RESTAURANT MARKETING TIPS
What We'll Cover:
- Building an excellent website
- Getting up to speed up on regional SEO
- Encouraging reviews
- Sponsoring regional or charitable occasions
- Customizing the experience
- Using social media
- Running advertisements
Presently, with Covid-19 raving, Dining establishment Advertising has become even harder and more challenging.
The traditional ways of getting customers have changed forever, and new advertising channels must be set up.
Online ordering has exploded. Your customer has learned new ways to order food and getting to like the convenience of it all.
So, it looks like changes are needed. The good news is everyone needs to eat.
All we must do is just find the right way to get to the customer, make him a loyal customer who will come back more often and spend more.
Competition is fiercer than ever, specifically if you are operating individually owned restaurant versus being part of a larger franchise business.
Below's a sobering truth for you:
- around 60 percent of new dining establishments fail within the very first year
- and, virtually 80 percent close before their 5th wedding anniversary.
However, Covid-19 did its job and contributed to more than 50,000 restaurant establishments closed, and maybe more in the future.
This means the restaurant landscape is changing and the adapters of new marketing practices will profit.
It is well known that restaurants, in general, struggle to make it with the first year.
There are many factors for this, consisting of:
- The cash-- dining establishments need a lot of cash to get started. The high cost of labour and sky-high rental fees have always been the major reason for restaurant failures.
- Lack of marketing research-- this is huge. Do not spend on marketing practices that do not show a good ROI (return on investment). Make sure that every dollar counts. Most restaurants do not do any of this.
- Poor administration-- taking care of a dining establishment resembles managing any kind of retail organization, which suggests that you need a lot more than simply cooking skills to make it work.
Good planning and market research will go a long way in making a restaurant successful.
Build a great website to feature your products and contain useful information for your visitor.
Restaurant websites need to change and provide your customer with their immediate needs.
Restaurants spend time and money to decorate and create a friendly and relaxing space for their customer's experience but pay little attention to how their websites work.
Remember that when a new customer searching for a new restaurant and lands on your website, the first impression is critical.
Typically, restaurant websites are nice to look at with pretty food pictures, and a few pages like, about us, our menu, other services, and a contact page with location information.
99% of restaurant websites, have NO CALL to ACTION or provide useful information to the consumer.
Here are the 6 most important features every restaurant website must-have.
- Online Menu (according to research, it is the most sought information when someone lands on your website). Preferably and Online Menu Ordering System.
- Online Reviews (today, consumers trust Online Reviews more than recommendations of friends and family. They want to see a minimum of 6-10 Google Reviews before they call or visit the business)
- Social Proof (your Social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest etc.)
- Contact info (an easy way to contact a restaurant – text or call feature)
- Location Map
- Book a Table feature
So, what would that look like? Check the demo webpage we built below
Today’s consumer's attention span is truly short. Between 3-5 seconds. What that means is that, if the above features are not quickly and conveniently available to your potential new customer, they are gone.
Here are the latest statistics on attention span:
Given the short attention span and the fact that over 80% of all searches are done from a mobile device, we adjust the mobile version of the website to show the important features right away, without searching and scrolling of your mobile website.
And this is what that version looks like with all the important features clearly shown and available to view. See the image in the sidebar.
Restaurants and dining establishments also need to:
Make sure that your website is optimized for SEO as you want to be able to take advantage of Google Search Bots to learn about your site and show it in searches.
Register your site in Online Directories and set up your Citations.
Another free tool is Google My Business. Very few restaurants have taken advantage of this powerful Google tool. And that is because probably no one ever told them about it. This is something your webmaster should be helping you with. Click here and get your free Google My Business Guide.
Reviews and Testimonials:
A new potential customer will want to check out your Social Presence (your Online Social Sites like FB, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube etc.) to find information about your restaurant.
Today’s consumer values Online Reviews more than recommendations from friends and family.
So, make sure to collect; Google Reviews (most valuable), Facebook, Yelp, and other industry review sites.
As a matter of fact, 68% trust consumer opinions posted online.
In addition to that, a survey conducted by BrightLocal found that two-thirds of consumers form their opinion of service after checking out simply 6-8, 5 Star reviews...
That is why your dining establishment marketing strategy must include getting great reviews.
The takeaway? Discover your wow factor. Maybe a signature meal, cocktail, or even a distinct decor.
Give individuals something to speak about and share with their friends on Social Media.
Restaurant Advertising and Marketing Plan:
Have a Strategy in Place for Negative Ones?
A couple of poor testimonials are inevitable. And when they do happen, do not despair. Use it as an opportunity to make things right.
Never! Never argue with a customer even if you are right! Instead, thank them for bringing it up and give them a gift. A coupon or a discount to use on their next visit.
Remember. Social media is enormously powerful. A slip of a tongue has gotten many particularly important people in a lot of trouble.
Start by replying, quickly. Over 40 percent of consumers who whine desire a response within an hour.
And, though you want to do it ASAP, make certain you are doing it professionally. Do not criticize the accuser or make excuses. Address their concerns as well as supply your honest apologies.
Here is a Twist!
Botto Italian Restaurant in fact encourages its consumers to leave poor reviews by supplying 50% off pizza to anybody that leaves a one-star evaluation.
Restaurants are tied to their local origins and involving your business in neighbourhood events is a great method to boost name recognition and get some extra business.
That is why 68% of restaurants are engaged in some kind of charitable offering or sponsorships.
An additional point? Consumers like it.
Charitable business is more probable than ever to score points with customers, particularly if you are accommodating millennials. 33% of consumers are now preferring to deal with brands, they think are doing social or ecological work.
Show that you are dedicated to your community by funding a little league group, schools (they always need money), or partnering with a regional charity.
Chili’s staff distribute leaflets encouraging their community to eat at Chili's. In return, Chili's gives away 10% of sales credited to the flyers, back to the group.
One of the largest parts of the client experience? Making them feel special.
We all like to be loved and appreciated. Try personalizing your marketing to your customer. Social Media sites are a great place to do that.
Wrapping Up Restaurant Advertising and Marketing.
Like any type of advertising, restaurants and dining establishment advertising requires study as well as a strong strategy.
To further spread the word about your restaurant, you have the option to use Online Ads such as Google Ads, Facebook, and YouTube ads.
Facebook Check-in promotion is particularly valuable as it virally spreads the word about your establishment for a minimal cost.
Use Facebook Events which when coupled with Google My Business and Google search offers another free advertising venue.
Like any type of advertising, dining establishment advertising requires study as well as a strong strategy.
The steps above will help any type of dining establishment and increase their profitability. I recommend you start executing them today.
Most websites are built in what is known as "Responsive Style" meaning that when viewed on a mobile device, the website is conformed to the size of the screen.
The problem with that is, that most of the important features noted in this article are not seen immediately.
That means your visitor will have to search for these and with the short attention span, they just may not have the patience.
When we build a website, we adjust the mobile version to be as effective as the desktop site, with all the features readily available.
Our mobile versions are also built with PWA (Personal Web App), technology making them act as an app and downloadable to a customer home screen on their mobile device.