Did you know that, according to Upserve, 90% of guests research a restaurant online before trying it? Then, it makes sense that your restaurant marketing strategy needs to be up-to-date and always on-trend. If you’re not sure how to do restaurant marketing right, now is the time to learn.
There are a vast number of tried-and-tested, creative ways to boost your profit margins in the restaurant industry. So, if you’re interested in bringing new customers through your doors, getting current customers to spend more money, or visit more frequently, this guide should give you insight into what you can do to boost your sales.
From renting your restaurant out for private events to providing a seasonal menu, there are several research-backed strategies you can use to run a successful business.
Top Restaurant Marketing Ideas
Restaurant marketing has multiple facets, and you can adapt them to suit your business style. These ideas offer great inspiration for ensuring you boost restaurant sales, increase customer engagement, and keep guests coming back for more.
1. Promote Your Top-Selling Items
Draw a report from your point-of-sale system (POS). Then you need to figure out what your top-selling items are. After this, take that list and start promoting them on every channel.
Don’t market what you like or have the lowest food cost margin—market what individuals love. People keep coming back for your greatest hits, so why waste advertising dollars on marketing anything else?
Ensuring you have high-quality photos of your best-selling items will assist enormously here. Invest in a professional photographer who knows all about angles, lighting, and editing. Be prepared to pay premium rates for premium results. You’ll see premium returns on your restaurant marketing efforts if you do.
You can use these photos on your menu, Instagram page, TripAdvisor page, or your website. These photographs will last you years and have some of the best ROI.
2. Design A Talk Trigger
Word of mouth reach is invaluable in any industry. This is because it is the most effective marketing technique. The best part is that it’s entirely free. Great things will take place when your customers are as enthusiastic as you are about bringing their friends and family in the door.
One of the absolute ways to put out the word about your restaurant is through a talk trigger. This is something unique that people will tell their friends about. You need to think about consistent and authentic things that will keep people talking and coming back, time and time again.
A talk trigger must meet four requirements to be effective: be remarkable, relevant, reasonable, and repeatable. Whether it’s a unique dish or plating style on the menu, and in-service demo, or a bespoke pairing, it needs to spark talkability.
3. Leverage Content Marketing And SEO
Think twice if you’re thinking about spending an excessive amount of money on your website. It’s not necessary. Keep the amount to no more than $1 500-2 000. When people look for somewhere to eat, they type what they want into the Google search bar. Today, Google has everything your customers need, from your hours to your phone number to your menu. It even offers neatly organized customer reviews. Your first step should be to set up Google My Business, updating your information so you’re easy to find.
Save your hard-earned money. Spend it on the next best thing in your restaurant marketing strategy: content marketing.
If you run a steakhouse in a big city, then you want to show up at the top of the search engine pages (SERPs) when people type in “best steakhouse in Dallas.” The only way you can do this is with SEO-optimized content and lots of it. If you’re new to search marketing, it’s worth investing in some professional help.
Content marketing is a marketing tactic focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content. Content marketing intends to draw in and retain a clearly-defined audience and, ultimately, drive profitable customer action.
In particular, there are four key reasons – and advantages – for restaurants of using content marketing:
- Increased sales
- Cost savings
- Better customers who have more loyalty
- Content as a profit center
4. Include Food Critics And Bloggers In Your Restaurant Marketing
It isn’t just about the food anymore. Guests want a fun and memorable dining experience. They want something they can enjoy, talk to their friends about, and post on social media. One of the best ways to root out great food and experiences is by following many food critics and foodie influencers or reading food reviews in local publications.
Begin by figuring out where people find food recommendations in your city. Extend offers for a free dining experience to different social media influencers and see if you can form partnerships. Even micro-influencers can result in successful collaborations with a very targeted niche audience.
5. Give Away Free Meals For Special Occasions
The chances are good that you have a go-to spot for anniversaries, birthdays, or graduations. We all do. People establish special bonds with the restaurants where they commemorate life events. You want them to celebrate these special occasions at your restaurant.
Free meals on birthdays are a must-have for every restaurant. Or at least a free dessert. It’s rare for people to eat alone on their birthday. This means that you’ll recoup lost revenue and possibly have new regulars. If you run adverts on Facebook, you can even specifically target people who have upcoming birthdays, making your restaurant the place-to-be for their festivities.
Make a point to ask your guests if they’re celebrating anything particular when they book tables with large parties. If they are, you need to do what you can to make it as memorable as possible. Decorate the table. Bring complimentary appetizers or desserts. Have the chef speak with them about the menu personally. Get creative, and they’ll keep coming back and bring their friends and family, too.
How You Can Boost Restaurant Sales
Maintaining your restaurant’s sales amid fierce competition and quickly changing trends may be a challenge. The key to success is discovering the balance between acquiring new customers and keeping existing customers.
With any new goal in your sales strategy, you can best approach this by creating a restaurant business and marketing plan and breaking it down into actionable steps. To assist you with reaching the goal of increasing your restaurant sales, we’ve got some restaurant improvement ideas that you can try.
6. Diversify Your Services
Restaurant delivery and takeout services have been growing steadily in popularity. These are essential to maintaining your sales in the current climate.
Through diversifying your services to include takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup, you will be able to help with increasing your sales. If you haven’t made plans in your restaurant sales strategy to offer these services yet, here are some tips:
- Put together a takeout and delivery menu. Design a separate menu for takeout and delivery only, making it a more streamlined version of your dine-in menu. Select items that are straightforward to prepare and travel well. Steer clear of delicate items which could fall apart or melt during transit.
- Offer curbside pickup. You can offer curbside pickup to your customers for the fastest takeout service. If you have a parking lot, earmark a couple of spaces near your entrance. Train your staff about the proper procedures for handling curbside orders and accepting payment.
- Offer delivery services. If you’ve been thinking about establishing delivery services for your restaurant, now is the perfect time to do so. You don’t even require your own delivery fleet, thanks to the accessibility of reliable third-party delivery services such as Grubhub and Postmates. When your customers can’t come to you, you can adapt by bringing your services to their homes.
7. Enhance Your Mobile Presence
It’s no secret that more and more people access the web on their mobile devices. No matter how long you spend on your restaurant’s website, you’re missing out if it’s not optimized for mobile. The bulk of your customers will bounce right off the page. Ensure that your website looks great and functions correctly on tablets, phones, and desktops alike.
Try out these tips to enhance your mobile presence:
- Register your business on Google My Business. If you don’t have a dedicated website for your restaurant, the simplest thing you can do to assist customers looking for your business is to establish a Google My Business (GMB) listing with your address, opening hours, phone number, and pictures of your location. Also, GMB listings allow your customers to review your restaurant and post photos of your dishes and drinks online.
- Create social media accounts. Try setting up social media accounts for your business in the same fashion. Maintain an active online presence at all times. If you don’t have time to check messages coming via your social networks, make one of your managers responsible for responding to inquiries.
- Make announcements through social media. Another fantastic thing about having a business account for social media is that you can make announcements for any events you may be hosting. You can utilize it to alert customers if your business is closed unexpectedly for a power outage or other unexpected reason.
Social media is a perfect way to connect with your community and humanize your brand. Overall, you can utilize social media as a tool for accomplishing many customer retention strategies.
A crucial part of running any successful organization is assessing and reassessing how everything is running. Restaurant owners are always thinking about ways to enhance processes and increase efficiency.
When it comes to increasing restaurant sales, there are several different factors to consider. The fantastic news is many of the basic principles stay the same across all kinds of dining establishments. That means if you follow the fundamental checklist for attracting new customers and driving retention, you’ll find continuous growth.
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