12 Lead Magnet Ideas for Restaurants

by garyasanchez

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A lead magnet is sometimes called an “ethical bribe” because it’s something that a business gives away to a prospect in exchange for their contact information, usually an email address or phone number.  What you should be trying to accomplish with your lead magnets is to identify those people who are interested in your restaurant but who have never eaten there.  Those people are called leads.   What you give away needs to be valuable enough to somebody for them to give you their contact information.  When somebody is willing to make that trade with you, they are effectively saying, “yes, I’m interested in learning more about what you sell…”  Once you have their contact information, you can then make offers to invite them into your restaurant, usually via email.  

So then, what could you possibly have that would be valuable to a prospect who has never dined at your restaurant? 

Well, here are 11 ideas for you:

  1. Save $20 off your next bill (50% off, maximum $20 savings);
  2. Get the recipe of our signature dessert;
  3. Learn how to make a perfect chocolate soufflé in this video lesson;
  4. Sign up for a chance to win a free rooftop meal for you and 3 of your friends;
  5. Sign up for a chance to win a shopping trip to the Farmers Market with our chef to buy ingredients for a recipe we’ll give you;
  6. Sign up for a chance to be selected for a customer tasting council – where you will give us your monthly reviews and opinions of new dishes we are planning to introduce;
  7. Buy a ticket to a private cooking demonstration and kitchen tasting for only $25;
  8. Get a FREE entrée when you buy one.  Sign up and we’ll send you a voucher to redeem in the restaurant;
  9. Get a FREE dessert when you buy an entrée and appetizer. Sign up and we’ll send you a voucher to redeem in the restaurant;
  10. Join the birthday club and get a free meal on your birthday
  11. Join our loyalty program.  Just share your phone number every time you visit and we’ll track the points you earn for free food and beveragesor your barrtender's beer pairing guide.

One critical element of using a lead magnet strategy is that you need to buy into the belief that the discounts you offer and salaries you spend making videos and taking customers to Farmers Markets are marketing expenses. 

The second critical element to understand is that you shouldn’t try to make a profit on the first transaction with one of your leads.  Instead, think about how you can impress your leads so much that they end up eating with you multiple times a month.  That repeat business is where you really start to see the profits kick in.

If you don’t want to take the time and make the effort to create some of these lead magnets, do not think that you can merely put a fishbowl on your hostess stand and collect business cards to add to your email list.  The idea of a lead magnet is to identify prospects, those people who have never spent money at your restaurant.  When you can add to the number of customers you have, you’re well on your way to growing revenue.

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