The emergence of digital technology dramatically revolutionized the restaurant marketing landscape. Restaurant proprietors no longer rely on the conventional outlet marketing ideas like word of mouth for marketing. A look at social media and internet proves the above claim as more and restaurant owners take up digital media to market their brands. While some restaurants seem to have got their restaurant marketing strategies spot on, a good number have yet to hit the ground running. Taking into account the cut-throat nature of the restaurant business and roughly 6 out of 10 eateries fail, the need to get your marketing plan right couldn’t be stressed enough. However, quite often outlets offering average dishes succeed where much better restaurants come up short. This post will highlight why success in running an eatery goes beyond offering savory dishes.
Let’s take a look at the 30 restaurant marketing ideas to win more customers.
1. Flaunt Your Staff To Complement Social Media Restaurant Marketing Efforts
In times of robotic support staff and forthcoming self-driving autos, the human component is markedly lacking. Flaunt your team as they work. The sight of joyous, beaming employees does a world of good for your standing, as people long service from cheery workers. Flaunting your happy employees boosts your reputation – happy employees say good things about an enterprise and people take notice.
2. Start a Blog
A blog presents an excellent way to build a fan base and interact with your clients. Moreover, blogs allow trying out your joint’s voice and persona. Share your recipes, amusing stories, struggles, successes and anything that might captivate your followers. A blog is a potentially massive undertaking, but this doesn’t apply across the board. Your blog can be as elaborate or simple as you’d want. Secondly, you need not post regularly – quality over quantity. However, it’s convenient to have the blog ready for times you’ve got significant news or announcement to share.
3. Foster User-Generated Content
Labeled UGC; user-generated content is an excellent strategy to cultivate personal and friendly engagement with users. You may host a photo competition by requesting clients to state their preferred meal at your outlet and share the submissions on a dedicated page(s). In addition, consider rewarding random lucky entrants with a free starter or alternative prize.
4. Food Blogger or Influencer Outreach
Supposing you’re a new joint, generating a buzz and reviews may prove arduous. Inviting food bloggers or influencers to your establishment to get a taste of what you’ve got on offer is one of many under-utilized restaurant marketing strategies. Courteously appeal to the bloggers to try out your outlet and give an account of their experience on their social media platforms. You can’t directly request for an approving review as its downright unethical, nonetheless, it’s acceptable to seek for an unbiased restaurant review. Some influencers might reject your overture, but the more you request, the higher your likelihood of garnering positive response and provoke engagement.
5. Online Reservation Tools
Give your patrons the option of making reservations via an online tool. Customers love when you make their lives a lot easier. Some of these online reservation tools include; Resy, Open Table and Reserve.
6. Source Local Ingredients
Clients love to eat local and using local ingredients increases your fan base and your standing in the community. Consider this option mainly if it’s within your budget.
7. Keep Track and React to Online Reviews
Quite often, small restaurant owners skip or respond unprofessionally to customer reviews on Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google. Reviews impact profoundly on your business; one negative review may put off new or returning clients. For instance, start by setting up a Google alert to help you track what’s mentioned about your outlet. In the case, you get a negative review, respond promptly and in a warm tone. Responding with bitterness worsens the situation. You may express regret for the unfavorable experience or request the reviewer to get in touch with your restaurant at their earliest convenience so give you try and salvage the situation. However, a mindful rejoinder may turn a detractor into an ardent fan as it shows the sort of customer care we hope to run into when dining out.
8. Make Your Site User-Friendly and Sharp
A high number of people look up outlets online before trying them out, and this merely proves the importance of a website. Many restaurant owners forget the reasons clients check up their site; customers check on the phone number, address, hours and menu. As intriguing as your Chinese-inspired course may be, it’s less critical. A user-friendly site contains relevant material presented clearly.
9. Mobile App
Gradually, mobile applications are becoming cheaper for small businesses. Established brands like Dominos have developed mobile solutions that are key to their success strategy. The onset of mobile apps builders affords eateries to design mobile resolutions without breaking the bank. Above all, it enables customers to place orders straight from their handsets lowers operating costs.
