You cannot market effectively unless you keep a firm tab on your competitor. Go to your competitor and have a meal there, this way you will know what is there strength and weakness and you can identify your own in comparison. It will enable you to market tactfully and bring forward your strengths which will be valued by the customer.
One of the best ways to market without spending a lot is to generate word of mouth. When the customers come in for a meal, make sure that you present is beautifully, it is deliciously cooked and the waiter is courteous to the customer. Offer bite size samples of your products complimentary. This way they will get to know about new products too. Also once a week take free samples to some grocery store or any other business and also give out your flyers.
Make a deal with a local school to let you supply the lunches in the cafeteria. Give an option of two different lunches and make sure both are fresh, tasty and healthy. This will give you experience to cater large groups and will build a good repute. Keep the price low so that the kids can easily afford them. Also put posters of any new deals of your restaurant in the cafeteria. By giving good lunch to the school children, you will build contacts with their parents and the school staff. This will increase your potential customers.
Keep an updated database of your customers. Give membership cards to the senior citizens offering 10 percent discount on breakfasts as seniors are usually early birds and enjoy this meal. Keep a mailing list so that you can email any future promotions to your existing and potential customers. Give a free coupon for a cupcake when the customers pay the bill, this will keep them coming back.