Did you know that 30 percent of restaurants fail or change ownership in their first year of business? For restaurants that make it three years, that number jumps to 60 percent. If you want to avoid contributing to this statistic, you’ll need a solid restaurant marketing plan.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are XX strategies you can start implementing today.
It’s not enough to simply be on social media. To attract the right kinds of customers, you’ll need to really engage them.
Everybody loves free stuff, so organizing a contest or challenge is a great way to get more followers, improve your brand visibility, and bring real, live customers into your restaurant. Use your contests to encourage user-generated content, and you’ll give your marketing plan a powerful one-two punch.
Since the majority of your customers will be those who live, work, or are on vacation in your local area, focusing on local SEO is a good use of your time and money. To do this, start by working hard to get plenty of great reviews on sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google.
Next, check Google My Business and other local listings to ensure you’ve fully completed your profile and all of the data is accurate. These listings tell people where you’re located, when you’re open, and more. Completing your listings will help ensure you show up in local reviews.
Don’t stop with online listings. You’ll also want to check your website and all of your social media profiles. If information is missing or inconsistent across profiles, it will cause confusion. While you’re at it, create at least a basic profile for your business on all of the major social media networks.
Most people who search online for a restaurant want to look at the menu. Make sure yours is easy to find, accurate, and legible. If you don’t have this information available in a user-friendly format, your potential customers are likely to simply go elsewhere.
Since the first place most people look for a menu is on the restaurant’s website, make sure it’s posted there. Then, look for other places to post your menu, like on Facebook and on restaurant delivery sites.
Food delivery services like GrubHub and Uber Eats are big business in 2019, and the trend is only expected to grow. If the demand is high enough and it’s practical for where your restaurant is located, consider offering in-house delivery.
It’s also a great idea to partner with at least a few of the local delivery services. This will help you attract some of the younger, more tech-savvy crowd. It also adds to your online presence.
Many social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram, allow you to pinpoint your advertising campaigns to a specific target demographic and geographic area. You can further refine this by using smart digital advertising that analyzes your data and uses it to create an effective and powerful social media ad campaign.
The words fresh, local, and organic are huge in restaurant marketing. Customers love knowing that they’re supporting other local businesses, and it creates a great opportunity for cross-marketing.
Need some inspiration? Try approaching local farmers for fresh produce, grass-fed beef, or pastured dairy and eggs. You can also source local honey, herbs and spices, and other food items.
If there’s a super-popular dessert vendor in your local area, consider proposing a partnership where you can offer their creations and use their name in your menu and marketing materials.
Food blogging and social media influencers are all the rage lately. Take advantage of this trend by connecting with these people and providing them with information about your restaurant.
Focus on the things that make your restaurant different and interesting. Make sure they know about exciting promotions, discounts, or other offers. It also doesn’t hurt to offer them incentives like free meals in exchange for featuring your restaurant on their networks.
Unfortunately, when it comes to your online reputation, perception is reality. If you receive negative reviews, it’s likely to scare customers away, even if it’s not a good representation of who you really are.
Failing to monitor and quickly respond to online reviews – both good and bad – can easily undo all of the hard work you do to build your online brand. If you receive a negative review, apologize for the poor experience and offer to make it right. Never argue with the reviewer or make snide comments, as this will only make things worse.
A loyalty program might not help you attract new customers, but it will help you build a loyal following and increase your repeat business. There are many great mobile apps that you can use to promote your program.
You’ll also want to stick with the old-school method of using physical punch cards. Giving visitors both options will increase participation and help you appeal to a wider variety of customers.
At Targetable, we take look outside the box and take an innovative approach to restaurant marketing. By using your Facebook and Instagram presence to attract the right customers, you’ll set yourself apart from the rest of the food-service crowd.
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