Restaurant marketing is more important today than ever before and can be the key to setting yourself apart in a saturated market. A successful marketing strategy includes both online and offline messaging; both are critical to building a brand, attracting new customers, and retaining loyalty.
To get the most out of marketing for your restaurant, you need to familiarize yourself with the basics. The process of promoting your restaurant starts with you. We will touch on a number of ways to increase your visibility, connect with customers, and advertise your business in your community.
1. Website– this will be your point of contact with your customers and is the most essential advertising tool you have. Even if your website is basic, it will become the central nexus point for all contact with your restaurant on the Internet. SEO is an essential component to your website, as it helps your customers easily find your website and increases the number of visitors by obtaining a higher placement in search results pages. Once you have your website up and running, tracking your hits is important. A great tool for this is Google Analytics, which offers free and enterprise analytics tools to measure website, app, digital and offline data to gain customer insights.
2. Blogging– this can be a great way to increase your restaurant’s online presence. These entries are updated on a regular basis and can focus on more minute details of the day-to-day operation of your restaurant or discussions of concepts related to your restaurant’s values. Blogging can be a platform for you to talk to your customers in long form.
3. Loyalty Programs- an excellent way for your restaurant to keep your satisfied customers returning for more business. Building a customer loyalty program is also a great way to compile valuable customer data.
4. Social Media– social media has become very prevalent, especially amongst younger consumers; having some presence is important for any restaurant. Social media can be a way to humanize your staff and allow consumers to get an inside look into your company. The more your customers see personal moments, the more they will identify with you and your brand.
5. Yelp- Yelp has quickly become the “go to” resource for restaurant reviews. When reviews are mainly positive for your restaurant, it creates a sense of trust your community and customers. It not only contains reviews of your restaurant, but it and other similar sites contain important information like business hours, address, menu, prices and pictures of your food and décor.
6. Radio, Print, and TV– Radio and print offer timely ad placements and they’re both cost effective. Small businesses can often produce and place an ad in just a few days. TV ads also have a major advantage, despite criticism for high costs. Advertisers have the best chance to reach a large audience through television.