Restaurant marketing can take up a lot of time for restaurant owners. It's hard to attract and keep customers in your restaurant business when you don't have much money to spend on advertising. Many other restaurants are trying to do the same thing.
To do a good job with restaurant marketing, making a plan with the money and time you have is essential.
You need to keep people thinking about your restaurant and get the most out of the money you spend. In this article, you'll find some restaurant marketing ideas and strategies to help you market your restaurant and make it more popular.
Importance Of Restaurant Marketing Strategy
What Is A Restaurant Marketing Plan, and Why Is It Important?
First of all, you need a restaurant marketing strategy; we know it might sound intimidating, but we will help give you some restaurant marketing ideas!
We're not talking about a full-on professional restaurant marketing plan but more of a DIY marketing plan that will be clear to you and keep you on track!
A restaurant marketing strategy is a plan that includes necessary actions that will help your restaurant attract more customers!
You can have many different marketing strategies within the restaurant industry depending on the population of your location, your audience, your budget and so on.
Using this information, you can understand which platforms and restaurant marketing strategies to use, like do you need to do social media advertising, google ads, or do you need to focus on organic search?
A restaurant marketing strategy is essential because, as a restaurant owner, it will be a guide for you whilst you create or refine your brand identity, gain brand awareness and stand out in a crowded market, gain loyal customers and increase your traffic and much more.
Creating A Restaurant Marketing Plan
What Makes A Great Restaurant Marketing Plan?
Your target audience
Restaurant owners must consider who they want to sell their food to or the demographics (age, gender etc.) of the people living in the local area.
Try to understand the elements that will help catch your target audience's attention and which platforms they are on.
It's important to prepare your branding according to your target audience.
You've built your brand according to customers. It is vital to keep a strong brand identity. This includes everything from the restaurant's logo and design to its menu and overall atmosphere.
A clear and consistent brand identity helps the restaurant stand out and makes it easier for customers to remember and recommend.
Effective use of social media is also crucial for a great restaurant marketing plan. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide an opportunity to connect with customers. You can showcase the restaurant's unique features and build relationships with followers.
Finally, you should include a mix of both traditional and digital marketing strategies. It might consist of tactics such as advertising, promotions, public relations, and email marketing, as well as newer methods like influencer marketing and user-generated content.
Getting Started With Restaurant Marketing All Necessities
Build An Easy-To-Use Website That's Mobile-Friendly.
Before anything else, your website is the most crucial step in your restaurant marketing efforts. It helps attract and retain customers in the digital age. Think of it as your restaurant's ID, your number-one representative in your restaurant marketing strategies.
An easy-to-use website is critical within the restaurant industry. Potential customers may not be great with a computer, so keeping the experience smooth is vital.
You can showcase your restaurant's unique features and establish your restaurant's brand identity and credibility. It's also essential for your customers to find information quickly.
Also, with more people using their mobile phones to search for restaurants, having a website that needs to be optimised for mobile devices can turn potential customers away.
A well-designed website can convey a sense of quality and attention to detail, which can build trust and confidence in the restaurant and help with local SEO.
Wix is a good website builder for newbies and, well, everyone! You can also easily connect your social media to your website!
Read about UX design best practices, so your website is more enjoyable and easy to navigate.
Use your brand colours and voice on your website to strengthen your brand identity.
Keeping your image file sizes small is vital for your page speed. It's best to keep it simple and stick to small file sizes for at least the top part of your website.
You can easily optimise your website for mobiles from Wix.
Create Your Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile (GBP) is one of the best restaurant marketing ideas. It's a free tool that helps restaurants manage their online presence on Google, including search results and Google Maps.
By creating a listing on google, you can provide important information about your restaurant, like its address, phone number, and hours of operation.
A GBP also gives your customers a space to give online reviews helping potential new customers decide to eat at your restaurant. You can manage your reputation and keep your restaurant's brand identity strong by answering positive reviews in your brand voice and solving problems of negative reviews.
It is essential to your restaurant marketing plan.
It's also one of the best restaurant marketing ideas because it makes it easier for customers to find you and can help with local SEO (search engine optimisation), improving your restaurant's visibility and attracting more customers!
Restaurant Social Media Accounts
It is an excellent in your restaurant marketing plan for your online presence. In the food industry, having an active social media profile can be a huge advantage for your marketing strategy.
Social media accounts allow businesses to engage their customers, promote their products, build trust, and increase loyal customers.
Set Up A Facebook Business Page
Facebook is still one of the best tools for your Social media marketing strategy.
Having a Facebook Business Page is essential for restaurants in the UK for a successful restaurant marketing campaign.
It has over 44 million active users in the country.
