The restaurant industry is an ever-flourishing one, which means competition is fierce, and you will need to stand out in order to be successful. Restaurateurs hear a lot of confusing and conflicting ideas regarding restaurant marketing, but expanding your business is a gradual procedure that responds to fostering efforts from the inside.
A good tactic can be to restrict any promotional ideas that might undervalue your restaurant. What you want to do is build your business on a concrete foundation and not create unmaintainable expectations from customers, like getting food at 50% of the price.
If you are looking for fresh restaurant marketing ideas for your business, then we got some great tips and ideas in store for you.
Get a Functional Website
In the present-day technological era, no one has the time to make calls or go through newspaper ads to see what your business has to offer. One of the first things you need for your restaurant marketing to be effective is an easy-to-use website with a responsive design. This is because almost all great promotional ideas depend on having a website to announce them. People can easily check out your menu, your promotional deals, and other relevant information by checking out your website, so make sure you are publicizing your site on all your promotional materials and stationery.
Use Local Media to Create Enough Hype
Call local news stations, newspapers, magazines, etc. to come for a free meal and do a review or piece on your establishment. Build enough local buzz to get started. Reviews will start appearing on their publications for the whole circulation audience.
Define Your Goals
If you don’t lay out realistic restaurant marketing goals, you will have nothing to focus on and assess your final results with. Decide whom you are trying to reach so that you can map out your strategy to achieve your goals. Unless you know what type of customer to target, you will have to depend on scattershot, inefficient methods of advertising that cost way too much and waste your resources. After identifying your ideal audience, you can start planning on ways to actually reach them in the most efficient ways possible.
Use More Than One Advertising Channel
When carrying out restaurant marketing, a great idea is to first test out present marketing channels to evaluate their effectiveness. A good breakdown for new restaurants is allotting 20% to traditional advertising (radio, TV, directory, newspaper and billboard ads) and 80% of their budget to digital marketing. Don’t forget to refer to the website in all marketing efforts to get cross-promotional benefits.
Step Up Your Social Media Game
If in this age you are not utilizing social media to its full potential, then you are missing out on a lot! Get involved with the various social networks for your restaurant marketing, especially Instagram, and Facebook, and see which one works best for your specific cuisine, concept and customer base. You will want to post content that contains relevant keywords, and helpful information about your restaurant.
If you don’t have the time for social media management, you can always hire experts from companies like SocialBuz to do it for you.
Promote At the Grocery Store
At first glance, this may sound like an odd suggestion, but is very effective. People love supporting local small businesses, and advertising your brand on their shopping cart or the back of their grocery receipt will make you more identifiable in your locality.
Yelp has a tremendous authority in the restaurant industry, which means having a solid support of positive Yelp reviews is like having a swarm of golden geese. Positive customer reviews can do wonders for your business, which is why it is important to work on your customer service.
The most essential thing to remember about Yelp is that even if you do not create an account, people and can and will write reviews about your business. For that reason, you as a restaurant owner should stay absolutely proactive and give your Yelp account a makeover in a way that it works out for you and your restaurant marketing strategy, rather than against you.
This will mean adding as many details as possible, for instance:
- Photos. Lots of them.
- Location – complete address
- Restaurant Hours
- Price range
- Parking, outdoor seating, Wi-Fi, etc.
Another important thing to keep in mind regarding Yelp is feedback management. It is always a good idea to thank Yelpers for writing their reviews, whether they are negative or positive. In case of criticism, always respond in a calm and professional way rather than being all defensive. If you are responding to negative reviews publically, thank the reviewer for their feedback, apologize for their inconvenience, and promise to improve your service in the coming future. You may also want to get in touch with the Yelper privately in order to obtain more information regarding their poor experience and then work on those shortcomings later. If you can, send gift cards to the reviewers who have had less than satisfactory experiences as this gesture will show consideration on your behalf.
Send Out Email Newsletter
Keep in mind that your restaurant newsletter doesn’t have to be sent out on a weekly basis. In fact, users will possibly appreciate it if you don’t flood their inbox with promotional content all the time. Use your email newsletter as a way to revel your success, share promotional deals, or talk about new menu items.
Use Free Social Media Tools
This is especially true if you are an infant business, you probably can’t afford to be generous when it comes to spending on restaurant marketing. But don’t worry because you can always utilize free social media tools to your benefit. Sites such as Instagram and Facebook have roll out business profiles, which feature “contact” call-to-action, giving users a chance to call, text, or email the business.
In addition to the contact option, these business profiles allow access to analytics, also referred to as Insights, offering users access to engagement and impression data. If you use your Instagram profile for your restaurant marketing, you may want to think about converting your personal profile to a business profile to be able to take advantage of these features. The more you know about how your followers are interacting with your content, the better adjustments you can make to enhance your engagement.
In the age of social media, gaining more followers has become the equivalent of having more potential customers. For effective online restaurant marketing, all you need to do is promote your business across all your social media handles. For instance, if you have an active following on Instagram and you want to strengthen it, all you need to do is post content across all your other social media handles, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. and invite your followers there to your Instagram profile. Since they are already following you on a certain social media platform, which means that they are already interested in your restaurant, so offer them another way to connect socially with your brand.
Do not just automatically assume that your posts will reach everyone who is connected to your business on social media. Some people are not as active on their social media accounts while others move away from different platforms. You want to ensure your followers are connected with you through as many social profiles as possible to boost reachability per post.
Set Up Google Alerts
Google Alerts inform you when your restaurant name (or any designated keyword term) pops in a brand new piece of content on the web. This makes it way easier to monitor who is interested in your business, thereby making your restaurant marketing more effective in the future.
Start a Blog
Blogging is a great way to reach out to the masses, build your brand, and market your services. In the current-day restaurant marketing, food blogs have become a crucial component. They offer an opportunity for customers to experiment with your restaurant’s personality and voice. Via a blog, you can share your success stories, struggles, recipes, informative material, and practically anything that you feel will be helpful towards spiking customer interest.
Pay Close Attention to Your Menu
Users love researching online before ordering food from or visiting your restaurant. The key is to not make them struggle in order to find your menu. Publish a visually appealing, up-to-date and readable menu that will instantly answer any questions that customers may have, such as ingredients, price, calories, etc.
Join Hands with a Delivery Service
In present-day’s online-driven age, convenience is the top priority. Numerous online food delivery services modernize the ordering procedure, and internet-savvy people typically love to take advantage of such services. Some customers may even discover your restaurant through such services, which is why it is a good idea to team up with them.
With the abovementioned tips, hopefully, you will be able to revive your marketing game. If you ever feel like getting professional assistance, SocialBuz is an option worth considering. With its well-qualified, experienced and certified experts, SocialBuz works to offer the best marketing services that you truly deserve.