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How local restaurants can harness the power of OOH to bring in more customers

By Rajiv Raghunath - September 20, 2023

UK OOH operator 75Media presents a guide on how local restaurants can get the best out of OOH advertising

Local restaurants are missing a trick when it comes to communicating with would-be customers by not seeing the potential of outdoor advertising, according to experts.

UK’s outdoor advertising operator 75Media analysed recent data from industry body Outsmart, which looked at the top spending industries when it comes to out of home roadside advertising.


The top three sectors using roadside advertising in the first half of 2023 were revealed to be*:

  • Entertainment and leisure – 29.9% of total spend
  • Drink – 12.1% of total spend
  • Food – 11.0% of total spend

Of the top 10 organisations spending the most on roadside advertising in the first six months of 2023, three were national chain restaurants. McDonald’s took top spot, KFC was in third place and Subway in ninth. Between them they spent over £61million on roadside advertising during that time – which suggests the big chains know billboards are a medium which works well to bring in the sales.

In such a competitive sector as hospitality, getting seen and driving customers is not easy – which is why 75Media has pulled together a guide to billboard advertising for local restaurants

Joe Lawson, Sales Director at 75Media commented: “We work with lots of restaurants, from chains to individual local eateries. The initial challenge when it comes to local, independent businesses is that they often talk themselves out of even trying out of home (OOH) media. They assume it’s not for a business of their nature or size. But actually, a well targeted digital or classic billboard can make a huge impact, reaching thousands of people every day, as a measurable and cost effective marketing activity. It’s great for something as visually appealing and location-driven as dining out. Another benefit of OOH is it can’t be skipped or fast-forwarded too. But of course a campaign has to hit the right spot when it comes to branding, information and being memorable – so we thought a guide for local restaurants would be useful to those who may not have tried the medium before.”

Ten of the top tips from the 75Media guide include: 

  1. Highlight Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – in such a competitive sector, what makes you stand out? Why should diners visit you above anyone else?
  2. Use high-quality images - food and drink are the ultimate sensory experiences, and visual appeal is very important. The sight of a juicy burger, a refreshing cocktail, or a decadent dessert, photographed well, can make mouths water and stomachs rumble. Research has shown that people rate images of food as more appetising when they are brighter, bolder colours and have higher contrast levels, so bear that in mind.
  3. Where are you? – it sounds simple, but make sure people know where you are, whether your advert features a little map or explains in words where you are.
  4. Fonts matter – use an easy to read font and make sure writing is of a sufficient size to be seen from every approach to the billboard.
  5. Everyone loves a special offer – so make sure you shout about any happy hours, deals or discounts. This is especially important in the current cost of living crisis and might be the difference between a potential customer choosing you or the restaurant down the road.
  6. Be seasonal – we’re naturally drawn to different things at different times of year. In a heatwave we want to be refreshed. In cold weather we want to be comforted. Use your billboard to announce new items on the menu. You should also celebrate local ingredients or partnerships as this becomes more important to more consumers.
  7. Review and testimonials – had a positive review in the local paper, or got a consistent score of 4.9 on your review service? Then tell people! But make sure they’re credible and you can back them up.
  8. Create a catchy strapline – a brief and catchy tagline can stick in the brain and work wonders.
  9. Make it personal – people often return to a restaurant for their staff as much as their food. If you’re proud of your team, make them part of the advert. 
  10. Rotate it – if budget allows you could try a digital billboard which enables you to show different adverts at different times – perhaps changing for the breakfast crowd vs dinner. An advert hitting someone at the right time is more likely to drive action. By Q1 this year there were 12,300 digital roadside billboards across the UK, compared to 3,000 just five years ago – so there may just be one right where you need it.

To access the free guide for local restaurants go to: 


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