10. Check your Online Listings
When potential customers look up for an eatery, you want your name to appear among the first names. Thus, you must ensure your business name appears in many directories to boost its visibility.
11. Look Forward Partake in Local Events and Get Involved
Present residents and visitors alike a reason to pick your outlet over their preferred chains. Are residents taking part in a 10k race? Offer a discount to participants who present their finisher’s medal. In the case of a poll, you can afford cuts to persons who take and share a snapshot of themselves within the precincts of their polling stations. Less established businesses need the backing of locals and visitors too.
12. Send Email Newsletters
Keep in mind, your restaurant email marketing strategy should in no way be geared towards flooding users’ inbox on a daily or weekly basis. A monthly newsletter should suffice.
13. Share Positive Press
When you get positive publicity in a magazine or news outlet, display the publicity via social media and your website. Fans will be quick to share the word, giving you a significant chance of attracting newcomers resulting from the increased trust.
14. Develop and Nurture Your Outlet’s Brand Identity
Building an identity can potentially have a significant effect on the performance of social media marketing for restaurants. Build your brand personality around the target customers. Do your dishes target patrons with a preference for healthy eating? Or does your eatery have more of a beer and wings vibe? Take the time to understand your target clientele and shape your brand to fit their interests. Reflect these interests on your website and social media platforms.
15. Get your Tweets’ Timing Right
Using Twitter for social media marketing for restaurants is a treasure when you get it right. Aim to post your tweets at the most appropriate time as it put you in good stead to impact on empty stomachs. Craft and schedule tweets suitable for a particular time of days like breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
16. Have a Chic, Functional Online Menu
Some customers embark on online research before placing orders. Don’t make visitors struggle to locate your menu – issue a high-quality, up-to-date and straightforward menu. In addition, if you don’t get your online menu spot on and ready for clients, you’ll render your other restaurant marketing strategies useless. Nowadays, customers must access an online menu, or they’ll look for an alternative joint.
17. Seek to Partner With a Delivery Service
In the present-day online-obsessed environment, the ease of use takes center stage. The majority of online delivery services simplify the ordering process, which loyal patrons love to capitalize on.
Think about partnering with services such as:
You may gain new customers through these services.
18. Use Mobile Ads
It’s forecasted that 2018 will have nearly half of Google’s paid clicks come from mobile. Eating joints are front-runners for mobile ads owing to how often users on the move seek nearby dining outlets. Mobile ads are cheaper compared to desktop ads. Interestingly, mobile ads boast excellent conversion rates. Adwords allows for targeting options and mobile optimization that help you derive maximum benefit from your bids. For instance, you can raise your bids at lunch hour or dinner time when users are most possibly to be on the lookout for a diner. Boosting your bids at the appropriate times raises the likelihood of appearing in a particular query. Your ad may appear first in a “pepperoni pizza” query when pizza-hungry users are hinting for a slice. Restaurant marketers can’t miss out on mobile ads. Discover more about restaurant marketing ideas pertaining to mobile ads in this article.
19. Geo-Targeted Ads
Most people prefer to dine close to their residence, and you’ll derive value from gearing your marketing efforts by investing in mainly geo-targeted ads. By ensuring you target customers within a specified radius, geo-targeted as help in saving money by reducing non-relevant clicks. Twitter, Facebook, and Google Adwords offer geo-targeting ad series at zero extra costs. Capitalize on these helpful features to get ads to the most relevant customers. Learn more about restaurant marketing ideas related to mobile ads in this link.
20. Offer Discounts and Offer Coupons
Offering discounts and coupons is almost a guaranteed way to bring in more customers. Offer a free meal to persons in your restaurant email marketing subscribers list. Alternately, you can advertise through Living Social or Groupon to accrue immense publicity, but you’ll pay a pretty penny from your sales to the website, bear that in mind. Learn more about restaurant marketing ideas related to discounts and coupons in this link.
21. Acquire a Food Truck
Obtaining a food truck takes guts and hinging on the type of vehicle you wish to acquire, it’s potentially expensive. Nonetheless, a food truck allows you to reach out to persons you might not usually meet. Such a move may extend your reach, increase your fan base and build positive press such that you might have a good number of people become loyal customers. Learn more about restaurant marketing ideas in this link.
