Create Partnerships with Local Businesses


I am often asked, “how can you create a database when you don’t have a list to begin with?” This is particularly pertinent when you are struggling and people aren’t coming into the restaurant.

One thing you can do is, form partnerships with the other businesses in your local area. In other restaurant marketing tips, I discuss that most people who will dine at your restaurant are coming from within 3-5 kms of your restaurant. Other businesses that are located within that area are going to be attracting those same people (your target market). What if you went into a relationship with those businesses where they promote you and you promote them?

For example, if there was somebody in your local neighbourhood who’s an accountant or a solicitor, maybe you could do a deal with them where they can send out a letter or an email to their client list and offer them a free bottle of wine when their clients come to dine in your restaurant?

It would basically go this way: the letter or email will come from the person with whom you have the deal or partnership with. They would say to their clients, “Because you’re a great customer of mine, I have paid for a bottle of wine for you at my favourite restaurant. All you have to do is, take this letter or email to the restaurant when you dine within the next month and there’s a bottle of wine there on me.”

For the solicitor (or whoever you had partnership with) that looks really good because they are giving away a bottle of wine and… For you, it generates new business coming in, people who you can then get onto your database.

We have worked in this way with a restaurant that was in an extremely difficult position to market; they were in a very remote area with only 16 houses around them. We helped them build a massive database by encouraging them to go out to the local businesses in their area and doing this exact marketing strategy. They ran competitions where all those businesses donated a prize, (including that restaurant) and then all of those businesses collected a list of entrants who wanted to win the prize pool. Those lists were combined and contained thousands of people's details. This then became the marketing database for all of the businesses involved.

This list was marketed to by us for that restaurant and it was incredibly effective. (I am pretty sure that the other businesses are still thinking about what to do with the list. One day they will market to it when they aren't too busy - our clients have made hundreds of thousands of dollars by marketing to that same list in the meantime).

All businesses struggle at times! Those owners who are struggling will be interested in looking at various ways to promote their business. So, reaching out to people like that is a great way of:

  • Growing your Restaurant Business.
  • Growing your database.
  • Getting new people in WITHOUT having to pay for advertising
  • Building relationships with other business owners in the area.


  • This is a new business strategy.
  • Contact local businesses.
  • Make an offer, for them to promote your business to their clients.
  • This works!