How To Market a Restaurant? | 24 Great Ideas (2021)
Grow Your Restaurant With These Marketing Strategies
Want to get more customers and grow your restaurant business?
Running a restaurant is definitely challenging. But one of the biggest challenges is to increase revenue and differentiate restaurants from their competitors.
That’s why marketing your restaurant is so important.
The good news is that today there are many ways to market a restaurant and dominate your competitors. So, here are 24 highly effective marketing strategies to get your customers’ attention and make your restaurant a success.
Basic: Understanding customers (demographics)
How To Effectively Market a Restaurant?
Every marketing strategy begins with customer analysis. If you don’t know your customers, how do you approach and connect with them?
Therefore, first, you need to analyze your customers. Here are some parameters to analyze:
- Demographics: Characteristics such as age, income, gender, education, race, religion, location.
- Psychographics: their attitudes, goals, and beliefs.
- Behavior: Their habits: How much money they spend, how much time they spend online, etc.
You don’t have to elaborate on all of this. But when marketing, you need to keep this in mind.
But Why Is This Important?
To know when, where, and how to communicate with your customers, you need to learn customer demographics. For example, if most customers are young, advertising in newspapers may not be cost-effective. You should rather run an Instagram advertising campaign.
Here are some questions you need to ask:
- Who are my most common customers? (Demographics)
- How can I advertise this demographic?
- Online marketing method
- Traditional marketing method
Basic: Understand competitors
Then move on to the second most important part. Learn what your competitors are doing and how you can be different and better.
There are some things you need to write down.
- List all restaurants in your area. (Use Google Maps to determine this)
- Popular restaurant
- Your top competitor
- Small restaurant
- Identify direct competitors.
- (Suppose you run a pizza restaurant. If you have another pizza restaurant in your area, that restaurant is your direct competitor.)
- Are your competitors successful?
- What contributed to their success?
Once you have a list of all your competitors, you can see how they are promoting your restaurant.
But how can you find out?
It’s easy. Think like their customers.
Here are some examples.
Go to Google and “search” for restaurant food. For example, “Pizza restaurant near me”, “(Your restaurant type) near me”.
This will give you an idea of who your competitors are, what they are doing, and what their
websites look like.
Facebook and other social media platforms
Competitors may have Facebook pages, Instagram pages, or other social media accounts. Track them and learn about social media marketing strategies.
You can see their posts and ads to learn important marketing strategies.
Visit and observe competitors’ restaurants as a customer.
- Check out marketing tools such as coupons, billboards, posters, billboards, and more.
- What local events and festivals do they participate in? What are they doing there?
- What discounts do they offer to attract customers?
- Do they use SMS or email marketing? What are they writing to them?
All this information will help you understand and implement your competitors’ marketing strategies.
It also helps you understand the difference between your competitors. In marketing, this is called the Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Basic: Register With Google My Business
Google My Business is an important free marketing tool for restaurants. You can use this tool to display restaurants on Google and Google Maps.
This means that if someone types something on Google, such as “Mexican restaurant nearby,” your restaurant may appear on the list. You can also get useful information about the restaurant, such as location, phone number, and website.
In the picture above, we are searching for “the best Italian restaurant” on Google in the United States. The first two arrows you see are the results of Google My Business.
Obviously, this helps people find your restaurant and brings more customers to your business. Therefore, it’s important to register your restaurant with Google. All you have to do is create a Google profile/account, log in and claim your business on Google.
You can enter all the useful information about your business, and your business profile will appear on Google and Google Maps within a few weeks.
Tip: Getting good customer reviews is very important to your business. So encourage your customers to give your restaurant a 5-star review.
Restaurant Marketing Using Social Media Platforms
Social media marketing is a big trend these days. It’s cheap and it works amazingly well when it’s done the right way.
Important Note: Social media channels do not require worldwide or national audiences. You want to target only the people in your city. This is because people outside your city generally do not visit your restaurant.
How To Market a Restaurant On Social Media?
The practical strategies that can be implemented are:
Pictures of delicious food are really catchy. People love to see them.
A great way to attract your customers is to fill your Instagram profile with pictures of the best food in your restaurant. You may get the help of a professional photographer or take these pictures yourself. Make sure they look attractive.
It’s a little difficult to make your Instagram profile popular. To get the first few Instagram followers, you need to launch a small advertising campaign. You can then grow the channel organically. We’ll talk more about this later.
Note: Be sure to add # Your-city-name when posting. You just want to contact the people in your city.
Facebook is widespread and a powerful marketing medium for restaurants.
The first thing you need to do is create a business page on Facebook. Then you can post some pictures of your best food. You also need to post a creative banner to market your restaurant.
The main purpose of these Facebook posts is to convince people why they should visit your restaurant. You can design your Facebook banner using a free application like Canva.
The question now is:
How do you make your Facebook page popular? How do I get likes on Facebook?
Here are some tips on how to get likes on your Facebook page.
- Run Facebook ads (low budget) in your area to get your first Facebook likes. This will be explained later.