22. Survey your Social Media Demeanor
One of the best and most effective restaurant marketing ideas are Social media marketing and advertising on major social media platforms. Delivery menus and pamphlets no longer work. Usually, outlets with a notable social media presence fare best in the aggressive food industry, overlooking social media is suicidal. Create social media pages on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to share exclusive coupons, discounts, promote news honors and snapshots of new dishes. Setting up accounts is merely half the job – keeping up with daily activities on your social platforms is equally essential. There are numerous free and premium social media management tools you can utilize to this effect like Buffer and Hootsuite. Learn more about restaurant marketing ideas related to social media marketing in this link.
23. Loyalty Programs
Partnering with apps spurs visitors to look up your restaurant through customer loyalty programs and gamification which offer users discounts of a free purchase for visiting a specified number of times.
Popular foodie apps include:
- Loyal Blocks
Learn more about restaurant marketing ideas related to loyalty programs in this link.
24. Look for Like-Minded Businesses for Cross-Promotions
Like-minded could mean an enterprise with a similar audience or a nearby restaurant. An outlet may work attract customer by offering discounts to clients of a nearby bike store. The bike shop may reciprocate by providing discounts to persons who dine at the friendly restaurant.
25. Engage a Digital Marketer
Look to employ the services of a professional digital marketer preferably one with a Facebook badge. A digital marketer will offer content creation, advertising drives, social media campaigns, and monitoring and management of social media accounts. A full-service solutions provider will also offer digital listings management, display advertising, search engine marketing, email marketing, website design and optimization to boost your online presence.
26. Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences
Social media engagement coupled with word of mouth make formidable marketing strategies. Diners tend to share remarkable experiences at an outlet with others. When patrons get a subpar experience, they’re even more inclined to share it. An ambitious restaurant must acknowledge and embody this reality to gear their efforts towards creating a memorable customer experience, through quality dishes and services.
27. Add Elegant, Functional Digital Signage
Whether it’s adjusting your static menu, updating social accounts or digital list; you can never go wrong with digital signage. Signage grabs your clients’ attention and creates a robust and engaging experience for them.
28. Foodie Photos
Instagram users understand the existence of food porn. Possibly the best way to boost your joint’s online presence, using high-quality and hunger-inducing images. The demand for visual content is at an all-time high, and captivating photos across your social media accounts and website are crucial to luring hungry eyes. Hire a professional photographer to take quality snapshots or in the case of budgetary constraints you could use your smartphone. A word of caution – taking great food photos is a lot arduous than it seems, as lighting plays a vital role.
Yelp boasts of remarkable power in the restaurant business and having positive Yelp reviews does wonder for your outlet. Owners need to understand that their restaurants are reviewed even in the absence of a Yelp account. Therefore, for this reason restaurant owners must spruce up their Yelp account for it to work for them rather than against them.
Sprucing up means adding as many details as possible like:
- Store hours
- Tons of photos
- Price range
- Outdoor seating/ Parking/Wi-Fi etc.
We always recommend that you appreciate both negative and positive reviews. For negative reviews mostly, answer politely and in a skillful manner. Moreover, when responding to a negative review in the full glare of the public, it’s wise first to thank the reviewer in question and apologize for their experience and pledge to improve. We also advocate that you get in touch with the reviewer privately to get more information regarding their bad experience. This is one of the best restaurant marketing ideas for new start up restaurants.
30. Go live on YouTube
YouTube and video marketing stands as one of the yet to be fully exploited restaurant marketing ideas despite the perks on offer. Google bots rank sites with video content higher than those without. Video also provides an opportunity for viewers to see the chefs in action which earns the joint the trust of the public.
Now you’re well equipped with a few restaurant marketing tips to get word of your establishment to the world. However, you must remember a few points: Performance determines the prosperity of your marketing plan; thus get all your offline activities spot on. In other words, avoid DIY internet marketing for your restaurant. In addition, engage an expert to stay relevant. We hope you enjoyed reading our restaurant marketing ideas.