ChiakFREE team has put together a list of 13 affordable marketing ideas to Improve Malaysian food restaurant business online that you can use to fill up your eatery!

According to the report of National Restaurant Associations, more people are eating out more frequently. Your restaurant business will see an uptick in sale this year. Are you feeling this momentum? If yet, there are some ways that ChiakFREE would like to suggest to make sure some of that newly flowing cash comes into your restaurants/café.

Restaurant business online is Geo targeted business in nature. Thus it’s important to get the name of your brand out there locally and think of ways to give back to the community.

1. Donate to Charities

Your restaurant can team up with local charity to provide food for the charity activity such as their press conference or annual gala. Or maybe you can provide a setting for the charity to volunteer and give back to the society. That is a great PR value for your restaurant business.

Host an event

An interesting themed event will help your restaurant business to attract crowd out of the usual circle. Hosting an event also gives your customers an added incentive to revisit your restaurant.

2. Activate a customer appreciation campaign

Show customers that you care about them. Offer deals on food and drinks to get people lining up at the door. This creates crowd attention. At your appreciation campaign, you can gather the database of your active customers by asking them to participate in campaign such as lucky draw. In Malaysia, our marketing partner LoyalJelly is giving great value in this. Customers just have to use their mobile phone to scan the QR code and enrol the campaign and they can see live lucky draw through their phone.

3. Have a grand opening

If you just opened your doors, host a grand opening. The ‘festive atmosphere’ is a simple way to encourage people to check out a new restaurant nearby. Be friendly; serve with your best hospitality, that’s a good impression to begin with. Also consider offering a sampler platter so that the comers can taster several dishes. Ask them check-in on their social media and give you some good reviews.

4. Your restaurant, a choice venue for wedding or theme party

Consider hosting a party centered around an event like the Euro Cup. Football fans like to gather and celebrate their favourite team. To make sure you pack the house for your events, here are a few advertising suggestions to get the word out:
– Post the event pictures or videos on social media such as your Facebook Page, Instagram and Youtube.
– Have an eye catching outside signage
– Consider investing in banner and hang on the visible road junction nearby. Choose for places that have high traffic and always traffic jam. They will see it when they stop and wait.
– Give existing customers a drink coupon for an upcoming event
– Ask your employees, family and friends to share the event on their social sites
– Do a Facebook event page and invite all your customers and their friends
– Generate coupon of the upcoming event on
– Create event on
– Share on Chat apps group such as Whatsapps, Line, Wechat, Telegram, Snapchat.

5. Try Social Media advertising

Social media is a powerful tool that can attract new customers. It also acts as reminders for your customers to come back. Most restaurants have a social media presence, but spending a little money on advertising can increase your fan base and engagement especially if you are doing targeted traffic from 3K Universe, the interaction you receive is from accurate group of people who are interested in food your restaurant offers.
Here are a few options

6. Facebook Marketing


Boost ads on Facebook can help you to reach out to targeted customers nearby. Slice the audience according to the content of your marketing material. Posting large and attractive image and show it to the demography of population that favours your restaurant business. Reward them when they take action and show up in your restaurants, then you are able to convert online traffic to your offline business setting.

7. Instagram Marketing


Instagram is a social media platform owned by Facebook now. On Instagram, people are looking out for nice pictures. Pictures that show of taste of living or lifestyle usually can attract very much attention. Play around with the relevant keyword hash tag you can fetch decent numbers of followers over time. With little budget, you can set up Instagram advertisement campaign with your Facebook Ads account to yield better response.

8. Email Marketing

You got them enrolled as your membership with a treat of 10% off their bill, for example. Now you have their email addresses. Don’t waste this channel of marketing. It’s free and effective. Send them some offers but not too much. Don’t fall into the category of spamming, so you just have to do it smartly. Personalize your email so they don’t feel like it’s robot from the other end. Give them a sense of personal touch, be their friend.

Create restaurant business directory listings online

Help customers find your restaurant business online by creating a business listing sites. Think of these like the modern-day of yellow pages. As the eye balls are on mobile phone nowadays, every business should list on their local business listing especially those specific for your type of business.
You wouldn’t want to list your restaurant business in, that’s too much categories and miscellaneous listing that could harm your business or become a bait for potential frauds.

9. Yelp

yelp has entered Malaysia in 2015. Yelp is one of the biggest and popular online directories for restaurants famous in the united states and many countries. Mainly because of its review system. It is not only provides customer with your restaurant business information, it also allows customers to rate your place and service.

We know that sometimes restaurant businesses hate reviews especially those customers who like to exaggerate their experience. That’s the trend, restaurant business owners! We know that you can’t delete those comments and they are unfair to you restaurant business sometimes, but we can handle it wisely to reduce the impact of damage on your reputation. The good news is that you can claim your business listing. Make good use of the information such as the visitor statistic to plan on your next business strategy. You can only take those negative reviews as a suggestion for your restaurants improvement.

10. Foursquare


You’ve seen people “check-in” to places in your facebook feed, right? You can set up an account on Foursquare so your customer can check-in while they eat. They can post pictures of the dishes and their experience review on your foursquare listing.

11. Facebook Places places

Facebook, the social media giant wants people check in with Facebook. Facebook gathers all the places that people check-in. They are actuall a facebook page other than you own page. It’s called Facebook Places. As they were created by the public, the name and information may be incorrect or having a multiple pages of the similar name. As a restaurant business owner, you better claim your Facebook Places listing. So that you are aware of the activity, comment writing and you can respond to the bad reviews immediately. On top of that, it’s better that you merge the duplicated page and stay focus with traffic. At ChiakFREE, we help local restaurant business manage their Facebook places and pages.

12. Google Place


Being the Big Brother of the search engine, Google, make sure your restaurants are listed on Google. Claim your Google place. That allows you have the ownership of it. Google place is very helpful when it comes to local SEO. Imagine when customers search for your restaurants on Google, and Google shows up your restaurants first thing on their browser. Now only that, Google place will also show the information of your map direction, operation hours, telephone numbers and nice pictures of your restaurant business online. Make good use of local SEO and help your customers find you. Contact ChiakFREE at [email protected] for more info.

13. ChiakFREE | Malaysia Based Social Food and Dining Directory


List in local F&B directory is crucial. Local directory means a platform of similar business nature made from Local for the Local businesses. ChiakFREE is a eatery listing platform that help food & beverage businesses to get social media exposure online. They focus on Malaysian restaurants and all type of eateries from Chinse, Korea, Japan, Nyonya, Western, Café, Bakeries, Pub, Bar, Bistro, Wine House, Pizza, to local street food. If your targeted customers are from Malaysia, you should list your restaurant in It’s free of charge their team has sophisticated marketing tools customized for your restaurant business. ChaikFEE is an innovative start-up from Penang, aims to help local Malaysia eateries to get more visibility and presence online.

What kind of marketing tools do you use to get your customers in the door? Share your thoughts amd experiences with other restaurant owners in the comment box below. Please share it aroun

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