- Join the Facebook group to share your posts. This gets a lot of views. (Note: Join a Facebook group in your city)
- Create your own Facebook group related to food. For example, “Food-lovers Club”.
- Gift. For example, “Share this post to get a free lunch at a restaurant.”
- Use Facebook voting to get customer attention.
- The video is very effective on Facebook. They are fascinating and people love to see them. You can create a short 90-second video about cooking, kitchen operations, and more.
Twitter is another medium suitable for restaurant marketing. You can post an image in a short message.
Twitter is simple and you can use messages to communicate with people. But make sure you are only communicating with the people in your city. This is because people outside your city generally do not visit your restaurant.
Restaurant Marketing Using Your Website
Having a website for your restaurant is important these days. Yes, the website is a great marketing channel for your restaurant.
But more importantly, you can use a functional website to accept online orders.
Let’s explain this in more detail.
Accepting online orders is very important for restaurants, as many people prefer to order their food online after the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we can provide food delivery services at facilities where you can order online. This will significantly increase your bottom line.
Check out this article for more information on how to build a restaurant website and start accepting online orders.
Search engine optimization (SEO) means ranking on Google or other search engines. Basically, when someone searches for something on Google, your website is displayed and that person can access your site.
For example, if you do an SEO of “California’s Best Chinese Restaurant” on your website, users can search for it on Google to find your website.
In the picture above, we are searching for “the best Italian restaurant” on Google in the United States. The first two results displayed are from Google My Business and the last are from SEO.
SEO has many aspects, such as content creation, title and headline optimization, and keyword research.
We recommend hiring a freelance SEO expert for new restaurant owners. These days, such services are fairly affordable. You can hire from Fiverr or Upwork.
Creating a customer list is beneficial to any business. When you have an email list of your customers, you can contact them at any time.
You can use the website to collect these emails by placing the form. These forms can also collect valuable customer data such as name and birthday.
You can let them know about your latest discount. You can mention their name in every email, and you can even want them on their birthday. This ensures that your customers remember your restaurant.
However, setting up such a complex system can be quite difficult for new restaurant owners. Another drawback is that frequent use of it can get in the way of your customers.
Anyway, here are three popular email marketing software:
Restaurant Marketing With Online Advertising
This is one of the most effective ways to market your restaurant.
Advertising is expensive, isn’t it?
Can the new restaurant afford to advertise?
How to promote a restaurant?
The truth is that online advertising is usually fairly affordable. When done correctly, it can generate a huge return on investment. Now let’s talk about it in more detail.
Google Ads is the most popular advertising platform for marketing restaurants.
When you launch Google Ads, your business will appear on the first page of Google search results for the selected “search query” (keyword).
“Search query” (search query/keyword) means the word or sentence that people are searching for on Google. For example, “the best restaurant in my city”, “French restaurant near me”.
So if you want to promote this search query/keyword; “the best restaurant in my city”, your restaurant will be visible to people.
The yellow area at the top of Google’s search page is where your ads appear.
Important: Small and medium-sized restaurants should focus on promoting their business, not their website. This is because promoting a website involves many complex processes such as “investigation”, “retargeting”, and “website optimization”.
Remember talking about Google My Business?
We use it to attract more customers to your restaurant.
For new restaurants, we encourage you to start advertising on Google My Business. Let’s talk about how to do it:
- Log in to your Google My Business profile.
- Select the Create Ad option.
- Select your advertising campaign goals.
- Receive a call from a customer
- Attract people to your restaurant
- Please select your location.
- Select a search query/keyword.
- Please enter more information about the restaurant.
- Write a catchy headline and description.
- Preview your ad. Also, edit it as needed.
- Start ads and track campaign performance as well.
Google Ads is one of the best advertising media for restaurants. Please note that it may take some time to get good results.
Over 2 billion people use Facebook every month! Facebook ads can turn out to be very beneficial to your restaurant. It may take time and money to get some profit, but it’s worth it.
Facebook ads range from simple to complex. That is your choice. If you are new to Facebook ads, we recommend that you create a simple ad.
With experience, you can make it more sophisticated. This means creating complex ads and running “retargeting” ads.
Here are some simple steps to get started with your Facebook advertising campaign:
- Log in to your Facebook account
- Create a restaurant Facebook page
- Please enter the name of the restaurant and other details
- Upload logo
- Complete everything Facebook suggests
Create compelling posts to promote your restaurant
- Use catchy words
- Choose an attractive design ( using Canva )
Promote your post (click Boost Post)
- Choose your purpose (get more messages and phone calls)
- Please select your location (select your city)
- Select Demographics (Select Audience)
- Choose a budget (low budget first)
Let’s run for a few weeks to get some useful data
It may take some time to get good results. Therefore, you have to put up with Facebook ads.
The video is very effective in getting people’s attention. That’s why videos are very successful in advertising. That’s why TV advertising is so popular. However, TV ads are usually too expensive.
Youtube ads are an affordable alternative to TV advertising.
You can hire a photographer or use your smartphone to create catchy advertising videos about restaurants. You can show your interior design, staff, kitchen and admire them. You can then upload this video to YouTube to promote it.
