Whether you are new to the restaurant business, or you have been in the field for years, there is no getting around the fact that you need to have good marketing if you hope to succeed. Word of mouth can still be powerful, but you need to make sure you have a strong online presence. In fact, even much of the word of mouth marketing happens online today via reviews and your customers talking about how much they liked your restaurant on social media. It has a huge influence.
The following are some simple and effective tips that will help you increase visibility for your restaurant so you can start getting more customers.
1. Geotargeted Advertisements
When you are marketing your restaurant, you need to think locally. Utilizing geo-targeted ads is a fantastic idea. It can help you to save some money, as your ads will only be shown in the cities and geographic areas that you choose. Since most people are looking for food near where they live or where they are vacationing, this ensures that you have the right potential customers looking at your ad. After all, if you have a restaurant in Tucson, you do not want to have your ads running for people in Bangor.
You can use geotargeted ads through many of the advertising services available today including Facebook, Twitter, and Google AdWords.
2. Utilizing Yelp
Set up an account for your business on Yelp. This is a highly popular site that many people frequent when they want to learn more about what a restaurant can offer. You want to add your location, the menu, the price range, photos, hours, and any other features of your restaurant that customers would appreciate knowing before they arrive.
If you respond to reviews on Yelp, whether they are positive or negative, you need to maintain a positive, professional, and nonconfrontational stance. If a customer has a legitimate complaint, see what you can do to make it right.
3. Consider a Loyalty Program
While this might not work for all restaurants, it can be a good option for many. Loyalty programs are a fantastic way to get your customers to keep coming back for more. It is also simple to implement. You can simply print up some cards that you stamp whenever the customer comes in and makes a purchase. After a certain number of purchases, they can receive a discount or a free item. Plenty of places have had success with this including sandwich chains and coffee chains. It can work for you, as well.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media is important for all types of businesses today, including those in the food industry. You should have a strong presence on the most popular sites, including Twitter and Facebook. Utilize other social media sites, such as Pinterest and Instagram, as well. You can upload photos of your restaurant, your food, and more to help capture the interest of people on those sites, who can then share the information and talk about your restaurant. This is the digital word of mouth marketing mentioned earlier.
5. Great Photos and a Great Website
Most people are going to want to check out your website before they come to the restaurant. It will give them a better idea of what they can expect when they arrive. If you don’t have a website up and running yet, you are behind the pack. If you do have a website, you need to make sure it is fully functional and that it provides the visitors with a good experience. It should be easy to navigate, have a good layout, and all the necessary information about your eatery. This includes a menu and photos of your restaurant and your food. It is a massive part of your marketing today, and you can’t do without one. It doesn’t matter if you are a large restaurant or a small food truck. Want to set your restaurant apart from the crowd, offer online ordering on your site! This is not only convenient for your customers, but lets you save time/money not answering calls & also your customers don’t have to resort to the food portals to order from you through the food ordering portals.
Marketing is one of the aspects of your business that will continue to evolve, and you need to continually look for new and effective ideas to use. Start improving your marketing today.