One way for niche restaurant operators to attract more traffic is to explore co-branding with another restaurant that has a complementary rather than competing menu. A recent series of articles in Fast Casual discussed the pros and cons of these arrangements. While the article focused on well-known quick serve restaurants, cobranding could work with small locally owned establishments as well.
Most manufacturers have been accustomed to selling through a number of retail partners. As retailers continue to consolidate, both online and offline, manufacturers are seeing the power dynamic changing and that is forcing a change in marketing strategy. Going forward, manufacturers will be exploring unique and exclusive relationships with their retail partners.
If your clients are hesitant to launch a new marketing campaign because of the down market, you might be able to convince them to share the costs of a co-branding campaign.