You have worked hard on your restaurant to create a mouth-watering menu and an inviting ambiance – now you need to get customers in the door. Or, maybe you have a well-established restaurant with a loyal customer base but are looking to bring in some new customers. To get new customers and retain your old ones, you are going to need a successful restaurant marketing plan.
Whether you have a large or small marketing budget, you are likely concerned about the best ways to market your restaurant and get the most significant return on your investment. While there is a multitude of ways to market your restaurant, some are inevitably better than others. Read on to learn a few restaurant marketing ideas and beneficial marketing tips to successfully advertising your restaurant.
If you do not already have one, you should create a website for your company. Creating a website for your restaurant is easier than you might think. Many online services allow you to create an impressive site in under an hour. Some of these sites include WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix.
Many customers now use the internet to research a restaurant that interests them, and if you do not have a website, they may be turned off. Your site should include your locations, contact information, times of operation, menu, and pictures of your food and place. The more information you can give people, the better. If you can include features like online ordering and online reservations, people will be even more impressed.
Also, you’ll want to make sure that your website is found when customers are searching for your business. It’s important to focus on the best practices for local SEO. There are plenty of resources and articles to help get you started including this one by Cardinal Digital Marketing: 12 Local Search Trends You Can No Longer Ignore in 2019.
Tip: Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. A recent study found that 95% of users conduct restaurant searches on their mobile devices. Plus, a staggering 64% of mobile restaurant searches were labeled as an immediate conversion or a conversion within the hour.
Social Media Campaigns
In the age of technology, nearly everyone has a mobile device and a social media account, making social media marketing one of the best ways to reach potential customers. There are many ways to utilize these social sites. You can begin by creating an account for your restaurant on all of the major sites, especially the ones who reach the targeted demographic of your customers.
Since 83% of people use their mobile devices to learn more about a restaurant, each account should have relevant information about your restaurants like location, hours, menu, and pictures. Make sure you encourage people to follow you on these sites.
The next step is to post fresh content frequently. The restaurant business lends itself to new posts, as you can quickly update your account with specials, promotions, and more.
Another great way to use social sites is to get customers to do the sharing for you. Create dishes in which the presentation encourages customers to take pictures and share their food. Remind customers to link their posts back to your restaurant through hashtags or tags.
Utilizing Full Service Every Door Direct Mail®
Sending out oversized postcards with beautiful pictures of your food, coupons, and promotions is an excellent way to reach new local customers and get them interested in your restaurant.
Resource: The Complete EDDM® Marketing Checklist
Our Full-Service EDDM® mapping tool allows you to target customers within that five-mile radius of your business. Studies show that 85% of small business customers come from within a five-mile radius, making Every Door Direct Mail® the perfect tool for growing your restaurant clientele.
Learn how to utilize this affordable product and service and ensure a successful EDDM® marketing campaign by downloading our free user guide.
Invite customers to join your email list so that you can let them know about new menu items and promotions. You can then send out regular emails to keep your restaurant fresh on people’s minds. Studies have shown that people who receive promo codes are willing to spend over 30% more than customers who did not get a code.
Remember that you do not want to email too much, as you can turn people off if they feel like you are spamming them. Aim for once a week or so. According to email marketing studies, Tuesdays is the best day of the week to send an email.
I want to do business with a company that treats emailing me as a privilege, not a transaction.” – Andrea Mignolo
Today, 87% of customers prefer to receive restaurant email marketing messages at least monthly – and 63% want ‘em at least weekly. For a happy medium, send 3-4 emails per month.
Word of Mouth
People often come to your restaurant through word of mouth. While you cannot create a word of mouth marketing campaign, you can offer lots of incentives to make people want to share their experience at your restaurant with others.
Start with great food and excellent service, as those are the two biggest things people are looking for in a restaurant. If you offer some technology conveniences like free wifi and online ordering and reservations, that will impress people as well.
If you want to take word of mouth a step further, you can always get in touch with food bloggers, social influencers, and online reviews. You can offer them incentives like a free meal to share your restaurant on their accounts. This will ensure that hundreds or even thousands of people will see your restaurant, all for the cost of a meal.
Along with highlighting your restaurant on social media and Google my Business, a paid advertisement can bring in additional customers. Having an online presence is essential. Including paid ads can help your restaurant get noticed on top of Google.
Many people decide where they will eat based on what shows up on a restaurant app like Zomato or Yelp rather than doing a Google search. Make sure that your restaurant is listed on these apps so that people will see you when they’re looking for a place to eat.
Many of these sites also allow customers to review your restaurant and upload images of your dishes. Make sure to stay on top of these reviews. It is essential to respond to both positive and negative reviews. If you have too many negative reviews, potential customers may be turned off and take their business elsewhere.
By following these tips, you can develop a thorough and successful marketing strategy for your restaurant. The key is to hit your customers from many angles and avenues. Once you implement your strategy, your marketing efforts will pay off and you’ll be the hottest place in town.
Do you have any advertising ideas for restaurant owners? Comment below with your suggestions.