boutique marketing agency


For Restaurants and Cafes in Bali
marketing agency for restaurants

I. CS Takeaways:

1 - Key objectives for any restaurateur
2 - Do’s and Don’ts in marketing for Restaurant & Cafe Businesses during COVID and Economic crises
3 - How Facebook, Instagram and Email marketing helps businesses overcome a crisis with benefits
4 - How to deal and communicate with your customers
5 - Why a marketing strategy and branding for restaurants is highly important in a crisis

II. Short intro about the current situation

Using a professional agency to build a personalized marketing strategy tailored to your niche, will ensure your brand is top of mind, when your doors reopen and when society is normalised. In this Case Study we have found the most vital marketing techniques needed to overcome this crisis as a restaurant / cafe owner and benefit in the long run.

Currently, the world is facing an economic turn of events that we did not anticipate, due to the unexpected international spread of Covid-19. Some restaurants and cafes are completely closed. But of course, in some tourist places like Canggu you can still find a restaurant that is open. International fast-food chains remain open for take-away and delivery. Bali restaurants and cafes have taken the necessary operational hygienic precautions to avoid contamination. Because of the shut down of Visa application services, tourism to the island has frozen. This along with restaurants and cafes being instructed to temporarily close their sit down areas, has greatly affected these businesses and their profit margins. Managers have had to scale down their staff, invest in additional hygiene products and cut down on all stock orders and minimise unnecessary expenses. 


Unfortunately, some businesses will not be able to survive this unforeseen period, however partnering with a marketing agency for restaurants, a new creative strategy and a change of tactics, you may be able to succeed through some new innovative, adaptive methods. Marketing of restaurants digitally, such as email, target ads, instagram, facebook, content, mobile and influencer marketing with the correct brand voice and customer response tone has become vital to the survival of Bali restaurants and cafes. For offline marketing, promotional banners outside your restaurants and brochures added to delivery meals can be printed, highlighting anti-crisis discount offers throughout the lockdown period. Keep reading if this gets you super excited and makes you want to learn more about horeca marketing tips or horeca marketing ideas you can apply to your business. Even though  this CS was conducted based on the current economic situation in Bali, its insights and recommendations can be implemented worldwide. We will research restaurants & cafes.


digital marketing for restaurants
marketing for a restaurant

III. Marketing of restaurants in Bali during the financial crisis  2020

1.) The “new normal” for the world of marketing & why reastaurants and bars need to adapt to it

It is said that the economic crisis to come has not been seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s, which caused insane amounts of unemployment and poverty across the globe. Not only are restaurants in Bali losing valuable customers during this period, they will continue to lose customers in the future as their pockets run dry. A chain reaction of events will lead to consumer behaviour changes, with a target audience that has become more frivolous with their money, spending it on necessities as opposed to luxuries. The only way to rise above, is to take a different approach. Marketing during this period has greatly changed in more ways than one. A decrease in advertising costs is causing brands to fork out more money in order to attract customers. This evidently results in a buyers market for SME brands. According to this research, customers believe it is important for restaurants to not exploit or take advantage of the current crisis, and rather lend a helping hand and support the community where they are able to. Sensitivity is key during this period, so keep your brand voice calm, positive and show that you are well-informed.

2.) Keepin marketing alive is key at this moment. This is why:

Even if your restaurant has shut its doors completely, the communication marketing and branding for a restaurant should remain functional during this period. The reason for this is because your customers and audience need to keep hearing from you to keep your brand top of mind. In addition, you should be creating useful content that enriches your audiences lives and relates to them.

Content marketing for restaurants must be engaging. You can do so by distributing valuable information to your customers, as this will nourish and maintain your relationship with them, whilst inoperational. Keeping your brand strategy alive throughout this process shows loyalty, persistence and support. When your doors do open in the future, you want your customers to want to come to your restaurant first, before the others. That restaurant that succeeds in showing resilience, good health and safety protocol, as well as empathy and loyalty, will come out on top. Setting your tone through marketing of your restaurant, during these times of difficulty is imperative to its future growth and success.

3.) Turning a negative situation into a positive one by using “marketing for restaurant” strategies.