You can make a video of food recipes. You can share some common recipes. You can watch many videos by sharing the recipe.
Note: When setting up an ad campaign, select only cities in the location settings.
Setting up Instagram ads is easy and can be done directly from your Facebook account. Make sure you have an Instagram profile. If you select the Instagram option when setting up your Facebook ad, your ad will appear on Instagram.
Creative Digital Marketing Techniques
How to market your restaurant online?
The most common methods are already listed. Now let’s talk about some ways to market your business online.
Online Delivery Service
If you don’t have a website that can handle your online orders, or if you don’t have a shipping service, you’ll need to partner with a popular shipping service.
These services handle the entire restaurant delivery process. These companies are responsible for accepting food orders online, accepting payments, and delivering food to customers. The only downside is that they often charge a fee.
There are many food delivery services around the world:
To find what’s popular in your city, do a Google search for it.
Alternative: You can also build your own online delivery platform. It’s simple and affordable. Click here to use the restaurant website builder.
Online Review Website
There are many popular websites where people visit and write reviews about restaurants and other local businesses. For example, in the United States, Yelp is a very popular website for online reviews. There are many other such international websites like Zomato. Do a google search to find out about the famous review websites in your area.
Getting positive reviews on such websites will definitely add credibility to your restaurant brand and bring you more customers.
Another thing to keep in mind is how to handle reviews. Always respond politely and professionally to negative reviews. Find out what went wrong and see if you can fix it. Please do not reply in a rude or defensive manner.
Tip: Focus on getting good reviews on Google My Business, as it is probably the most important of all online websites.
Local Business Directory
These are similar to online review websites. People generally use Google Maps to discover new businesses, so few people use it these days. You don’t have to focus too much on these. Spend some time listing your business in these directories.
Use Google to search for a “local business directory” or “restaurant directory” query. You get the list.
Use Google Alerts
Google Alerts will notify you every time someone mentions your company name on the internet. This helps you track the reputation of your business.
This method is suitable for well-established and popular restaurants.
Social Media Influencers
Have you ever seen a food blogger? They are very influential on social media and often go to new restaurants and post food photos. These photos get thousands of views and likes.
Suppose you invite or sponsor an Instagram influencer with an Instagram profile with 5000 Instagram followers. This person can take pictures of your special dishes and post them on his / her profile. The food in your restaurant is found by thousands of people. This encourages many people to visit your restaurant.
To find these Instagram influencers, go to Instagram and search for “# Food-lovers” and “# Yourcity”. You can also search on Google to find your personal blog. However, unlike social media channels, it is not possible to know the number of visitors to these blogs here.
Therefore, we recommend using Instagram. Here’s what you need to check:
- Instagram followers
- Profile type
Restaurant Offline Marketing Method
Of course, digital marketing methods are very popular, but traditional advertising methods aren’t out of date yet.
Let’s talk about some interesting and economical ways to market a restaurant without using the internet.
This section of the article is especially useful for restaurants with many customers over the age of 55. This is because most older people are not very familiar with digital media.
In addition, these strategies are useful for restaurants in towns and regions where digital media is not widely used.
Local Magazines And Newspapers
If you have money left after spending on digital marketing, you can advertise in your local newspaper or magazine. However, this is very expensive and may not be as economical as digital advertising.
The best day to advertise is Sunday. It’s a good idea to put coupons in newspapers and magazines. This can get a lot of attention.
It is best to consult a public relations (PR) agency or PR expert for this type of advertising.
Events such as food festivals, sports matches, and concerts are a great way to promote your restaurant. This will also increase your income.
You also need to think about how unique and superior you are to the other restaurants that attend these festivals. Here are some ideas for getting people’s attention at such an event:
- Serve food that no one else offers
- Providing outstanding service
- Decorate your stall creatively
- Serving delicious food at attractive prices
SMS is still an effective and cheap tactic to attract customers. You need to invest in a mass texting service. Use Google Search to find a company that offers this service in your area.
With this software, you can:
- Get more online orders
- Send the discount coupon by SMS
Support non-profit social programs
This is a good way to gain popularity and improve the reputation of your restaurant. This helps you connect emotionally with your customers.
Participate in food-related social events such as helping farmers, reducing food waste, and free food for the poor.
Tip: Contests are also a good way to increase popularity. For example, you can go to college and host a dance competition. The winner’s prize may be a free meal at your restaurant.
Coupons And Discounts
People love discounts! Offering discounts is a good way to get people’s attention.
You can put a board outside the restaurant to let people know about new food and drink discounts. Example: “Special 35% discount on all Italian food!”
Coupons are also a great way to attract new customers. But how do you distribute the coupons?
There are many ways.
You can partner with other companies in your area/city. They can give out your coupons to their customers. You will need to provide them with a good incentive for this, but it is very effective.
Tip: Providing Excellent Food And Service
The best marketing tools for your restaurant are your food and services. If you serve great food, people will not only come back but also recommend your restaurant to your friends and family. This will grow your restaurant at an incredible rate.
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