Restaurant advertising outdoors

restaurant advertising outdoors

Restaurant advertising outdoors on billboards, phone boxes and bus shelters has long been recognised as one of the most effective forms of advertising for the food services industry.

Simply put, out-of-home (OOH) advertising is any advertising that greets us after we leave our front doors, and is particularly relevant if you are seeking to market your restaurant brand. Despite apps like Just Eat providing screeds of restaurant listings straight to computer or smart phone, people still base their purchasing decision on local data. And many customers do their research with their feet, making spur-of-the-moment purchasing decisions whilst perusing the high-street.

How you can use OOH to market your restaurant

OOH advertising may be ubiquitous, but for good reason: it is effective. Forbes reported a 2009 study showing that 58% of people surveyed learned about a restaurant that they later visited from billboard advertising. And it’s a great awareness raiser, with 75% of US adults report noticing billboard, transit or street level advertising in the previous month.

Restaurant advertising outdoors: creating a successful campaign

Here are some key elements to consider when creating your campaign:


  • Simplicity of message is best: Do not use more than 7 words.


  • Rather than focusing on a call-to-action, prioritise creating an emotional response in your audience. Once this occurs they will decide which actions they want to take.


  • Don’t use more than one point of contact, if you use one at all. It creates distracting details, and most people know how to google; they will probably just search your ad message or brand name on their mobile anyway.


  • Understand your demographics’ mind-set. A study of millennials showed that there was a strong correlation between brand awareness and favourability.


  • Think local. Most consumers take proximity into account when eating out. Digital OOH allows you to use location tagging to reach out to consumers’ smart phones when they are near your outlet. 50% of 18-34 year olds rank location as a top influencer when choosing a restaurant. When buying advertising space, get a map out and even hit the streets to find the ideal spot to advertise.


  • Make use of the everyday. Everyday street furniture like phone boxes and bus shelters are perfect for restaurant advertising outdoors. They tap into the awareness of your audience as they go about their daily routines. They’ll be using advertising exposure to make future plans. The next time they are roaming the high street for a food fix, repeat exposure to your messaging could clinch the deal and draw them in to your restaurant.

Learn from the best

restaurant advertising outdoorsMcDonald’s are masters of out-of-home advertising. One billboard featured a digital clock displaying the current hour, alongside a simple message that McDonald’s were open for business 24/7. Their messages are super short and memorable, and they make judicious use of bus shelter and phone boxes when placing their ads.

Burger King have a healthy rivalry with McDonald’s when it comes to OOH campaigning. Like their larger competitor, they also target bus shelters, billboards and phone boxes with their ads, often directly referencing their rivalry with McDonald’s.

Gregg’s ‘Nappucino’ stunt saw the famed bakery placing coffee-cup shaped sleeping pods in a park to demonstrate the benefits of power-napping and caffeine. But you don’t need to be as out-there as this to create effective campaigns. Food retailers that advertise their restaurants outdoors make heavy use of 6 sheets and demographically targeted street advertising to build brand awareness, often focusing on their healthier product ranges.

With so many outlets to chose from, restaurant advertising outdoors can help seal the deal and drive customers to your door. Get in touch with us if you want to discuss how your brand can make a big impact with out-of-home advertising.

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