It is very important to note that busy restaurants and cafes can become backlogged with do to lists when there is not enough time and enough hands to take on these projects, leaving marketing for restaurant owners, a last thought. Use this downtime to the business’s benefit by completing a new paint job, re-organising work stations, and training your staff to be more efficient when you reopen. Re-evaluate expenditures, recreate recipes and menus and look into productivity systems that can provide smoother functioning and increase sales. Sometimes having some down time to analyse the faults in your business and implementing new marketing for restaurants strategies, may result in increased future profits, a smoother functioning business and a happier working environment.

content marketing for restaurants
digital marketing for restaurants

4.) Objectives:

  • Be profitable and minimise loss by using a marketing agency

Luckily, Bali has a lot less cases than other countries, which means the rules of lockdown have been implemented differently and more moderately. The leniency of these regulations allows restaurants and coffee shops to be open for takeaway and deliveries, shutting down their seating areas only. This means you can still profit in these times of uncertainty and keep your customers happy. Target marketing an audience that your brand appeals to is an essential part of growing your sales on a budget. The closer your target, the better your response will be and the lower your cost per acquisition will become. From the digital marketing side it is wise to use a blend of email marketing, facebook and Instagram marketing, content and influencer marketing, target ads and SEO. But don’t forget about print advertising (printing brochures and adding them to delivery bags to promote your most recent discount offers and deals) as well as offline marketing (placing promotional banners outside the door of your restaurant or placing car / scooter wraps on taxis to create brand awareness).

We at Brut understand that hiring a professional agency is not easy for you to do during a financial crisis, but that is why we are currently offer cooperation model "Together Forward” for businesses in Bali & Indonesia. Learn more and apply to qualify.

  • Lower business costs

Re-evaluate your menu. Cut down on food waste, by using similar ingredients across your menu. See where recipes can be modified to cut down costs without affecting the quality and taste. Make sure the measurement of ingredients are kept consistent throughout all dishes and check your running costs such as electricity, water and phone bills. Make sure they are not higher than they should be. Be more sustainable in your efforts and go local with your produce. Avoid import costs as this is crucial in cutting your cost price.


Showing local businesses that you care makes your business look supportive and using in season produce, always tastes better. This kind of activity is good to share with your audience through Social Media. Postpone operations that will bring zero value to your business right now. This will increase your efficiency.  If the building doesn’t belong to you, negotiate with an owner and ask for a “rental holiday” until the situation is better - as we bet rent is your biggest expense and, of course, delaying payment would help your business tremendously. Try to discuss an extended credit term with your suppliers or shorten your menu, to use less items.

  • Keep generating leads, with minimum costs

Interestingly enough, focusing on your delivery market, may prove to widen your customer base and allow new customers to taste your cuisine. Being online, means those customers that would not usually come across your restaurant in the street, are now exposed to your menu through means of digital marketing and online delivery platforms. So, small restaurants can also prove to be successful now.


influencer marketing for restaurants
mobile marketing for restaurants

Keep scoping out these customers and retaining these relationships, as they may become your regulars.
Mobile and Email marketing should be a useful tool for you to convert new customers into regulars, as well as for previous customers to be reminded of your presence (we hope you’ve collected their emails and mobiles numbers). Anti-crisis offers should also be on offer (we hope you have developed these already).
Creative designs and proper wording, along with a valuable offer, should help you to stand out in the crowd.
Be consistent, but not annoying with your messages. Add valuable content for your clients (e.g. how to warm up your food from yesterday to have it tasty today). 

  • Improve communication with customers

During this time, it is important to regain the trust of your customers.

Look for changes in your customers concerns and feelings. Pay close attention to the discussion they are having around food. Because food is the secret channel to the heart, these opinions and feelings will most likely be displayed across your brands social media, your competitors social media, and over takeaway or delivery order calls. Take note, as your reactions will protect the relationship between your brand and your customer. Supply chains have been disrupted during this time, so previous produce that was easily available, may not be anymore. Therefore do not over promise, be honest with what you can and cannot do, and show understanding. Draft proactive messages, emails and scripts in order to manage your reactions appropriately.
Email, Instagram and Facebook marketing play the key role in your communication with customers nowadays. You have a variety of tools to interact with your audience: daily stories and regular posts (why not develop a series of daily posts?), share valuable and positive content (oh how we need it now) across social platforms, stream live videos and target ads.


