After eating at home for so long it’s now likely that everyone’s forgotten where the best places to eat in town are. This is where your restaurant marketing comes in.
These 20 top-notch marketing tips should help you remind old customers how marvellous your restaurant really is and have new diners queuing round the block for a table.
Before setting out any marketing campaign it’s imperative that you work out what kind of restaurant you want to be. Fine dining or sustainable eating? For Vegans or a steakhouse?
Once you’re set on your restaurant brand make sure that all of your marketing material fits accordingly. If it doesn’t, then don’t use it.
Professional Food Photography
You can’t eat with your eyes, but boy can your eyes build up an appetite.
Invest in the use of professional photography services to photograph your creations and the restaurant itself. They say that a photo can speak a thousand words, so you want to make sure that your photos speak positively of you.
Social Media Presence
Make sure you have one and the bigger the better. Put your professional photos to work on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They show off your restaurant and often largely inform a customers first impression of your business.
Social Media Engagement
Regularly update your social platforms with content, like promotional offers or specials. These regular updates will drive engagements with your customers, making them more likely to come and pay you a visit.
Make use of, and encourage, the creation of customer generated content. Having your customers post and tag a photo of their meal on social media is highly effective (and free!) marketing.
Online Reviews (OR)
Provide a platform for your customers to review you online. And encourage them to do so. Be it on Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor or even your own website.
Economic studies within the European restaurant industry have shown a significant and beneficial relationship between positive OR and a restaurants financial performance.
Know how to handle it. Instead of vehemently replying to any negative press, reach out to the customer and ask for constructive feedback. Maybe even invite them for a return visit to try and change their minds? Customers will see, and value, your desire to provide them with increasingly better service.
Google – My Business
Set up a Google – My Business account for your restaurant. Doing so will ensure that all of your details like location, website and contact details will appear on Google when your searched for.
NAC online development
NAC is an acronym for Name, Address and Contact details. Make sure that these are heavily pushed within your online presence as they help to push your restaurant toward the front of Google searches such as “restaurants near me”.
Similarly to social media, this will help to inform a customers first impression. Make sure your website suits your aesthetic, is easily navigable and has a simple yet effective domain name. Put your professional photos to work here too.
A whopping 93% of customers will check out your online menu before making their way to the restaurant. Well, that’s only if they like the look of it. So, make sure they do by having a well-designed menu that promotes all of your best dishes and creations. A company like James Hogg Display will use your online menu and allow you to display it in your restaurant.
Online Delivery and Reservations
As a result if you-know-what, these are now massively important within the restaurant industry. Include them on your website and make sure to market them on your social media platforms and in-restaurant.
It’s a simple and easy way for you to communicate directly with your customers. Tailor these emails to specific customers for maximum returns; for instance, share breakfast offers with those that are on an early commute.
Partner with 3rd Party Delivery Platforms
Let companies like UberEats and DoorDash deliver your food and provide your restaurant with regular exposure to a huge number of users.
Incentivise your customers to visit regularly with loyalty reward schemes. Simple and easy schemes are often the best. We all know how annoying it is to have to remember to carry round all of your loyalty cards, so make them mobile or online if possible.
Personalising the rewards adds a nice touch and shows your appreciation to those that do visit regularly.
Offers & Promotions
They’re simple but very very effective. Who can resist a two-for-one pizza offer for them and their partner on a Thursday evening?
Local Community Marketing
Use local colloquial language and photographs within your marketing material to specifically appeal to those in your local area. These adverts (tend) to improve your ROI as they speak directly to those that are likely to visit.
Use local ingredients and let your local community know about it!
They boost your reputation within the community and dining at your restaurant provides customers with the opportunity to re-invest in their local area (and people like investing in themselves).
Show off your Staff
Highlight to your customers the personable and friendly nature of your restaurant and it’s staff. It will help to boost customers perception of your service and friendliness, particularly after a long 18-months with very limited social interaction.
Start a Food Blog
Blogs enable you to share with your customers the kind of restaurant that you are and regular blog entries will help to develop a rapport between you and your diners.
They also provide insightful and interesting content to share your social media platforms.
Share Positive Press
Maximise any positive press that you receive by showing it off as much as possible. Don’t be shy, let people know how good your restaurant really is.
This advice has come from Toronto’s leading HOSPITALITY BUSINESS BROKERS™, CHI Real Estate , who help clients buy and sell restaurants and commercial properties.
Interesting Related Article: “A beginner’s guide to customer engagement and building customer loyalty“