Eight Ways to Create a Local Marketing Strategy for your Hotel Restaurant

a photo of Molly Weinberg

Molly Weinberg

5 min read

Mar 21, 2024

Eight Ways to Create a Local Marketing Strategy for your Hotel Restaurant

Your hotel restaurant may rival independent eateries in attracting travelers, but if the sole focus of your F&B strategy is to get “heads in beds” you’re likely missing out on a huge demographic — locals. 

When your hotel F&B marketing plan caters to travelers and locals, you generate stronger brand loyalty and retention, consistent year-round revenue and invaluable word-of-mouth marketing.

Below we’ll dive into the most important elements of building a local hotel marketing strategy. Learn how to identify your local audience and craft tailored experiences and marketing campaigns that draw them in and keep them coming back. 

1. Create Event & Experience Programming That Attracts Locals

Done right, food and beverage can be one of your most effective hotel marketing campaigns. Get creative from both a guest experience and marketing perspective to authenticate your events programming to your surroundings. 

SH Hotels & Resorts builds innovative F&B concepts around the world that don’t just drive hotel revenue from travelers, they solidify a reputation from locals as a must-visit dining destination through unique, memorable events. 

When brainstorming experiences, Lena Sotnick, Executive Director of F&B Marketing for SH Hotels & Resorts, tells us that they consider the culture, the demographics and the buyer personas of the people who reside in the area.

“[We create] unique experiences that are true to us as a brand while also allowing the local properties the freedom to look at who’s doing what in their communities and how we can leverage that to create authentic local experiences,”

An example of SH Hotels’ tailored 1 Kitchen event page.

Learn more about how SH Hotels & Resorts uses community marketing to create F&B venues that serve an 80% local customer base. 

Hosting F&B events is also one of the most effective strategies for generating consistent press. For example, Crown Sydney hotel recently leveraged their F&B venues for a series of Taylor Swift-themed activations for the pop star’s tour debut in Sydney. More than 500 locals and travelers alike flocked to the hotel for their Eras Tour High Tea — and the press loved it too

local hotel marketing strategy taylor swift event

For some more inspiration, below are six actionable strategies to attract locals to your venue using community-inspired events.

Develop a seasonal tasting menu of locally sourced fare, calling out any partnerships with local businesses and purveyors by name. Build buzz by marketing these menus across your social media platforms and hotel websites.
Create a “secret” locals-only menu that’s only available on certain days and to guests with a local address or ID.
Partner with a renowned local celebrity chef for an exclusive “Chef’s Table” event or collaborate with your sommelier to create a wine-pairing menu and invite the local press for coverage.
Use the holidays to host special events for families, such as brunch with Santa, a Halloween costume contest, or a Thanksgiving-themed dinner party that supports a local food pantry.
Host a cooking class for local business groups in search of team-building activities or for parents and kids on the weekends.
Team up with local bookstores to host a book signing, offering a special menu before and after the event.

Locals who enjoy these collaborations and special offers become your best marketing tools. If they have a memorable experience at your hotel and with your brand, they’re more likely to recommend you to their out-of-town friends and leave positive online reviews. 

2. Lean Into Local Traditions, Preferences and Demographics

Embracing your surroundings not only attracts new potential guests, it cements your brand as a local staple. Let your community inspire your menu and marketing ideas, so guests near and far feel at home.

“As we look at our cocktail menus, we’ll always include our signature sustainable cocktails, but the rest of the menu is driven by the local community, the ingredients you can get there, and the different inspirations the beverage team takes from the community,” Lena says.

Integrating with your local market can inform more than just your menu, it allows you to create personalized hotel marketing plans that appeal to your target audience. 

To identify your target market, study your local competition and track guest data to uncover trends. Take note of annual events and traditions common in your area, regional delicacies, and competitor buyer personas. With data, it’s easier to define the guests you’d like to target and the marketing tools you’ll use to get them through your doors. 


SevenRooms hospitality CRM, marketing and operations platform automatically collects guest data about your F&B diners to help you better understand who your guests are and what they love, at scale. 

3. Partner With Local Influencers

If you find the right personality, influencer marketing can skyrocket your online presence — it’s one of the biggest marketing trends for a reason. 

Just one well-timed social media post advertising your venue as the “best hotel” or “best restaurant in [city]” can funnel more customers and website traffic to your booking engines and pricing pages than your best online reviews ever could.

For example, Boston-based food influencer, Bostonfoodgram dubbed the Mandarin Oriental as the best place to “staycation” in the city on Instagram. The post featured hotel amenities along with drool-worthy shots of room service and a meal at Ramsay kitchen.

