The restaurant industry is a world of saturated options and increasingly competitive markets. As a result, many are finding it difficult to successfully market their restaurants. Are you one of those who struggle with marketing ideas for your restaurant? The varying technology, trends, and initiatives impact the industry directly and hence effective marketing is required. There are numerous restaurant marketing ideas and trends that help you stand out from the competition and provide customers with a memorable experience. This article highlights the 14 most effective restaurant marketing strategies that you could work on.
How to do marketing for a restaurant?
We know that marketing is crucial to every restaurant be it a start-up or thriving industry leader. Why is it so? Restaurant marketing assists you in attaining new customers, retaining existing customers, and expanding your community. Creating solid customer relationships and providing an extraordinary dining experience will help you stand out from the competition, and the best place to start is developing your restaurant marketing strategies. Effective marketing includes a cross-over between traditional and digital marketing. For instance, word of mouth referrals, promoting through digital channels, email campaigns, advertising in television, newspapers, radio, magazines, and more, which in turn, make all the difference in bringing customers back again and again.
Effective restaurant marketing ideas and trends
Now, let’s see what are some impactful restaurant marketing ideas and trends; and what are the latest trends in restaurants?
Here are the 14 restaurant marketing ideas for amazing results:
- Optimizing Website
- Social Media Engagement
- Local SEO
- Google My Business Listing
- Local listing on delivery apps and marketplace
- Paid Promotions
- Email Marketing, Newsletters, and Push Messaging
- SMS Marketing
- Wifi Marketing
- Audience Interaction
- Influencer Marketing
- Loyalty programs
- Deals, Offers, and Discounts
- Food Blogging
Delving deep into these restaurant marketing ideas and trends will give a clearer picture of how to market your restaurant successfully.
Ensuring your information such as address and phone number is up to date, keeping your hours, menu, and location front and center, and highlighting your online ordering can make a huge difference in attracting visitors. Another aspect to focus is on making your website functional and user-friendly. Website plays an important role in branding and hence, you should hire the best team to manage it.
Social Media Engagement
The first step to social media engagement is to have your restaurant’s business page on every possible platform, yes even on LinkedIn, and handling all these pages efficiently. The more engaged you are with your customers, the more loyal they become, and the more they will spread the word. The key is in how you manage your social media accounts. Creating a social media plan is necessary to maintain it efficiently and to be consistent. To increase engagement, your posts should be relevant and personalized for each channel. For example, videos in less than a minute can do wonders on Facebook, high definition photos and videos with creative hashtags are tie-breakers for Instagram, and so on.
Focusing on local customers is an essential strategy for restaurants. Reaching your local customers directly offers the best personalization opportunity. While working on your restaurant’s ranking don’t forget about your target audience.
Google My Business Listing
Manage your online presence across Google, including Search and Maps through Google My Business. It allows you to manage your company information, which will appear when someone searches for your brand name or your Google Maps location. You can create events, post your menu, use Google’s free online ordering for pick up or delivery, or even schedule reservations. Make sure all the information provided is accurate as restaurants listed in Google My Business tend to have more clients.
Local listing on delivery apps and marketplace
List your restaurant on all marketplaces, directories, and food delivery apps. Partnering with food delivery apps and local businesses will be a great advantage to your business.
Promoting your restaurant using paid tools will surely yield fruitful results if you have structured marketing campaign plans. Investing in ads like Google Ads and Facebook Ads are the best possibilities. These are excellent at targeting specific markets. Narrow down campaigns based on customer interests, behavior, location, and age with these tools. Another possible way is promoting your existing posts on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn so that your brand will be known face to social media users.
Email Marketing and Newsletters
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to attract local customers and increase your revenue. Email campaigns and newsletters enable you to reach out to your loyal and new customers. Email marketing lists from campaigns can be used to nurture leads, boost sales and increase traffic.
Newsletters are beneficial email marketing tools to share information, give updates, and let your clients know about promotions and discounts. Using automated software for sending emails eases the process. Never forget to personalize emails and be consistent.
SMS Marketing and Push Messaging
SMS marketing is an amazing way to market your restaurant. Be clear on the type of content you are sending SMS. Avoid spamming and try to include keywords. Providing a link to your website helps to spread the word.
Utilizing push messaging enables you to send short messages to customers via mobile apps or web browsers at any place and at any time. Focus on creating tailored content that interests the target market for better engagements such as alerts on special discounts.
Wifi marketing enables you to collect customer data and enables you to advertise to them. This can be achieved by offering free wifi that requires logging in with email or social media accounts. Customer databases can be built using the collected data which in turn, could be used to send messages, coupons, or promotions to them.
