8 takeaway marketing ideas that are low to no cost

Running a takeaway business can be tough, and attracting customers can often feel like a constant uphill battle.

But fear not business owners! You don’t need a huge marketing budget to get more people interested in your takeaway business. There are plenty of marketing strategies that are easy to adopt and easy on your bank accounts.

Here are 8 low-to-no-cost marketing ideas to supercharge your takeaway business:

1. Use the power of social media

Social media platforms are a goldmine for takeaway businesses. Here's how to leverage them for free:

  • Create interesting content: Don't just post menus; share mouthwatering food photos and videos, highlight your chefs' skills, showcase customer testimonials, and run engaging polls to see what your customers are interested in.
  • Run contests and giveaways: Host a photo contest where customers share pictures enjoying your food in exchange for free meals or discounts. This generates excitement and encourages user-generated content, which is fantastic free advertising.
  • Go live: Host live sessions on platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Demonstrate signature dishes, interview chefs, or answer customer questions. This fosters a sense of connection and transparency.
  • Make use of local hashtags: Research popular hashtags relevant to your location and cuisine. Tag your posts with these to increase discoverability by local customers searching for nearby takeaways.
  • Engage with your audience: Social media is a two-way straight, so it’s important to respond promptly to comments and messages. To encourage further engagement, you could also run polls and ask questions to spark conversations and build relationships with your audience.

2. Encourage reviews and ratings

When you go out for a meal, you check the reviews of a restaurant beforehand, right? The same goes for takeaway businesses, too.

Positive online reviews and ratings are powerful marketing tools. Here's how to encourage them:

  • Focus on your service: This is the foundation. Ensure a smooth ordering process, timely delivery, and consistently delicious food. Satisfied customers are more likely to leave positive reviews.
  • Politely request reviews: Include a gentle request for reviews on your website, receipts, and fast food packaging. Make it easy for customers to leave feedback by providing links to your online review profiles.
  • Respond to every single review: Every time someone leaves a new review for your business, thank them for saying something positive or address the negative ones professionally. This shows you care about customer feedback and actively seek to improve.

3. Build relationships with local businesses

Don’t think that you should just focus on yourself, sometimes partnering with complementary businesses in your area can boost both of your profiles.

These partnerships could look something like the following:

  • Cross-promotion: Offer discounts or combos with local businesses like cafes or grocery stores. This exposes you to a wider audience and vice versa.
  • Co-host events: Collaborate with local businesses for events like sports nights or movie nights. Offer special takeaway deals for attendees.
  • Delivery partnerships: If delivery is a concern, consider partnering with a local delivery service. Negotiate a bulk rate that keeps costs down for both parties.

4. Embrace the power of email marketing

Email marketing can bring in a lot of additional revenue, here’s how to use it to your advantage:

  • Offer exclusive deals: Incentivise signups with exclusive discounts or free delivery offers.
  • Promote new menu items: Highlight new dishes and special offers through email blasts.
  • Run loyalty programs: Reward loyal customers with points-based programs or birthday discounts to encourage repeat business.
  • Segment your audience: Tailor your emails to different customer segments based on order history and preferences. This ensures relevant content that resonates better.

5. Optimise your online presence

With the rise of digital marketing, having an online presence can help your business reach a much larger audience of potential customers.

Make sure you’ve claimed your Google My Business listing to ensure your business appears in local Google searches and Maps – it’s then your job to keep up this listing too with accurate information, photos and operating hours.

You should also create a website if you haven’t already done so, and then make sure that your website is mobile-friendly to reach the growing audience of people who only ever use their phones to browse the web.

6. Leverage free online tools

You could spend hours on some of the marketing tools that large businesses do, but as a small business, it’s really not worth your money.

There are so many free tools that help you kickstart your marketing strategy without breaking the bank, like:

  • Canva for designing graphics, social media posts, logos, flyers etc.
  • Unsplash and Pexels for free stock images that you can use across your content.
  • Hootsuite and Buffer for free social media scheduling.

7. Get creative with your promotions 

If there’s one thing that will always be true, people love a good promotion.

Running a promotion doesn’t have to mean operating at a loss. Here are some low-cost promotional ideas:

  • Flash sales on popular items to generate excitement and encourage impulse buys.
  • Weekday deals to attract customers during slower periods.
  • Themed menu nights where you follow a specific cuisine like ‘Taco Tuesday’ or ‘Wings Wednesday’.
  • Loyalty programs to reward loyal customers and incentivise repeat orders.
  • Referral programs to encourage your customers to spread the word far and wide.

8. Tap into the power of community engagement

Your community is one of the most important things to you – especially if you can only deliver to your immediate area.

We always encourage food businesses to be a strong part of their local community by sponsoring local events, offering free samples, and partnering with local charities. These small acts of kindness can go a long way in gaining positive brand exposure.

Final thoughts

By implementing these low-to-no-cost marketing ideas, you can effectively reach new customers, build brand loyalty, and grow your takeaway business without breaking the bank.  

Remember, a little creativity and consistent effort can go a long way in the competitive world of takeaways. Partner with Pack Genie for high-quality, customisable packaging, such as custom burger boxes and custom plastic cups to complement your marketing efforts and help your takeaway stand out from the crowd!

Tags: takeaway business, food business, business tips, food packaging, packaging tips, packaging inspiration, marketing tip, food marketing, content marketing