How to Market a Restaurant: Top 9 Tips to Bring in New Customers
How to Market a Restaurant: Top 9 Tips to Bring in New Customers
If you’re a restaurant owner, one of your main concerns is finding the right marketing methods to make your brand stand out from the competition. But how do brands get noticed? And how should you develop a marketing plan that fits your business size and budget without costing a lot of time and money?
Marketing a restaurant business in 2023 is both simple and challenging. It’s easy because there are tons of resources and data-driven practices that can help you bring in more customers. But if you want to market a restaurant, you should also overcome several challenges and continuously adjust your marketing plan based on market trends and customer feedback.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to market a restaurant. These strategies can help restaurants of all sizes and budgets attract more customers, increase sales and solidify their brand image in a niche market. So, let’s get started:
What Is the Best Marketing Strategy for a Restaurant?
The first rule of marketing is relativity! The effectiveness of every marketing effort depends on your specific goals, your target audience, your planning and implementation process, and your ability to collect data and adjust your next steps.
That said, you can still rely on market-proven practices and integrate them into your brand promotion plan. Here are some marketing tips and ideas that will help you market a restaurant:
#1 Rank High on SERPs
Every business needs an online presence. And while there are many ways to get people’s attention in the digital world, improving your business profile on popular search engines like Google is probably the most efficient one. A high ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) indicates that your restaurant is a legitimate and trustworthy business.
Think of it from the customer’s perspective; They hear a brand’s name on social media or in conversation with colleagues and friends. But they want to make sure they know how you run your business, what cuisine and dishes you offer, and how other people rate your services. Or, perhaps they just want to know where you are located.
A strong online presence significantly increases your chances of getting quality leads and brings you more customers every day. You can start with a Business page on Google, add your restaurant to Google Maps, and provide additional information about your business, such as opening and closing times, contact info, etc.
Providing social proof is an excellent way to gain trust and customer loyalty, which are essential for any restaurant. So, encourage your regular customers to fill out the review section and share their experiences about the food, menu design, management, customer service, staff expertise, and more.
#2 Offer Free WiFi
Many restaurateurs struggle with the idea of offering free WiFi to their customers. Of course, there are pros and cons to offering free services in your business, but the benefits of offering free WiFi from a marketing standpoint far outweigh the cons.
Free WiFi is a great way to market a restaurant and attract new customers. Most cafes have already embraced this method, creating a friendly environment where people can work, relax, and enjoy life in comfort. By implementing this idea, you can boost your revenue and turn your restaurant into a cheerful place.
Besides, offering free WiFi makes cashless payment much easier and convenient. You can simply provide a QR code or link that allows customers to access a payment portal directly from their table. By doing so, you save both time and money and ensure a satisfactory customer experience.
#3 Offer Live Music
One way to approach marketing is to focus on the customer experience rather than the need to sell more and generate more revenue. And there’s nothing that could elevate a dining experience more than live music for your beloved customers.
Offering live music is also a big plus for building a pleasant atmosphere. You can entertain your customers while they wait for a seat or their meal, and they can enjoy the place without getting bored.
Last but not least, offering live music can also attract more customers. You don’t even have to start with big names. Sometimes a live act or a popular music genre can do a great job of promoting your brand awareness. Prepare your restaurant by asking potential bands for a set list and the equipment they need to do a show.
#4 Leverage Video Content
You have certainly witnessed the shift toward video marketing over the past couple of years. Content marketing has always been about delivering relevant content to a specific target audience. But videos have significantly improved our ability to shape a unique brand voice by leveraging insights derived from consumer behavior and any relevant content that goes viral.
In the restaurant marketing space, one of the first challenges you face is establishing an efficient line of communication with prospective customers. Video marketing can offer an easy and effective way to reach out to more people and encourage them to visit your restaurant.
Moreover, most people need to have a clear picture of the kind of business you have, the staff, and the food before they come to your restaurant. Offering video content with an in-depth tour of the entire property is a powerful tool to build trust and offer customers all they should know about your exceptional brand.
You can also offer a virtual tour, and give your restaurant a proper introduction. All you need is an experienced, professional team to understand your business needs and showcase your expertise, equipment, and resources.
