Restaurant Marketing Tips…
Over the years we’ve done a huge amount of work helping restaurants and cafe’s improve their image and get new customers. So we’ve decided to share our knowledge and put together the following restaurant marketing tips to help your eatery win more business.
Whether you own a fast food takeaway, a local pub, or a traditional tea room, the advice below still applies. It’s obvious to make sure your food offering and your service are up to scratch, but have you thought about your marketing strategies?
1. Improve your social media presence
There are plenty of ways to make the most of how your business appears online, even if you don’t have a website. A strong social presence, using Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram is a great way for customers to try before they buy. Its also a really easy way for potential customers to get in touch and ask about menu choices, or opening times. These should be regularly monitored, and replying to customers quickly is essential. If you don’t have the resources to keep on top of all 3, pick one social media site, and make sure you do it well.
2. Utilise review sites
I don’t know about you but if I’m trying to choose somewhere to eat, I tend to have a look online and see what reviews a place has. Reviews left on Google, TripAdvisor, and Facebook are really important for gaining the trust of the general public. Encourage customers to leave you a positive review (especially your regular customers) by giving a small discount code or added extra to people who do so. It is important to keep an eye on these pages, and if any negative reviews occur, reply straight away, be apologetic, and ask if there is a way you can rectify the issue. It is much better to acknowledge and reply to these posts as it shows people online that you care and any issues are unusual.
3. Invest in food photography
It’s often said people eat with their eyes first. So there is no point having faded, out of date, unappealing imagery. Whether it is on your menu, your restaurant, or as a display in your establishment, it is vital that your food looks as good as it tastes. It may feel like money that you don’t need to spend, but investing in getting your photography done professionally can make a huge difference to your business. We can point you in the right direction when it comes to photography, so if you need a hand, get in touch!
4. Refresh your menu design
Your menu is your best selling tool, and a boring, outdated, or ugly menu can put people off trying your amazing food. It is great to be able to view a full menu online, if you’re an eat-in establishment without a takeaway option, make sure you have a well designed, easy to find .pdf of the menu on your website. If you offer take out food, a .pdf online is great, but a printed menu through peoples doors is better. Either way, make sure your menu design is fresh, well-written and enticing. There are also several tactics you can use to influence customers’ choices and sell more of your most profitable menu items. Talk to us if you need any help with menu design as we’ve got lots of experience in this area.
5. Share your menu and current offers
Once your well designed menu is complete, make sure people see it, and any relevant special offers. One option is direct mail, although junk mail can be annoying, a lot of people keep a stack of menus or recent offer leaflets at home, and you want to be in that pile when hunger strikes! Even if you’re eat in only, a well timed leaflet or flyer about new food options on the menu, a current promotion, or an event happening soon, is a great way to make sure you are remembered. If you’ve built up a good social media presence already, digital versions of flyers etc are always great too.
6. Promote through email
Another really good option is promoting your business via email. When compared with direct mail marketing, email marketing is faster and more efficient, saves paper, reduces marketing expenses and is more likely to convert to a sale. The main thing you need to do before this is possible is to collect the email addresses of your customers and add them to a database to market to. Make sure you read up on GDPR before you do this though, the rules about storing data have changed and you must make sure you comply! If you need help implementing a way to collect emails, or with designing your marketing emails let us know, we can certainly lend a hand.
7. Commit to going green
More and more people are concerned about the impact of their lifestyle choices on the environment, and implementing green practices can also help your profits and give you an edge over the competition. Find ways to reduce packaging, energy consumption, and the use of plastic. If this is something you are passionate about, add your eco-friendly status to your marketing material to show like-minded folks that your business is a good choice for them.
8. Consider your own website
Consumers across the nation often turn to the internet to decide where they will eat out next. If your restaurant does not have its own website, you may lose a lot of potential customers. If you already have a website, make sure it is pulling its weight. Can customers easily find all the important information, such as hours, location and the menus? It is also essential that your site is mobile friendly. More and more consumers are finding out about restaurants on the go, and if your website is incompatible with smartphones, it can seriously impact your business. If you would like some help with the design of your site then complete our website worksheet here to start.
9. Make sure you appear on other sites
If you’ve decided a website is not for you, at the very least make sure you are listed on other appropriate websites. There are plenty out there that can show an establishments opening times, menu and other info. Ensure your location and business info is correct on google maps, and yelp etc, and overall make sure you’re easy to find out about. If you offer take out options, apps such as Just Eat and Deliveroo are great ways to increase the number of orders you get and therefore your brand presence.
10. Give customers more
Special offers, competitions and events are all great ways to encourage both regular and new customers to eat with you. It could be a saving on a particular menu item, a great offer on a quiet day of the week, loyalty points for repeat custom, or even a competition to name your newest dish. Competitions and events can also be great ways to collect those all-important email addresses and increase the size of your database
11. Get good press
It may feel like getting good press is out of your control, but there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure the local media takes notice of your business. To get good press, you can try helping the community, making creative changes, and thinking outside of the box. Appearing in the local (or even national!) paper can do wonders for business.
So, there you have it, our essential restaurant marketing tips guide, we hope you find it useful to your business. The above should be enough to get you started, but we would love you to get in touch with us, to hear your issues and ideas, and to help you successfully market your restaurant.