In today’s ever-shifting restaurant industry, it’s difficult to stand out. There are trends that we must keep up with and new technology changing everything.
Your restaurant marketing efforts need to stay up-to-date to generate new customers and keep them.
The number of things your restaurant can do to get noticed is endless. But, you need the right things to take your restaurant to the next level.
Here is part 2 of your Restaurant Marketing 101 course: 8 more things you can do to get your restaurant noticed:
1. Establish Relationships with Food Influencers
With the rise of food influencers, foodies, and social media – this is the perfect time to get in the loop. An easy way to get your restaurant noticed is to partner with a food influencer.
Food influencers are social media content creators, industry experts, and celebrity chefs. They have the power to reach thousands on social media. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are where you’re most likely to find them.
Invite one to come to your restaurant for a free meal in return for an honest review and post-worthy content. Instagram is the gold standard for food influencers. They’ll post photos of the most appetizing food and cocktails your restaurant has to offer.
Restaurants of all sizes can benefit from a food influencer, but the niche may be different for all. Take that into consideration when exploring what food influencer to partner with.
User-generated content from food influencers drives higher engagement with your customers. Their photos are trendy and you can repost them on your social media to thank them.
2. Build Buzz in Your Local Magazine/Newspaper
Let’s get back to the basics of advertising, but change it up a bit. Are you planning on opening a restaurant for the first time? Or opening a new location? Getting in touch with your local newspaper and magazines can be a helpful way to build buzz for your restaurant.
You can invite editors to come and join you for a free meal in exchange to be featured in their writing. This will give your restaurant a chance to showcase its best features. Ask the editor to write about their experience and share photos of their favorite dishes.
Your restaurant can reach a wide range of consumers with these now being both in print and digital. Getting featured will raise awareness for your restaurant. It’s also great content for you to share on your social media and website.
3. Word of Mouth is Your Best Friend
Did you know 71% of people recommended a product or service because of a great experience? The power of word of mouth may be one of the greatest marketing tools you can use. This comes from exceptional customer service, recommendations from friends, and reviews.
One thing that is helpful to stand out is having a unique specialty item on your menu. Whether it’s your famous brussel sprouts or chili mango margarita, it’s up to you.
Lots of restaurants don’t recognize the power that reviews have. When your restaurant takes the time to respond to all reviews, that says something in itself. Your customers will be thankful for acknowledging them and looking for improvements.
Your customers’ satisfaction is the ultimate goal. If your restaurant’s actions go above and beyond, people will recognize and share.
4. Be Transparent & Provide for All
To get your restaurant noticed, it needs to cater to the needs of every consumer. Your menu should have food items available for all dietary preferences.
Labeling the items on your menu that are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free is a must. It identifies what your guests can eat with their preferences and caters to them. Allowing for dish modifications will also help serve everybody.
Consumers want to support restaurants that are supporting local businesses. Be transparent where your food is coming from and add it to your menu if possible. Your customers will appreciate you putting effort into sourcing local ingredients.
5. Loyalty is Key
Loyal customers are what keeps your business running. They need to be earned and that comes from your guest’s experience.
According to Yotpo, 59% of consumers that are loyal to a brand are more than willing to refer them to friends and family.
A loyalty program can incentivize your customers to come back, earn points, and spend rewards. You can encourage your guests to check-in on Yelp each time they dine and collect reward points. Over time these programs can learn your customers’ needs and allow for personalized recommendations.
Loyalty also begins within the restaurant. Your staff needs to be personable and build relationships with your guests. Remembering names and usual orders leads to loyal customers. Again, the customer experience is everything.
6. Get in with Google
Did you know food is the top category search for “near me” searches? Food is always a priority and Google helps people find the right places to eat.
An easy way to get your restaurant noticed is to create a Google My Business (GMB) account. Search engine optimization (SEO) is now more targeted to feature local listings. If you want your restaurant to be at the top of search engine results, you must have a GMB listing.
Your GMB listing can be a one-stop-shop for your customers. If they’re looking to order online, check out your hours, or make an online reservation, they can on your GMB. When you have an online reservation system, you can integrate that with your GMB profile. With a waitlist management system like ours, Guest Manager, it’s seamless and easy.
Capture curious customers when you market your business online with GMB. This increases your business’s visibility and drives customer engagement.
7. Functional Online Ordering
Consumers crave convenience and restaurants are no exception. Your customers want all food options readily available right at their fingertips. Online ordering is growing at a rapid 300% and is only expected to grow. To keep up with the competition, your restaurant needs functional online ordering.
Your restaurant can partner with third-party delivery apps such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, GrubHub and more to make this happen. Or offer delivery yourself to save money on third-party delivery fees.
Easily integrate online orders with a modern POS system. With a cloud-based POS system, such as Mad Mobile's, it’s easier than ever.
8. Be Reachable on Review Sites
Review sites such as Yelp and OpenTable help restaurants of all sizes thrive. This helps connect people to your restaurant in a new way.
In the busy primetime season, nobody wants to wait 2 hours for a table. These applications allow for convenience. Your guests can get a table before arriving at the restaurant.
On Yelp, it allows your guests to get on the waitlist virtually. This saves them the time from waiting in person and gives them more time to enjoy your food.
OpenTable allows your diners to book reservations in advance online. They can easily add notes for seating preferences, celebrations, and dietary restrictions.
Both of these applications share customer’s experiences and provide insight to more guests.
The key ingredient for success
Even with all your best marketing efforts, sometimes you need to shake it up. All these things complement each other and provide your restaurant to thrive in the long run.
Elevate your restaurant marketing strategy with these specific things. Take action and you’ll have your restaurant noticed in no time.