media, working with influencers has become a great way to boost your restaurant’s public relations.

By partnering with influencers who you know will love your food and be excited to share their experience with the world, you can benefit from greater exposure and even an influx of customers.

As everyone knows, word-of-mouth advertising is still one of the most powerful forms of marketing, so having an endorsement from a trusted name in your area can go a long way towards making your restaurant stand out from the competition.

Plus, it’s a lot less expensive than traditional print or digital marketing campaigns!

So be sure to take advantage of this effective strategy for PR and join forces with social media influencers who will be proud to represent your business.

One of our favourite ways to leverage influencers is to ask micro-influencers to create a Reel or Spark ad promoting the full experience of the restaurant visit.


Restaurant Influencer


Ask them to post it on their own social, then wait 24 hours to see what kind of organic reach they’re getting.

If a video gets over 20 comments, it’s a good idea to boost that content to your target audience within 2km of your venue.

This is called a Spark ad on TikTok and a brand partnership ad on Instagram.

It’s really powerful because the ad comes from the influencer, not from your brand, so the ROI is always incredible.

It’s also important to maximise any influencers reach.

If they create a post on social media you can now pay to push their content via brand partnership ads – so you can reach even more people.


5. Make industry partnerships


Working with industry partners can be a great way to spruce up the PR status of a restaurant.

Joining forces with knowledgeable businesses in the area can help restaurants reach larger audiences, create unique content and promotions, and gain valuable insights.

Partnering is also beneficial to industry firms, offering mutual financial help and providing access to dedicated customers that can promote their products or services.


Industry Partnership


To get started building lasting relationships, restaurant owners should seek out brands that align with their values, look for unbiased strategies to market company offerings, and design strategic partnership plans that add value to their overall mission objectives.

With productive partnerships in place, restaurants will be well-positioned for success in their local market.

For example, a restaurant could partner with a local charity (press love covering charity events) and you can help raise money for them every month.


6. Launch local events


To promote your restaurant business and increase customer loyalty, local restaurants can start to consider launching events that are tailored to their target audience.

From special promotions to menu previews, these types of activities give the restaurant a chance to reach out to customers directly and encourage brand recognition.


Local Event

Taking the time to plan these sorts of events can ultimately result in higher engagement with diners, improved public relations within the community, and increased profits.


7. Become a community participator


Becoming a participator in the local community of your restaurant is one of the most important steps you can take to improve its public relations.

Local press outlets often focus on local stories that involve local people, so taking part in activities related to the local community will give you more access to local media opportunities.

This increased visibility can help increase brand awareness and positive sentiment toward your restaurant.


Restaurant PR Local Press


Moreover, being involved in local events and initiatives both increases loyalty among current customers and increases potential for attracting new customers.

By becoming an active community participant, you can increase local recognition of your restaurant and build better PR for long-term success.


8. The purple cow method


The purple cow method for restaurant PR can be an effective tool for any business.

Essentially, it entails looking at your restaurant in a unique way and presenting it to the world as something that stands out from the crowd.

It’s called the purple cow method because if there was 1000 cows in a field and one was purple, which one would you look at and remember?

Probably the purple cow.


The Purple Cow Method in Hospitality


It could mean cooking up the world’s largest pizza or making the hottest chicken wings.

Whatever PR strategy you use, if it’s original and engaging, customers will be sure to take notice.

By taking advantage of this method, restaurants can create exciting stories that make their products stand out from the rest and get people talking about them – resulting in higher sales and more visibility in the world of food!


9. Specialise in something and become an expert


For restaurant owners and chefs looking to create positive PR surrounding their business, there are plenty of steps you can take.

One of the most effective ways to garner attention is by becoming an expert in a certain field related to your business.

Doing this will ensure that media outlets, influencers and customers see you as an authority on a particular topic, granting credibility and recognition to your establishment.




To specialise in something, it’s best to look at what sets you apart from other restaurants – whether it be cooking techniques, ingredients or the cuisine style itself – and centring your knowledge around this area.

With some effort and dedication, you’ll soon become recognised for your expertise and build relationships with both industry professionals and customers alike.

When done right, specialising has the ability to provide innumerable benefits for future restaurant PR efforts.


10. Have an edge and curate a worthwhile experience


Eating out is always a great experience, but there are so many different options that it can be hard to choose where to go.

Keeping your restaurant in the minds of potential customers is essential for earning new business and fostering returning customers.

One way to do this is by curating an exceptional experience for your guests.

This could mean having a signature dish or adding a unique spin on traditional favourites that keeps people coming back.


Fun restaurant PR


It could also involve upgrading the décor and atmosphere of the restaurant so that it stands out against other eateries in the area, making it more appealing on first glance.

Regardless of what you decide upon, having an edge is key to driving repeat visits and painting your establishment as one of the best around town.

With good restaurant marketing, you will quickly be engrossed in all the attention that comes with offering unique experiences for loyal patrons.


11. The help a reporter out method


One way to receive better restaurant PR is to take advantage of the Help A Reporter Out (HARO) method.

Through this service, business owners can help spread media coverage by responding to relevant requests from journalists seeking industry professionals as sources.

This also gives small-business owners exponentially higher visibility among their target market and helps establish them as an authority in their field.


Restaurant PR Journalist


By taking advantage of HARO on a regular basis, restaurants can build strong relationships with local journalists and TV and radio stations, potentially boosting the number of customers coming through their doors.

Any restaurant serious about improving its customer base should strongly consider leveraging the HARO method on a regular basis.


12. Ride the wave when you do get press


Making the most of your restaurant’s press doesn’t just stop at taking advantage of each opportunity.

Greener PR strategies involve leveraging that news to create more good press in the future.

Follow up on successful articles or reviews by sending an email blast to keep customers informed and entice others and share any noteworthy reviews on social media.


Press for Restaurants


Additionally, these positive press experiences open the door to make professional relationships with reporters who could prove beneficial down the line.

Lastly, it’s important to use good judgement when spreading the word; don’t overstate success by remembering that too much of a good thing can start to devalue your accomplishments.

Taking a smart approach to both acquiring and utilizing press can set you restaurants up for long-term success in both public relations and growth.


13. Experiment with press releases


Press releases are a great, cost-effective way to get news about your restaurant out there.

By experimenting with different types, formats, and content, you can find innovative approaches to keep your public relations fresh and engaging for the media, potential customers, and existing patrons.

Try drafting releases about your restaurateur’s journey and story, new menu items or daily specials, how you’re adapting to industry trends or changing consumer tastes.


Press Releases


A press release can also be used to announce special events or promotions like opening day or fundraising initiatives.

Crafting an exciting story from interesting angles that is engaging and attention-grabbing will ensure more eyes on your topic of interest.


Summing up


Restaurant PR is an ever-evolving field, and a successful strategy can help elevate your restaurant’s success.

Maintain a laser focus on your target audience, measure results regularly for improvement opportunities, and be sure to fine tune as needed.

With the right plan of action in place you can take advantage of all that PR has to offer!

About Josh Wood

Founder | Writer | Tech Enthusiast