When you own a restaurant business, you quickly learn the importance of marketing strategies. You want to draw new customers in and keep your regulars happy. So how do you do this? Here are seven restaurant marketing strategies that will help you do both in an evolving digital marketplace.
Online menu and reservations – Mobile devices are quickly becoming one of the most common tools to find a nearby restaurant. Offering online reservations and a brief menu will increase the likelihood new customers find their way to your restaurant. Customers appreciate knowing what is available before going to a restaurant. If they like what they see online and can make an online reservation easily, you’re more likely to have just won a new customer.
Food blog – Start a blog about your restaurant. A blog is a great way to increase online visibility for your restaurant. It only takes a few minutes to write and a new blog post is a great tool to let the world know about your business. You can write about how your restaurant got started, your chef and wait staff, why you decided to open a restaurant, and more. Don’t forget to include photos of your delicious food!
Instagram – Use Instagram to promote your restaurant. You can take pictures of your staff, food, and happy customers. People enjoy seeing themselves online and will promote your restaurant with likes and recommendations. Be sure to Instagram daily with new and fun pictures and use hashtags. You will soon develop a loyal following that will help with online promotion.
Holidays – Generate buzz around the holidays by offering unique food and drink items. For the 4th of July you could feature red, white and blue options on your menu. McDonald’s is well known for featuring the Shamrock shake at St. Patrick’s Day. Consider adding a fun option and keep bringing it back every year. Themed food and drinks for holidays can be a fun way to attract customers to your restaurant.
Promote loyalty – Feature a customer of the week post on your social media. Promote loyal customers and maybe offer a free dessert or drink. Your customers will visit more often and will visit your website when their photo is displayed. This will let your regular customers know that you appreciate them as much as you appreciate new customers.
Birthdays – You can celebrate your restaurant’s birthday every year by offering free cake to every customer that purchases a meal on that day. Set up balloons, streamers, and banners to make a festive dining atmosphere. You can also offer a free dessert to customers on their birthday. Have customers sign up on your website and provide their birthday. You can email or message them a coupon valid for one free dessert.
Yelp – One of the most popular restaurant review websites is Yelp. Be sure to set up an account with pictures and information. Also be sure to provide information as complete as possible about your restaurant. If you happen to get a bad review, thank the reviewer and respond as positively as possible. This will show that you care what people write about you and you want every customer to have a great experience and enjoy their meal. Prompt responses to both negative and positive Yelp reviews are an important element of using this marketing strategy.
Combining a creative approach to featuring the fabulous food and drinks at your restaurant with these digital-savvy marketing strategies is sure to have your customers coming back again and again and leaving five star reviews!