Restaurant marketing is a magical thing. It spreads the word about your business, tempting customers to keep coming back for more. It generates interest in your restaurant, showing all the cool new things you have going on. It builds trust with the public.
If you’re ready to reap the benefits of restaurant marketing, get started today with these 10 easy tips:
1. Show Off Your Food
You know your food is beautiful, and now you have Instagram to share it with the world. If photography isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry! With a few tips, you could snap a professional-looking photo with your phone:
- Natural Lighting: Cozy up to a window for natural lighting that will make your dish shine.
- Rule of Thirds: Balance your pictures by using the rule of thirds when lining up the shot.
- Close-Up: Fill the frame by taking a close-up that brings the dish into focus.
- Angles: Switch it up with some shots from the side, overhead, or a 45 degree angle.
2. Check Your Online Listings
You would be surprised how many places on the web your restaurant might appear. It’s critical for that information to be accurate and for your customers to be able to find you. Besides your website, remember to check Google, Yelp, Yellow pages, Facebook, Trip Advisor and other sites that list your business.
Audit your info listings at least once per year to ensure everything is up to date. We can easily automate the process with our listing maintenance service that cleans up your listings and keeps them updated across over 20+ sources.
3. Keep In Touch With Customers using an Email Marketing Program
Email marketing has quickly taken the restaurant industry by storm. It gives owners full control of their message and is a cost-effective way to promote your specials and events. At $48 for every dollar spent, the return on investment is one of the highest you’ll find on any marketing channel.
Not sure how to get started? That’s where we come in!
We’re masters at email marketing and can help build your audience, plan an effective campaign strategy and design a beautiful email template that’s easy to view and functional on every platform. We take care of it all.
4. Manage Reviews
Reviews are the bread and butter of the restaurant industry and can make or break a business. Unfortunately, you may find yourself dealing with a bad review at some point. These three steps can help you turn it around:
- Respond: You can’t let a bad review sit unattended – it seems like you don’t care about your customer experience.
- Be Professional: Acknowledge the customer’s complaint and remain calm, factual, and polite.
- Make It Right: An apology can go a long way. Also consider offering the customer a discount or free appetizer for their trouble.
Bonus Hack for Managing Reviews: Be proactive! Managing reviews is much easier when you can view them before they’re shared with the public.
Triggering an email campaign that sends a thank you message to customers and requests a review of your restaurant is an easy way to manage feedback. You can share the positive ones online and deal with the negative ones privately.
5. Play Up Your Specials on Social Media
Social media has been a restaurant marketing favourite for years. To get the most out of your posts, follow some of these social media best practices:
- Be visual: Post a vibrant photo or video to grab your followers attention as they scroll through their feed.
- Be timely: Focus on posting during peak times when people are thinking about food, like an hour before your lunch or dinner rush.
- Be engaging: Engage with your audience by asking them questions. Run a poll asking about their favourite signature dish or what drink they’re in the mood for that night.
6. Get Featured on a Food Blog
A good review from a reputable blogger can build credibility for your brand. If they have a strong following, their post about your restaurant could catch the attention of a much wider audience. Soon, their loyal followers will be knocking down your door to try that Instagram-worthy dish.
Reach out to a local food blogger and politely ask if they would be open to reviewing your restaurant. Entice them with a free meal or appetizer in exchange for an objective opinion featured on their blog.
7. Revamp Your Web Site
Your website is like your storefront on the Internet – you want to make a good first impression. Set your site up for success with a few small updates, like:
- A sleek new design that’s easy to navigate on desktop and mobile devices and highlights your specials.
- Your full menu so viewers can decide what they want to try when they visit.
- Online ordering, a sales-boosting feature that’s spreading like wildfire in the restaurant industry.
- Optimized SEO to increase your rankings in Google searches.
If you’re not sure how to update a website, we can work with you to come up with a functional design and strategy that’s cohesive with your brand.
8. Sponsor a Local Team
Show your community spirit and support a league or team in the area. Host a weekly or monthly fundraiser, letting patrons know that a percentage of sales is going to help the local team.
Go all out for the promotion by sporting the team colours and inviting players to come in with their families. Pair your fundraiser with another event, like a trivia night or karaoke contest, to add another level of fun while you help the community.
9. Start a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are a great way to drive repeat business while showing appreciation for your customers. Keep it simple with a punch card that tracks your customer visits, or go digital with a loyalty program app that your customers can download on their mobile device.
While running the program, you’re also gaining valuable marketing insight, like how often patrons are visiting and why. Information like this can be used when planning your next restaurant marketing strategy.
10. Create a Marketing Calendar
Marketing calendars are an easy solution for organizing your social media content. Brainstorm 30 to 50 updates ahead of time and keep the content in a simple spreadsheet with links and images. Then copy and paste to your platforms when you’re ready.
With a little research, you can celebrate some fun holidays on your newsfeed. To get those creative juices flowing, here are some upcoming holidays:
December 1: National Pie Day
December 9: National Pasta Day
December 12: Gingerbread House Day
December 15: National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
December 20: National Sangria Day
These restaurant marketing tips are just the beginning. If you’re ready to take your restaurant marketing strategy to the next level, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.