Out of Box Marketing Ideas for Restaurant Business to Succeed in the Indian Market

The Indian restaurant scene is a vibrant, from the buttery kormas of the North to the appam and stews of the South, every region boast its own unique culinary identity.

Due to high inflation, the profit margin is drying up making the restaurant industry competitive in India. It is getting tough for restaurants to attract new customers due to the high cost of traditional marketing & promotion strategies. Restaurant businesses are constantly seeking innovative marketing ideas to stand out. To succeed in this changing environment, it’s important to have blue-ocean marketing strategies. This article showcases the distinctive blue-ocean marketing strategy, helping you stand out from the competition and build a loyal customer base.

1.Understanding Your Audience

The first step to successful restaurant marketing in India, or anywhere for that matter, is understanding who you’re trying to reach.

Think beyond just “people who like Indian food.” Define your target audience by considering:

  • Age: Are you targeting young professionals, Gen z or families? Their dining needs and preferences will differ.
  • Demographics: Consider income level, location (urban vs. rural), and even dietary restrictions (vegetarian, vegan) to tailor your message.
  • Preferences: Do they crave fiery curries or seek more subtle flavors? Are they health-conscious or looking for an indulgent experience?

Niche vs. Broad:

Indian cuisine offers a vast spectrum of flavors. Deciding on your approach is crucial:

  • Niche Marketing: Focus on a specific regional cuisine (North Indian or Mughlai), dietary preference (vegan), or even a unique experience (cooking classes, themed dinners). This allows you to become a destination for a dedicated customer base.
  • Broader Approach: Cater to a wider audience by offering a mix of regional specialties and popular dishes. This requires effective marketing to highlight your unique selling points.

2.Build an Online Presence

The online food delivery market in India is expected to cross a value of INR 100 crore by 2023, according to RedSeer Consulting. This makes it crucial for every restaurant to have an online presence. Having a website that highlights updated food menus, restaurant ambiance, and positive customer feedback is a big boon for your business. Restaurant technology providers like Foodship provides a unique solution with its contactless food ordering system and free restaurant website builder. This platform empowers restaurant business to create their own loyal customer base who loves to order food from online platforms by providing them their own branded online food ordering system, it also helps restaurants to create a website, showcasing their brand name, logo, and preferred color theme, all without requiring any technical expertise.

Additionally, restaurant owners can utilize social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share appealing visuals about food and their restaurant business, interact with their audience, and create brand promotions and advertisements about special deals or upcoming events.

To enhance your restaurant online presence, you must create profiles on key platforms like Google My Business, Zomato, Swiggy, and TripAdvisor to help your customer to connect with you. Restaurants must encourage satisfied diners to leave positive reviews and address negative reviews constructively, showing you value customer feedback.

3.Leveraging Local Marketing Strategies

3.1 Embrace Local Influencers

In the past decade, influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful tool for promoting and advertising businesses. As a restaurant owner, you can capitalize on this trend by partnering with local food bloggers, social media influencers, and popular personalities who hold sway over your target audience. Collaborating with them allows you to showcase your restaurant’s specialties through their channels, reaching a larger and more diverse audience. This form of marketing generates curiosity and interest among potential customers, effectively promoting your restaurant and driving footfall. Leveraging influencer marketing can be an innovative and impactful strategy to enhance your restaurant’s visibility and attract new patrons.

3.2 Collaborate with Food Delivery Apps

Food delivery services have become increasingly popular in India. Partnering with well-established food delivery apps like Zomato, Swiggy, or Uber Eats can definitely open new avenues for your restaurant business but the down side of food aggregators is they charge significant commission fee for each order placed through their platform, this can range from 15% to 30% of the total order value. Apart from this dependency on food aggregator leads to limited control over branding and customer experience.

3.3 Host Food Festivals and Events

Organizing food festivals and events centered on a particular food cuisine can be an excellent way to attract new customers and advertise your brand. Partner with local communities, cultural organizations, or other businesses to host events that celebrate Indian culture through food, music, and entertainment. You can avail platform like These events provide an opportunity to showcase your restaurant’s specialties while immersing attendees in a rich and authentic experience.

3.4 Leverage Influential Food Critics

Leading market research agency IMRB revealed that over 90% of consumers in urban India use social media platforms for restaurant recommendations and reviews. Positive reviews from food critics and bloggers can greatly enhance your online restaurant’s reputation. Invite influential critics to sample your dishes and offer their genuine opinions. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on popular platforms like TripAdvisor and Google Business reviews. Positive word-of-mouth and testimonials can go a long way in building trust when it comes to food.

3.5 Promote Regional Cuisine

India is known for its diverse regional cuisines, to stand out in the competitive Indian culinary landscape, consider showcasing the distinct flavors and specialties of specific regions. Rather than focusing solely on generic Indian dishes, promote your restaurant as a destination for authentic regional cuisine. By highlighting the unique aspects of a particular region, such as Punjabi cuisine, you can carve a niche for your restaurant and attract customers in search of an authentic and immersive experience. This approach not only differentiates your business but also serves as a powerful promotional tool, enticing food enthusiasts to explore the diverse culinary treasures of India.

4.Additional Marketing Tactics for Indian Restaurants

4.1 Create Loyalty Programs

Implementing a loyalty program can incentivize repeat visits and encourage customer loyalty. Offering discounts, exclusive promotions, or freebies to customers who frequently visit your restaurant can be highly effective. However, implementing such a sophisticated system can be costly. Fortunately, with Foodship, you can get a loyalty program system for free when you sign up for their online food ordering system. This strategy not only encourages customer retention but also provides valuable data for targeted marketing campaigns.

4.2 Public relations

Public relations can be a goldmine for a restaurant business. Restaurants must share stories with local food publications about your unique dishes, chef’s background, or the cultural influences behind your menu to make them stand out. Restaurants can also host special media nights for journalists and food bloggers to generate buzz and positive reviews.


In a country as diverse as India, restaurant marketing requires a thoughtful approach that embraces the unique aspects of Indian cuisine and culture. By leveraging local influencers, optimizing online presence, promoting regional cuisine, collaborating with food delivery apps, hosting food festivals and events, utilizing influential food critics, and implementing loyalty programs, restaurants can successfully navigate the Indian market and capture the attention of discerning customers. By implementing these innovative marketing ideas, you can pave the way for long-term success and establish your restaurant as a go-to destination for authentic and delightful Indian dining experiences.

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