It is a strong tool for connecting with potential customers.
You can share vital information like the location, online menu, and opening hours of your restaurant.
You can also post updates, photos, promotions and giveaways for a free meal to engage with your followers.
Doing these helps build loyal followers and even helps with your local SEO. You can reach more customers and grow your business, helping with your restaurant marketing success.
Instagram is a highly visual platform. That's why it's a great addition to your social media restaurant marketing strategies.
You can use it to post attractive pictures of the food, drinks, and venue. This can give potential customers a glimpse into what they can expect from your restaurant and can entice them to visit.
Instagram also offers features such as hashtags and location tags, which can help reach a wider audience.
You can engage with your customers and build a community. By replying to comments and direct messages, you can create a personalised experience for your customers and build strong relationships with them.
Instagram stories and highlights also allow you to share behind-the-scenes content, which can create a sense of exclusivity and build brand loyalty.
Instagram is the most visual side of your restaurant marketing strategies, and it is important to put good pictures.
So far, we've talked about the main basic necessities to gain an online presence. Now, we will dive a little deeper into restaurant marketing campaigns when you're ready!
Social Media For Restaurant Marketing
Online Presence; Social Media Restaurant Marketing Ideas
There are many platforms for your restaurant marketing strategies!
It's always important keep your target audience and what you want to do in mind when picking a platform.
Here are some other restaurant marketing ideas you can use!
Add Videos On Tiktok
TikTok can be a fun and engaging way for restaurant owners to reach a younger audience. It can be used to show short videos about food, the atmosphere and the brand of a restaurant in a creative and memorable way.
Though if your restaurant serves older people, it's probably best to put that effort elsewhere.
Share News On Twitter
Sharing on Twitter can be a great way for restaurants to connect with their audience and reach potential customers. It has real-time updates and short, concise messages. Twitter is an ideal platform to share information about daily specials, promotions, and events.
You can use it to engage with customers, respond to inquiries and share user-generated content.
It would help if you used relevant hashtags. Tagging other businesses or influencers in your posts to increase visibility and engagement is also a good idea.
Keep in mind that Twitter tends to attract tech-savvy audience.
Among restaurant marketing channels sharing on Snapchat can be an effective way for you to engage with a younger demographic and build brand awareness. It focuses on content that disappears after 24 hours. That's why It's is a great platform to showcase behind-the-scenes glimpses of your restaurant and highlight special promotions or events.
Plus, Its Geofilter feature allows you to create custom filters that can be used at your restaurant or events.
It adds a fun and interactive element for customers.
However, keep in mind that Snapchat's audience tends to skew the younger, millennial audience.
Pin Your Food Photos On Pinterest
Pinterest can be a great platform for you to showcase menu items and attract new customers.
You can pin high-quality photos of your food and drinks and create an eye-catching visual board. It will not only entice potential customers but also serve as a reference point for your existing repeat customers. By creating boards that showcase your restaurant's ambience, decor, and unique features, you can provide a more comprehensive look at your brand identity.
Pinterest's search function and categories also make it easy for users to discover your content. So it's key to optimise your pins with relevant keywords and hashtags.
The platform has a mostly female audience with a higher income and education level. This means it's a great place to target those who are interested in trying new and unique dining experiences.
Give Cooking Tips On Youtube
With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube offers a massive audience for restaurants to reach out to within their restaurant marketing plan.
You can create videos that showcase your dishes and highlight your unique story. It's a good idea to share behind-the-scenes glimpses of the kitchen or staff.
YouTube also allows for longer-form videos. That's why it's perfect for posting tutorials or cooking demos.
Also, YouTube videos can be embedded on a restaurant's website or shared on other social media platforms, increasing their reach even further.
Use Instagram Stories and Highlights
As we mentioned before, you can easily capture your audience's attention with Instagram stories and highlights.
You can post daily updates, behind-the-scenes footage, and promotions. Instagram stories last only for 24 hours, while highlights allow you to keep them on your profile as long as you want.
You can use these features to promote special menu items, show off your restaurant ambience, or give a glimpse into the kitchen.
Take Advantage Of Hashtags
Hashtags are a strong tool that can help your restaurant reach a wider audience on social media. You can use them to attract potential customers who are interested in the type of cuisine or atmosphere that your restaurant offers.
You can use them on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
If you are going to create a hashtag strategy for your restaurant, it's important to use relevant and specific hashtags.
Use trending hashtags:
Keep an eye on trending hashtags. Check if they are relevant to your restaurant or industry. For example, if there's a food-related holiday like National Pizza Day, use the relevant hashtag in your posts.
Promote User-Generated Content
User-generated content is any content, such as photos or reviews, that is created by customers rather than the restaurant itself.
