The restaurant business can be risky, but it can also be lucrative. For your business to be one of the successful ones, there are some simple steps to follow. The first step is to have a delicious product. Next, you need to pick a good location. Then, after settling on the place, you have to set the atmosphere. Once you are up and running, you need to market your restaurant to get people coming in and continuing to dine at your establishment.
Online marketing strategies are one of the most successful methods today. People are always online. If you can reach someone while browsing on their commute, your chances of getting them to stop in for a bite to eat are pretty good. However, you need to utilize online marketing correctly for it to be effective. Here are some online marketing strategies to help increase customers and profits.
1. Create a Website
Every business requires a website so that people can find you. Make one for your restaurant with your address and other contact information easily accessible on the main page. Be sure to include your hours on prominently displayed, as well. Use color and font to portray the atmosphere of your restaurant. Post content such as (images and blog posts) to encourage people to visit your website and check out what’s happening at your restaurant.
2. Take Pictures
People are naturally inclined to visually appealing images. Being in the restaurant industry gives you the unique ability to showcase your product in a visceral way. Presentation plays a big part in the dining experience. Whether you sell hot dogs or gourmet cuisine, you have to make it look appetizing. It starts with the plate and ends with a garnish. Make every dish you serve look fantastic. Take pictures along the way, and be sure to post them on social media and your website. People will see your mouthwatering dishes and want to visit your restaurant to try them. Great pictures might even get shared, so don’t be afraid to be creative. Get up close and share photos of people enjoying your food (with their permission, of course) to help build your community of loyal customers.
3. Pay To Play
Sure, self-promotion is a great way to get started, but paid advertising solutions like Targetable take your online restaurant marketing to the next level. Instead of winging it, imagine how many more people you could get in the door by backing your campaigns with the power of data, geo-targeting, and AI.
4. Online Discounts
People aren’t going to see your amazing pictures if they don’t follow you online. One of the best ways to get people to follow your restaurant is to offer exclusive discounts for online customers. Try a considerable discount for first-time customers and keep them coming in with new weekly or monthly offers.
5. Loyalty Program
Customers want to feel appreciated. Show them how much you appreciate them by offering a rewards program that gives discounts to your regular customers. Examples include a free entree or dessert after a certain amount of purchases or 50% off a meal after paying full price for five dinners. Many people will continue to eat at your restaurant simply to get their discount. Online options make managing a new loyalty program easy. You could even create an app to make accessing it more convenient for your customers.
6. Use Your Staff
Many managers tell their staff to stay off their phones while working at the restaurant, but it should be encouraged! Have your staff post online when they are working. Encourage them to post pictures of the food or themselves in uniform. You will reach all of their friends and followers who might, in turn, follow the restaurant. It will only create more revenue for your business and more tips for them. So, encourage your staff to help promote your business by posting their pics!
7. Utilize Reviews
Allow your customers to leave reviews about their experience at your restaurant. You can use positive reviews to promote yourself on social media and your website. You can even use bad reviews to your advantage. When someone gives you a negative review, interact with them to make it better. Address the concern and offer a solution. While you won’t be able to save every customer, you’ll be able to retain a few. Those customers may even end up becoming regulars. Be sure to respond to complaints promptly, and to address the issue with any staff involved. Customer service is a vital piece of the restaurant industry, and your team needs to know exactly how to handle anything that comes their way.
You and your restaurant can become a success with the proper use of online restaurant marketing.
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