#5 Offer Online Ordering and Delivery
Once upon a time, online ordering was only a nice option for restaurants. Today, it’s a must-have support service for customers who seek more efficient ways of organizing their time. Offering online ordering for take-out or signing up with food delivery apps will help you leverage this trend and attract more customers to your restaurant.
When you want to market a restaurant, one of your main objectives should be making your brand accessible to a wider range of customers. Online delivery takes geographical proximity out of the equation and attracts many people who refrain from visiting your restaurant just because it is too far away.
When it comes to online ordering and delivery, you have two main options. You can use popular food delivery apps that will often charge a commission for every order. Or, you can hire an expert app designer and create your own application to avoid paying this commission.
Social media increases online presence and awareness among potential customers and clients who may not have enough information about your restaurant. A solid social media presence is a great way to market a restaurant, as it allows you to reach a wider audience inexpensively and quickly.
That said, if you want to market a restaurant on social media, you need to know the basic principles of social media marketing. For instance, if you are working on a limited budget, you should thoroughly research and identify the platform that will give you access to quality leads.
Also, it’s better to have a strong presence on one well-established channel than a poorly managed account on multiple platforms. Depending on your brand objectives, customer identity, budget, and audience needs, you can leverage brand advertising opportunities on any of the popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, etc.
#7 Run Local Digital Ads
Digital advertising is another tried and true strategy to market a restaurant. Many local businesses underestimate the power of digital advertising. They imagine it’s just a marketing method for brands with multiple branches all over the country. But they surely haven’t heard of geo-targeted ads.
Geo-targeting is a market-proven practice that will deliver different content to visitors based on their geolocation, categorized based on country, region/state, city, metro code/zip code, organization, IP address, ISP, or other criteria. Geo-targeting will help you identify specific areas or a radius around your restaurant and display your ads to viewers in those locations.
Geo-targeting is an excellent way to optimize your marketing campaign by removing anyone from your ad targeting that would be more unlikely to visit your restaurant due to geographical limitations. You can activate this advanced targeting capability on most social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, or search engines like Google.
#8 Create a User-Friendly Website
A well-designed, attractive website is a great tool to market a restaurant. Business websites offer efficient and easy communication channels with current and prospective clients with an opportunity to inform your target audiences about what you offer. Moreover, an SEO-optimized website increases brand online credibility and drives more quality leads to your website.
Your address, contact info including your phone number, and hours of operation should be front and center on your homepage. The goal is to facilitate communication and provide an easy way for your guests to find you without having to browse your website. If you have several branches in different locations, list them all with direct links and all the necessary information.
Make sure to include your menu as well so that your viewers can easily find and order their favorite dishes. And if you want to evoke an “Oooh – that looks good” response from website visitors, make sure to include high-quality, enticing images from your menu.
#9 Partner with Influencers
With so many different channels and strategies to market a restaurant, it is sometimes hard to find the best start-point. But one of the most effective tactics to enhance brand awareness and bring in more customers to your restaurant is leveraging influencer marketing and partnering with inspiring figures who can help promote your brand.
Influencer marketing has an incredible potential to enhance your social credibility, especially among the younger generation that prefers to see what people have said about your restaurant on social media before they decide to visit your restaurant.
Successful influencer marketing requires thorough research to ensure you find the right people whose follower base is interested in your services. So, do your share of research and provide the influencers and partners with a clear brand guideline that promotes your objectives.
Keep in mind that running an influencer marketing campaign doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. You can look for micro-influencers whose followers count ranges from about 5,000-25,000 and find a couple of brilliant ideas to convert their follower base into your regular customers.
Developing a marketing plan for restaurants is not the easiest job on earth. In a competitive market, you need to exploit all market gaps and use every opportunity to promote your brand and enhance awareness.
With the above-mentioned strategies, hopefully, you have now a clear idea about how to start your marketing plan. But remember you also need to find a well-trained, professional team who can help you implement your ideas. And that’s exactly what we offer at Momentum 360.
One of the most effective ways to market a school is offering a tailored education 3D virtual tour along with a broad array of multi-media solutions to optimize your online exposure. With Momentum 360, you can enjoy the exceptional quality of our services provided by a team of dedicated professionals. Don’t hesitate any further. Contact us today.
About The Author: Sean Boyle
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