The management style of a restaurant owner has changed a lot over the years. Where great food, service, and word of mouth used to be all you needed to succeed, the marketing landscape has changed with the influx of digital marketing, social media and “influencers.” While these unchartered waters seem to come naturally for some – others struggle to stay afloat in the fiercely competitive restaurant market place.
The current data shows roughly 20% of restaurants close within the first year and the trend is moving down. Which is a sign of the times, being we are in a stronger economy, more people are eating out and the ease of digital marketing to entice newcomers.
Today, a restaurant owner can’t continue to market like Mom and Pop did. Relying on a stellar reputation and word of mouth. You must build a solid marketing plan which encompasses industry trends and demographic studies while utilizing printed materials, embracing social media and digital resources.
An experienced marketing service can help you design a plan that will bring you success. Here are just a few of the tools you should be using.
SOCIAL MEDIA FOR RESTAURANTS:
Utilize all the social media platforms and dazzle your audience with eye-catching images of your best dishes. The term “food porn” comes to mind and it is highly effective. Using Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Pinterest post delectable images of your crowd-pleasing dishes. Displaying your menu visually for all to see. But don’t stop there. Let your guests be the star of the show. Encourage your guests to like your feed and link with their profiles. Post pictures of them with your staff and show the world what a great place your restaurant is to visit. If you are not sure how to get started or don’t have the time to manage it, hire a social media expert and start building your digital neighborhood today.
Although this sounds easy, I mean every teenager out there has mastered social media marketing, Right? It is more difficult than you might think. You will want to be consistent and post on a regular basis. Be sure to accurately identify your target audience and geotag respectively. Understand the balance of the image to content, branding, tagging, when to run ads and how to choose a budget.
I don’t suggest taking a DIY approach to any of your restaurant marketing. Get an expert if you want to stay at the top of your game.
A website for your business will bridge the gap between you and the outside world. In order for your restaurant to grow, you will need a professional and visibly dazzling web site. A website will open doors to people visiting your area, vacationers, business groups, people looking for large parties and group dining. But first, do your research and speak to a professional web developer to ensure your site is secure and can host the features you need.
Once built, be sure to post your page to online directories to help people find you. For example, Yelp and Google My Business. And remember to Keep it Fresh. Just like your food. Adding fresh content and updated images will ensure your site is highly rated with Google and other search engines.
Creating a food blog will become a big piece of the pie. A blog can do many things to help your marketing. Post a blog to your website and it will help people find you, align you as an expert, increase SEO on your site, and provide fresh content for your site and social media posts. But don’t bite off more than you can chew. Decide how often you can post and be consistent. Share your blog on your site, social media posts, and newsletters. Topics that include recipes, seasonal food trends and nutrition facts will catch the eye of your followers and drive business to your doors.
I am a strong opponent of giving back or paying it forward. As a restaurant owner, you have many opportunities to help in your community. Hosting charity luncheons, provide food to a food bank, being a voice for those who need help. Once you have found your passion and a local organization that you want to help, you can further help them by using your established digital voice to encourage others to contribute their time, talent or treasure
Paper is not Dead! I recommend complimenting your digital branding with printed coupons, signs, table cards, and menus. Once you logo and branding package is in place. Utilize the imagery in all printed materials. As a restauranteur, you know that impressed customers are return customers so you’ve made the atmosphere a priority–with a friendly staff, a warm environment, and delicious fare. But what about your menu?
Make your guests crave your cuisine with attractive menus featuring mouthwatering images, illustrations, and descriptions of your OPTIONS. Look for a professional printing service that offers a wide selection of menu formats and templates to tempt customers’ palates.
You want to give your guests a memorable experience from start to finish so they can’t wait to tell their friends, right? These associations carry over to your brand—helping you create trusting relationships with your customers.
getGoing and find out more from our professional marketing team. Call us today: (678) 727-0678