Audience interaction can be done in multiple ways. Encouraging user-generated content is a way that can be attained by encouraging customers to use your custom hashtags with high definition photos, create Instagram-worthy moments by tagging you, and repost on your pages. Engaging with your community through multiple channels like social media platforms, Google, etc. If possible, respond to all comments, even negative ones.
Reaching out to local influencers is a considerably easy and inexpensive way to reach a larger social audience. Influencers will promote your restaurant by visiting and posting content in exchange for a posting fee, or even just a free meal, depending on their reach and requirements.
Restaurant loyalty programs drive repeat sales if executed rightly. Many customers are interested in earning points and getting free meals. As a result, customer-driven loyalty programs can not only retain your existing customers but can grab new customers’ eyes.
Deals, Offers, and Discounts
Providing regular deals and discounts is one of the excellent restaurant marketing strategies. Offering gift vouchers may bring in new customers. Deals and offers can boost sales, acquire new customers and increase brand value. These promotional tactics can also increase foot traffic in your restaurant.
A restaurant blog or food blog is a good way to build connections. The blogs should contain any information like updates, news, or any type of content relevant to your customers. You may introduce new dishes or recipes and events or promotions. Blogs play a crucial role in content marketing which can help build revenue by increasing your restaurant’s website SEO.
How do you market your restaurant in the Covid situation?
Even though there is uncertainty prevailing during Covid-19, restaurants must engage and communicate with their customers efficiently. Despite of changes in how to market restaurants in Covid, yet some basic strategies remain unchanged. Let’s find out which they are:
- Focus on your online presence
- Encourage customer interactions
- Host webinars on cooking classes
- Share your recipes, tutorial, and live cooking videos
- Tell your story of how you are coping currently
How do you create a marketing plan for your restaurant?
Identifying your restaurant’s target customer is the initial step in creating a restaurant marketing plan. The target market is a subdivision of the general population whom you consider as your potential customers because their behaviors, preferences, and values align with your business’ brand, mission, vision, and purpose. The target market can be determined by narrowing down them depending on their demographics such as age, gender, income, religion, marital status, geographic location, etc. In other words, narrowing down the target market based on buyer persona.
The next step is to brainstorm why you need marketing campaigns, what must be the goals and results. Thereby, finalizing an objective for your marketing plan.
Once you have identified who your target market is and the objective of your marketing plan, the next phase is to decide how you are going to attract them to visit your restaurant and what promotion, discount, or incentive you are going to use.
An effective restaurant marketing plan will contain information about the target audience; previous, current, and future campaigns; campaign data like goals, duration, marketing channels used, etc; budget and amount spent; and also, the expected campaign results. For instance, a restaurant marketing plan in 2021 will definitely include digital campaigns through social media channels and much more.
What is the best marketing strategy for your restaurant?
The best marketing strategy for a restaurant is the optimal use of social media platforms, social media marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing, website optimization, SMS marketing, loyalty programs, encouraging user-generated content, menu optimization, sponsorships, and events effectively so it aligns with your restaurant’s mission and vision.
How do you make your restaurant unique?
Are more restaurants like yours popping up nearby? Worry not! You are probably doing something right, hence competitions. But how do you set your restaurant apart from new competitors? Follow these tips to make your restaurant unique:
- Stay ahead of technology and industry trends
- Give a glimpse of your hard work with Behind The Scene(BTS) shots
- Be creative and experiment with promotions so these are enticing customers
- Participate in community events
- Get involved with local charity
- Host special meals during local holidays
How do you attract customers to your restaurant?
In the next few years, the restaurant marketing ideas and trends that will help your restaurant grow will look quite different from what it is today. Due to its constant evolving trends, attracting new customers will be no less than a challenge. Below are some creative restaurant marketing ideas and strategies to help you learn how to attract customers to the restaurant and increase your sales.
- Self-promotion on social media
- Create own unique menu and signature dishes
- Offer free wifi
- Create good content
- Provide online delivery or sign up with food delivery apps
- Approach more and more social media influencers
- Leverage off-hours or offer happy hour
- Join hands with local business
There might be several restaurant marketing ideas and trends but all those may not be appropriate for your restaurant. Choose the right marketing strategy for your restaurant depending on your brand’s vision, mission, and goals for effective marketing. If you are finding it hard to market efficiently or don’t have enough time, contact us. We here at Cafe Nurture provide unique marketing strategies for your restaurant which will help you to take your business to the next level.