Sharing your customer's content on social media gives them a sense of validation and recognition. Also, it helps to build a sense of community around the restaurant.
You need to encourage customers to share their experiences. You can create branded hashtags, run social media contests or offer incentives such as discounts or free meals to encourage them.
Show Off Your Staff
Promote your restaurant by showing off your staff!
Showing off your restaurant staff on social media can be a great way to humanize your brand and build a personal connection with your audience.
You can show your chefs in action, highlight your servers' friendly personalities, or even give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the daily life of your restaurant.
Sharing photos or videos of your staff can also help to create a sense of community and pride among your employees. This can translate into better service and a more positive customer dining experience. Meaning you increase customers loyalty and get more repeat customers.
It's essential to make sure to get your staff's permission before posting any content featuring them. Also, always keep their privacy and comfort in mind. Featuring your staff can help your restaurant stand out and create a more engaging and personable brand image.
Paid Social Media Advertising For Restaurant Marketing
Paid social media advertising is quite good to add in to your restaurant marketing strategy but can be expensive and inefficient when done wrong.
The best and cheapest platforms for a local restaurant to advertise on social media are Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook and Instagram Ads
Opening a Facebook business account is what you need to do to be able to publish ads on Facebook or Instagram. You need to use your personal profile to open it.
There are much more complicated and efficient ways to advertise on Facebook and Instagram, but because we're focusing on DIY we will tell you about the easiest.
The easiest way to advertise on Facebook and Instagram is to boost your post! Though you must be very careful when doing that, too; otherwise, it will be a waste of money.
Marketing Strategies For Restaurant Reputation Management
Among the restaurant marketing channels online reviews are one of the most important.
No matter how well you do your social media marketing if you have a low rating potential customers will not visit your restaurant.
Online reviews are the foundation for local businesses that's why its such a key part of your restaurant marketing strategy.
Don't be afraid to ask satisfied customers to leave reviews online. Encourage them to share their positive experiences with others, whether it's on your restaurant's google profile, Yelp, or other review sites.
By building a strong base of positive reviews, you can help counteract any negative feedback you may receive.
Build Relationships By Responding To Comments On Social Media.
As a restaurant owner, it's important to engage with your audience on social media. When customers leave comments or feedback on your posts, take the time to respond to them. It helps to build a relationship between you and your customers. It can even lead to repeat customers.
Responding to comments also shows that you care about your customers and their opinions. This can improve your reputation and overall brand image.
Also, responding to comments can help to generate more engagement on your posts. That can increase your visibility and reach on social media.
So don't be afraid to start a conversation with your followers. It could be the beginning of a long-lasting relationship.
How To Turn Negative Online Reviews Into A Marketing Opportunity?
Negative online reviews can be a real blow to a restaurant's reputation. But they can also present an opportunity to turn things around and attract new customers.
The key is to respond to negative reviews in a professional and constructive way.
First, acknowledge the customer's complaint and apologize for their negative experience.
Next, try to address the issue they raised, whether it's slow service, a problem with the food, or something else.
Now that you've understood what went wrong time to make things right! Offer a solution, such as a refund or a complimentary meal.
It's also important to use negative reviews as a learning opportunity. Look for patterns in your feedback you recieve and use them to improve your restaurant. This might mean addressing specific issues with your menu, enhancing your customer service, or making changes to your overall operations.
Get your restaurant featured in local news, food blogs, and social media. This can help you reach new audiences and increase your restaurant's visibility.
PR can help you establish your local business as an authority in the industry. It will help build trust with potential customers and give you a competitive edge.
Food Blogger Outreach
Food blogger outreach can be a valuable marketing strategy for restaurants. You can get your restaurant featured on their blog or social media channels by reaching out to those in your area. It can help you reach a new audience of food enthusiasts who may have yet to be aware of your restaurant.
Plus, food bloggers often have a loyal following and a strong influence in their communities. This makes them powerful advocates for your restaurant.
To effectively reach out to food bloggers, it's essential to research their content and audience and tailor your outreach accordingly.
Getting your restaurant featured in your local newspaper can be a great way to build brand awareness. It'll help reach new customers in your area.
Local newspapers are often a trusted source of information for residents. Of course, it's best to know that the Local newspaper's main audience is baby boomers and generation x.
A positive article about your restaurant can help establish your it as a reputable and desirable place.
Share Positive Press
Sharing positive press can be a powerful marketing tool for restaurants. Did your restaurant get featured in local news, food blogs, or social media posts? Share this content on your website and social media accounts!