Instagram post hotel marketing F&B

Pro Tip

Influencer marketing campaigns can be expensive, and sometimes, micro influencers are better for creating detailed “real-time” testimonials locals trust. This is because micro influencers often have a smaller, more defined audience — perfect for engaging your local community.

4. Develop Localized Social Campaigns

When tailored to your neighborhood, social media marketing can be an effective digital marketing strategy. There are several ways hoteliers can localize their online marketing efforts for maximum effect.

Search for local hashtags with high traffic potential and add them to your posts. Free online tools like and Trendsmap can help you find trending keywords for your city, country, region and market.
Identify the top local publications and papers from around town and consider how you can collaborate on a PR strategy. Remember, your events and creative offerings present an unlimited supply of press opportunities. Invite local writers to experience your restaurant, so that when you wow them with the experience, they’ll want to write about it.
Geo-target your messaging to promote local specials or events on Facebook and Instagram. Select specific locations (within 10 miles of your business) for hyper-targeted outreach. Paid search ads on Google or Bing can also target audiences by location, so your keyword ads will only appear to customers in your area.

5. Optimize Your Hotel Restaurant Listings 

Our recent research discovered that 33% of consumers discover and book restaurants via Google, and 29% via social media. Therefore, it’s imperative that your hotel website and your restaurant pages are listed online accurately and are optimized for search.

To increase visibility in local search queries, optimize your Google Business listing by adding a booking URL, targeted keywords, updated contact information and make sure your landing pages and menus are mobile-friendly. Responding to all guest reviews in a timely manner also helps ensure your venue maintains a solid online reputation.

6. Promote and Reward Direct Bookings

As you refine your hotel search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you’ll likely find that your hotel and restaurant pages will rank higher in search engine results. Make sure your booking pages are optimized to source the additional revenue that comes with such positioning. 

direct booking platform is best for maximum profit because you don’t have to pay commission fees to third-party sites. 

Rewards guests who book directly by offering special discounts, incentives and even upgrades. With a fully-integrated hospitality CRM and direct reservation platform like SevenRooms, guest data is collected automatically allowing your team to create more personalized guest experiences and offers. With a robust guest database you can also create customer segments like “regulars” or “local diners” to tailor your marketing efforts  

7. Localize Your Email Marketing

Email marketing remains a staple in the marketing toolbox because it is one of the most effective ways to stay in front of your target audiences — if they’re opened and read. 

Forgo mass email sends and create a series of short, segmented emails sent only to guests interested in that type of content. For example, promote your loyalty program to a diner who visited twice in the last month or your weekly takeout specials to past online orderers. For local diners, you might send monthly emails that feature new menu items, recipes, behind-the-scenes stories with your chefs and local partners and upcoming events. 

Targeted, relevant email campaigns get more engagement. Choose an email provider that tracks core metrics specific to restaurants in addition to open and click-through rates, like reservations, covers, online orders and revenue. SevenRooms’ Email Marketing software helps you segment guests (location or otherwise), track performance and personalize templates, so you can send better emails to more people.

Pro Tip

The results of your email campaigns depend largely on your email list. Make it a priority to collect email addresses from your locals. Display a QR code or business card drop box at your stand to encourage people to sign up. 

8. Be An Active Part of the Community

Customers pay closer attention to brands that give back to their communities. Restaurants can win the hearts of socially-conscious consumers by sponsoring community and charity organizations.

When looking for community partnerships that generate customer loyalty, it’s important to do it in a way that makes sense for your brand. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Sponsor a community sporting, music, or gaming event. If the event has a sizable enough crowd of locals, it could be worth the cost of locking down a food truck.
Connect with local schools or universities to help mentor youths in the kitchen and teach them about a career in hospitality. Or liven up your decor by featuring student artwork on your outlet’s walls.
Surprise local workers with lunch by coordinating with a local school, hospital or non-profit to arrange a date, time, and menu. An extra plus if you can capture photos to use as social content!
Host a stand or food truck at community fairs and events. If your community has a regular farmer’s market, consider being a meal option for people doing their shopping.
Support a local organization with creative monthly initiatives to collect donations. For example, donate 20% of sales of a ‘local’ cocktail to a neighborhood charity.
When the kitchen is closed, lend your space to local community organizations. Or host a “Dinner with a Cause” event, where a percentage of the proceeds benefit a designated organization.

Tapping Into the Power of Local Hotel Marketing

These tips are just the beginning when you are thinking about how to reap the benefits of your local audience. Once you capture your locals, it’s time to think about how to keep them coming back!

Check out our playbook, “Hotel F&B: Local Marketing – Unleash the Revenue Potential of Locals” for more help tailoring your outreach and using F&B to engage with local audiences. 

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