  • Developing new products and expanding into a new market 

As times change, you need to stretch and expand on your product offering. Be creative. Create frozen versions of your meals in bulk, and market them to your regular customers, sell 1L cocktail mixes or start selling your vendors products and take a small cut. In this way, you both benefit. Being innovative during this period of uncertainty is the only way to sell.

Marketing for new restaurant strategies are very similar to what we have laid out above, as restaurants temporarily shutting down are going to need to shift, develop and restart.

marketing for new restaurant
marketing strategies for restaurant business
  • Perform a Brand Audit

While people are still not fully keen on going back to their usual restaurants and cafes outing, and you are very unlikely to be operating at full capacity at the moment, you’ve got plenty of time to focus on some business essentials. One of them is performing an Audit for your coffeshop’s branding. Why do you need that? Well, first, because without even realizing it your business could potentially be lacking differentiation and that can lead to being perceived by customers as any other cafe or restaurant in the area, without anything special to offer. Secondly, if your business is looking for ways to grow its revenue by attracting a new audience, adequate brand development should be the first step to take. Lastly, people don’t just come to you for a salad or a cappuccino - they choose you instead of hundreds of other places because they support brands who share similar values and exude authenticity. In fact, 62% of customers worldwide say their purchasing consideration is driven by a company’s ethical values and authenticity. Having a trust-worthy branding for your cafe should be the ultimate goal for your businesses, and in challenging times like the ones we’re facing today, your loyal customers are the ones who will stick with you & support you.

Selecting the right marketing agency to partner with can truly make or break a business. Of course, you need to make sure the agency has the skills and expertise to carry out well-performing sales driving campaigns, however your chosen agency needs to additionally show flexibility and willingness to adapt according to your brands needs. Here at Brut, we pride ourselves on our ability to communicate with ease and understanding as well as invest our absolute best in our clients growth and success. To learn more about what we can offer you, your brand and your business, click here to inquire.


marketing agency for restaurants
target marketing for restaurants

IV. What you should & shouldn’t do when marketing for a restaurant


1.) Digital Marketing

  • Swap from sit down to take away and delivery service as instructed by the government. Make a CTA button for Delivery and take-away CTA button bold and easy to see on your website and all social media platforms. When someone places an order, send a free low cost price appetizer with the meal to show gratitude for choosing your restaurant.
  • Of course, Sign up for GoJek and Grab food if you are not there yet.
  • Email customers to explain the safety precautions you are taking, to show absolute transparency, evidently gaining trust.
  • Put up a live / recorded video of how you prepare a popular dish on your menu. Use only simple recipes, leaving out the secret ingredients. All you need is your smartphone and the internet.
  • Set up google my business. This is imperative in directing traffic to your site, as it enables businesses to show up on search results for queries specific to your location and cuisine on offer.
  • Does your menu view well online? Ensure you have a sleek, high quality menu - Open menu is good for integration on all platforms.
  • Are you capturing an email list? If not, this is the time to start.
  • Implement an easy booking system for the future like this one.
  • SEO on your website is going to be extremely important now more than ever. So many people are online during this lock down period and in order for them to find your business, your SEO needs to be on point. The keywords used on your site, need to correlate with the keywords your customers are searching for. 
  • Offer a virtual lunch party. Be creative with this. 
  • Partnering with foodie apps could boost your sales.
  • Implement geo targeted ads for your take away meal options. 
  • Contact big bloggers and ask them to taste your food and include you in their articles.
  • Start a blog that includes the start up story and recipes.  Show your staff off and make new announcements here.
  • Mobile ads are extremely important, as customers use their mobile to find restaurants to order food from.
  • Show your customers accurate up to date information on the local health situation. This will show that you are well informed which will build a trusting relationship between you and your customers. Become the “go to” place for customers to turn to when they need valid information about the current situation. They will feel safe to order from you as you have shown that you take precautions seriously. 
marketing plan for a cafe
facebook marketing for restaurants

2.) Offline

  • Include a voucher for future sit down meals. This will keep your restaurant top of mind, when the lock down ends.
  • Offer people these gift vouchers to buy for family and friends. This will push brand awareness.
  • Offer your customers a no contact policy during these deliveries. For example: the delivery can be placed on the doorstep and the doorbell rung.
  • Ask for support from your customers. Ask them to buy from you, support your business and support your staff.
  • Personal hand written notes in the deliveries can go a long way.
  • Give delivery customers a 10% off their next sit down meal, to show your appreciation.