By showcasing good reviews and news, you can build trust with potential customers. Doing this will help establish your restaurant as a reputable and desirable destination. Also, sharing positive press can help you reach new audiences and drive more traffic to your website and social media pages. Meaning new customers!
General Restaurant Marketing Ideas
Start Offering Online Delivery
Online delivery is good for restaurants to get more money and new customers. People can order food from home or work without coming to the restaurant. It is helpful for busy people who don't have time to go out to eat.
If you have a takeaway restaurant, online delivery can help you reach more customers who live far away. This also means you won't need people to call or come to your restaurant to place orders. As a result, gives you more time to focus on other parts of your business.
However, it's essential to consider if delivery is suitable for your restaurant's brand and image and if you have the resources to get delivery staff.
Create A Lead Magnet On Your Website
A lead magnet is something that entices people to give you their contact information. For restaurants, it could be a free dessert, appetizer, or coupon for their next visit. Other ideas could be an e-book of recipes, a video tutorial on cooking techniques, or a guide to wine pairing.
Creating a lead magnet can help build your email list, which you can use to send promotions, discounts, and other offers. It's good for increasing your online reservations.
Make sure your lead magnet is relevant to your audience and easy to access on your website. It's a win-win for both you and your customers!
Have A Sleek, Functional Online Menu
A sleek and functional online menu is vital for success. More and more customers are searching for restaurants online.
A well-designed and easy-to-navigate menu can make all the difference. The design should help customers to find what they want easily.
If you have online ordering, then functionality is also crucial. Customers should be able to customise their orders and pick the quantity of each dish. It's critical to give them the option to add special instructions or dietary requirements too.
A well-designed online menu can improve the customer experience altogether. It can increase sales and show a restaurant's commitment to providing a great dining experience.
Restaurant Marketing Through Customer Loyalty
Restaurant marketing through customer loyalty is a proven strategy for increasing sales and building brand recognition. By establishing a loyal customer base, restaurants can generate repeat business and attract new customers through positive word-of-mouth advertising.
Create A Loyalty Program
One effective way to encourage customer loyalty is by offering loyalty programs that reward customers for patronage. These programs can range from simple point systems to more complex tiers based on customer spending levels.
Restaurant Marketing Through Menu and Specials
Restaurant marketing through menu and specials is a powerful strategy to attract and retain customers.
A well-crafted menu can help to showcase a restaurant's unique offerings and set it apart from competitors.
In addition to a carefully crafted menu, restaurants can also use specials to entice customers and increase sales. Specials can range from daily or weekly deals to seasonal promotions and limited-time offerings.
Moreover, using social media and email marketing to promote new menu items and specials can help to reach a wider audience and build brand recognition.
Source Local Ingredients and Suppliers
Restaurant marketing by sourcing local ingredients and suppliers has become increasingly popular. By highlighting local, fresh, and sustainable ingredients, restaurants can appeal to customers who value food quality, sustainability and supporting local businesses.
Using locally sourced ingredients and suppliers also allows restaurants to create unique menu items that reflect the local cuisine and culture. This can help set the restaurant apart from competitors and attract customers seeking an authentic dining experience.
Restaurant marketing through email and SMS
Restaurant marketing through email and SMS is a cost-effective way to reach customers and promote the restaurant's offerings. By building an email or SMS list, restaurants can send targeted messages to customers about new menu items, specials, promotions, and events.
Use SMS Marketing
SMS marketing allows for quick and direct communication with customers through short and concise messages. It can be particularly effective for time-sensitive promotions or reminders, such as happy hour deals or reservations.
Email marketing allows restaurants to create visually appealing messages with images, videos, and links to the restaurant's website or social media pages. It also allows for personalization, segmentation, and tracking of email campaigns, providing valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences.
Make Sure Your Restaurant's Online Details Are Accurate
Ensuring that your restaurant's online details are accurate is essential for attracting and retaining customers.
In today's digital age, most customers search for restaurants online before making a reservation or placing an order. Any inaccurate information, such as the restaurant's hours of operation, menu, location, or contact information, can lead to frustration, confusion, and a negative customer experience.
Ensuring that your restaurant's online details are accurate is critical for providing a positive customer experience and building trust with your audience.
Regularly reviewing and updating your restaurant's online presence can attract customers, increase customer satisfaction, and drive business growth.
Use Online Reservation Tools
Using online reservation tools is a convenient way to streamline the reservation process and attract new customers to your restaurant. Online reservation tools, such as OpenTable or Resy, allow customers to easily book a table at your restaurant through a website or mobile app.
Get Listed On Restaurant Apps
You can increase your online presence and reach a wider audience by listing your restaurant on restaurant apps. Getting listed on restaurant apps is a smart way to expand your restaurant's visibility and attract customers.