Do you own a restaurant and are looking to expand your overall marketing plan? Well, take some tips from the pros. These 10 marketing tips can help get the word out about your restaurant. Don’t worry, there is no coding involved…just a bit of elbow grease. So, lets get started with Future Design Group’s Top 10 Marketing Tips for Your Restaurant Business.
1. Cater to Foodies
Foodies typically have huge followings online, usually other foodies. Capitalize on their success by making your food photo-worthy and giving them a reason to share it with their friends. Foodies are not like critics…foodies love food…any type of food. They love the taste, the texture, the look and especially the social aspect of it. Let them enjoy their food online and offline.
Basically, this item would work with any Top 10 Marketing Tips. Cater to a specific audience online. In this case, foodies are your biggest bet.
2. Use Yelp and Google+ Local
Now, most people use Yelp as it is intended. If you are not using it to get stellar reviews, then you are doing it wrong. Yelpers can help make or break your business. So, be nice to them.
On the other hand, Google+ Local is not a widely used tool, but it is very important for your visibility. Google uses reviews from across the web like Facebook, Yelp and FourSquare as well as their own reviews to create your local business profile. This profile is used for local searches and is typically displayed on the right of the search results. The better and more reviews you have, the higher you rank. So, make sure you are using both Google+ Local and Yelp to make your business succeed in user search results.
3. Use Social Media Better
Using social media may seem obvious, but what is not obvious is how to properly use social media. Do you make sure that your images and message is proper, that your ads using less than 20% text to reach the maximum visibility or that your not posting to much or too little? There is an art to social media.
4. Show Off Your Staff and Customers
In an age of robotic customer service reps and soon to be self-driving cars, the human element is severely lacking. Show off your 5-star staff doing what they do best! Seeing happy, smiling employees does wonders for your reputation, as customers long to be served by joyful workers.
Showing off your pleasant employees also provides major reputation points – happy workers say a lot about a business, and fans are sure to take notice.
The exact same thing goes for your customers. Find a regular and show them off because the next thing you know, that customer is sharing your post because they are a part of it, then their friends and family shares his post and creates a snowball effect. Once the word gets out how much you appreciate your customers, more will come.
5. Setup Google Alerts
Google Alerts notify you when your business name (or other designated keyword term) appears in a new piece of content on the web! This makes it easy to keep tabs on who is talking about you and your accolades. This one is another key tip of our 10 marketing tips. Be proactive and look for your business or niche online…the more responsive you are the better for your business.
6. Reach Out To Local Food Bloggers
When you’re a new restaurant, you may find it difficult to generate reviews and hype about your business. One great way to get reviews and press on the web is to invite food bloggers to your restaurant to give you a try, and consider offering a free meal or appetizer to get them in the door. Politely ask if they’d be willing to review your restaurant and share their experience online.
You can’t outright ask for a positive review, as that would be dishonest, but it’s fine to simply ask them for an objective restaurant review. Some bloggers might decline your offer, but the more you ask, the better your chances are of getting some positive feedback and generating more interest online.
Some food bloggers have big followings, and getting their attention can have a huge influence on your restaurant. Even just one write up or mention from a major foodie can be a huge for restaurant promotion efforts.
7. Use Twitter during Optimal Times
Twitter is one of the best tools to get your message out quickly. For a restaurant, it can be crucial to for people think of you when they are hungry. Use Twitter to remind people that your food smells good, looks tasty and is waiting for them…just do it when they are hungry. Post Tweets during the breakfast, lunch or supper rush. When people are hungry, you can easily get their mouth watering at the very thought of your food. You just need to time it just right.
This tip will be on almost every top 10 marketing tips articles you read. It is super important to be visible when people need you.
8. Create USABLE Online Menu
Users love to do research online before ordering from or visiting your restaurant. Don’t make users scramble to find your menu – publish a high-quality, easy to read menu, that is up to date and accurate. Also, NO we are not talking about having a PDF version of your menu online…that is a terrible user experience and forces the user to leave your website to actually view your menu. I am talking about a menu that is actually part of your website. Text and images, things that can be indexed by Google.
Create a beautiful menu online since that’s often the #1 piece of information users are looking for when visiting your site (along with hours, location, and contact info).
If you don’t have a good menu online and available for customers, most of your other restaurant marketing strategies are basically useless! In this day and age customers need to have access to an online menu, otherwise they’ll simply look elsewhere.
9. Offer Coupons Online
Providing coupons and discounts for your restaurant is always a surefire way to bring customers running. Offer a free dish to your new email newsletter subscribers.
Alternatively, you can try advertising a discount through Groupon or Living Social – if you go that route, you’ll get a TONS of exposure, but you’ll end up paying a hefty portion of sales to the deal website, so keep that in mind.
10. Use Online Reservation Systems
One fine dining restaurant marketing idea is to consider signing up for Open Table. Open Table is an online reservation tool that lets customers book reservations for your establishment online! Patrons love it when you make life a bit easier for them, and Open Table already has a base of loyal customers you can tap into.
That concludes our Top 10 Marketing Tips….
So, there it is. Our Top 10 Marketing Tips for Your Restaurant Business. Not hard but it will take time to improve your reach. If you need help, you know where to find us. For now, get out there and start marketing your restaurant business.
If you are interested in learning more about how this topic can help your business, please contact our agency on our contact page or call us at 1-888-964-4991. We publish a new article once or twice per month so make sure to follow us on social media and allow for push notifications if you want to stay in the loop with our agency and digital marketing.
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About the Author
Director of Website Development
With over a decade of experience designing and developing websites, Eric has worked in every position of the agency ladder. He is fluent in multiple backend and front end programming languages and has written multiple international best selling plugins for WordPress. He has been part of or is still part of many startups. He is the Director of Website Development for Future Design Group and one of it's founding partners.