3.) Social

  • Create a photo competition to build UGC.Promote to a lookalike audience on facebook.
  • Start creating new relevant content. Use this time to create “behind the scenes” footage of how your business started, what inspired you to start, virtual interviews with staff members and how they enjoy working at the restaurant. 
  • If you are helping your employees, let your customers know through social media platforms
  • Try new social media platforms, as you have the time to do it! This is the time to analyse whether they may or may not bring in new customers. 
  • Make sure your business information is correct across platforms, articles & the website as it can have an impact on the way Google presents your business to an audience.

4.) Business Development

  • Add a “kids eat for free” policy during this time.
  • Diversify your product. Offer bulk order frozen meals or provide a pre fixed meal option. For singles, couples and families. Try selling DIY cooking sets. A restaurant in America called Guerilla Tacos created a new product - “Taco Survival kit”(comes with toilet paper). This meal contains all the ingredients you need to make tacos for the family. They have been flying like hot cakes.
  • Spend time updating any images of your dishes that you have put off for a while.
  • Implement some new loyalty programmes / referral programmes, as you can gain a following fast through offering benefits and word of mouth.
  • It’s a good time to do a rebranding if you have it on your task list for this year. Consider not only changing your logo, but working on a complete new Brand Strategy that will be used now and after the crisis.
  • Branding for restaurants can also be implemented by extra restaurant merchandise such as mugs, T-shirts and caps with your logo on.
marketing for restaurant owners
marketing ideas for a cafe


  • Do not appear tone deaf.
  • Do not seem as if you are trying to benefit or take advantage of the situation.
  • Do not send automatically created emails that were scheduled months ago that do not relate directly to the current situation.
  • Do not send lots of emails to customers that do not provide useful content. You want to add value to your customers' lives, not annoy them.
  • Do not sit back, remain stagnant and expect the business to just “survive”. You need to adapt.
  • Do not spread the wrong information to get customers to support you.
  • Do not post photos on your social media of people eating together at your restaurant, not adhering to social distancing. We have seen this done. No names mentioned.

V. Marketing ideas restaurants have taken in Bali:

We were curious about what restaurants and cafes in Bali are doing right now about their marketing, and we have researched the most interesting activities. 

It’s reasonable to promote an immune booster drink (like The Shady Shack has) and any sort of fresh food, as we all need vitamins, especially now.

A good way of communicating between a restaurant and it’s customers can be seen in Ginger Moon’s actions. They have posted a video on their platform to explain how they have changed their procedures.

If you can (and we bet everyone can) make a social impact  - it’s definitely a great time to start - you can simply promote takeaway meals and fresh local vegetable packages to support local farmers (like Lavacore and Bali Buda is doing).

And of course, it’s reasonable to stay positive about the future (like Barbacoa) or post motivational content (like Give cafe). Letting your customers know that you are closed for business, is important as you do not want to disappoint anyone arriving at your restaurant during this time and not being welcomed.

To Recap:

This era of uncertainty has made businesses in the industry feel doubtful when it comes to making vital business decisions, given the unpredictable travel and economic situations in Bali. By now it is already clear that the pandemic has irreversibly marked most functions of the restaurant and cafe industry - from calculating supply to kitchen safety precautions. The good news is that takeaway orders haven't ceased (and don't seem like they will anytime soon), and the majority of people haven't given up on eating out.

The question here is: is your business aware of your customers' new needs and pains that resulted from the COVID crisis? Working alongside an expert agency means you will be exposed to a whole new platform of knowledge, that will be entirely focussed on generating more leads and sales. Get in touch now to perfect the art of marketing and customer acquisition by using a professional marketing agency for restaurants and cafes. 


marketing for restaurants and bars