A charming restaurant that serves delicious food may be in trouble if it can’t attract new customers. Fortunately, following the tested restaurant marketing tips can save a restaurant and bring its profit margins back to life. Of course, in the restaurant industry, you don’t merely want to survive, you want to thrive.
With the restaurant industry growing substantially each year, competition is stiff, and there’s plenty at stake for restaurateurs. Drawing new customers into your restaurant takes more than good faith and word of mouth these days. To ensure your restaurant’s success, you need to have a solid marketing strategy in place and invite new customers in with exceptional ideas. In this article, I’ll cover some tried and true ways to market your restaurant and get more customers in the door.
What is Restaurant Marketing?
Restaurant marketing is the process of marketing your restaurant to attract new customers and turn them into loyal patrons. The term ‘restaurant marketing’ is a broad umbrella term that covers everything from offline marketing such as local newspaper ads and flyers to online marketing like social media and online promotions.
Restaurant Marketing Tips
Use Irresistible Promotions
Slapping together flyers with flashy graphics & pasting them around town doesn’t make the cut anymore. For your restaurant to benefit from advertisement, it has to highlight your restaurant’s unique selling point. Consider what makes your restaurant, or brand, special and use that to market it. It’s also essential to bear your target audience in mind and cater to them in your advertisements.
Whether it’s print ads, television commercials, or digital marketing, your promotion should target a single audience with a single message. Blanket or catchall promotion is not only less effective, but it can cost you a lot of money. Narrowing down your audience and using thoughtful promotion also decreases the chances that your advertisement will fall upon deaf ears. Find your niche and promote your restaurant directly to them.
Special discounts and freebies can serve as rewards for current customers while also attracting new ones along the way. Customers love to feel appreciated, and when they do, they’ll shout about it from the hilltops. When your restaurant earns a reputation for offering great perks, new customers will pile in by the dozens.
These days, with the hospitality market as saturated as it is, small incentives like this help draw people to your restaurant. Perks like these can help generate buzz and help get customers in the door:
- Birthday emails with freebies
- Special discounts like 2-for-1 offers
- Rewards points
New customers that come in for a discount and have a positive experience in your restaurant are likely to return. Studies show that restaurant customers who have a positive experience will spend 37% more. So, perks can help attract new customers who will happily pay more for an excellent service.
Leverage Social Media
More and more businesses are discovering the marketing power and affordability that social media provides.
- Social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest are ideal for getting people’s mouths watering and sparking their visual hunger.
- Twitter, on the other hand, is better for sharing news and having conversations with your audience.
- Facebook has begun to eclipse Google with its ability to provide business details and customer reviews.
While photos and news help spark conversations and gain interest, customer reviews are the most convincing of the three. Around 84% of people say they trust an online review as though it were a personal recommendation. Therefore, cultivating an online presence on platforms that allow you to showcase positive reviews is one of the best restaurant marketing tips. Sharing photos, news, and customer reviews on social media create a trifecta of excellent digital marketing. However, if you happen to receive a less than a great review, ensure that you respond to it promptly and respectfully.
Celebrate the Holidays
From Valentine’s Day to New Year, there are plenty of holidays throughout the year that people celebrate despite their backgrounds. Holidays like these are perfect opportunities for restaurants to market their services and draw in new crowds. This is why it’s essential to work with the best writing services to craft advertisements and social media posts that will appeal to your audience.
Whether it’s a romantic dinner or an after-work celebration, people want to get together and enjoy these special days. Customers are more than willing to pay for holiday lunches and dinners in restaurants.
If your restaurant doesn’t create special campaigns or at least do some marketing for these holidays, it’s losing out on revenue. Holiday campaigns can attract new customers like a moth to a flame and build life-long traditions. For instance, KFC has become the one and only dining establishment to visit on Christmas Day in Japan. This campaign, which began in 1970, is still going strong and its sales on the holiday are often ten times more than usual. Now that is an effective holiday marketing!
A powerful marketing strategy can
- bring more customers to your restaurant,
- grow your brand,
- and increase restaurant sales.
Nonetheless, before you can get started marketing your brand, you need to devote some time to your mission statement and planning. Once you have a better grasp of what your restaurant offers and who it caters to, you can dive into marketing it to your target audience.
Connecting with your customers will help attract them to your restaurant in the first place and keep them coming back for more. Hopefully, these restaurant marketing tips will help your restaurant grow like many other businesses before.