Marketing is one of the most difficult parts of owning any business. In the case of a restaurant, it can be one of the most important aspects of management. You can have the greatest menu that’s ever graced a table but that’s only as good as your ability to gain a customer base. Without that, how can you expect to turn a profit? Truly, the best way to get people’s attention is via word of mouth. However, in order to get people to try your food in the first place, you need to make sound noise so to speak. The biggest and most effective way is to use social media. It’s not a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. It’s good to spread a wide net using a variety of methods as well like email marketing, push notifications, and print marketing.
Social Media is great for staying relevant, but that’s not the only reason to use it. You can promote events to a wide range of people. As well as sales, whether that be long-running ones or even just daily specials. Social media also gives you a great opportunity to connect with customers in a unique way, using memes and trending hashtags. When people review your restaurant, you can respond to their comments, either thanking them for their patronage or asking questions if their experience wasn’t satisfactory. On social media, you can also partner up with influencers or local restaurant critics to do specials on your establishment.
The thing with email marketing is that, because it can be overused, people are reluctant to implement it. However, it can still be a great way to re-engage a customer. If they’re on the fence about where to go for dinner, a coupon in their inbox may sway them to swing on by. It’s also another way to promote sales or holiday specials that you’re going to have. The most tricky thing about email marketing is finding the right program that won’t get flagged and sent your emails to the customers’ spam boxes. Many of those services offer free trials, so it’s best to experiment and find the one that works best for you.
If your restaurant has an app, then push notifications are one of your best tools right next to online ordering. It allows you to contact customers without them even needing to open the app. You can remind customers that haven’t visited in a while. If you use geolocation data, then you can get a notification to someone when they are in the same area as your establishment. You can also promote a daily special or a temporary sale during lunchtime. Unlike something like an email notification, push notifications are less ignored by the average consumers.
Print marketing is the oldest kind. It’s the best way to promote sales or new products within your location. You can also give away brochures or print coupons with deliveries to encourage returning customers. Print marketing also allows you to put your brand out there. Business cards and rack cards can introduce your restaurant to potential customers in a short amount of time. It gives them a sense of what your style is, which can often be as important as the quality of food to some consumers.
At the end of the day, marketing is about putting yourself out there. Sometimes it can be difficult to find time to update social media or to organize email and push notification systems. In this modern era, when everyone looks up the restaurant online to see what others say about it or to see what the food looks like, you need to put your best face out there for them to see. Unfortunately, not everyone realistically has the time to do all of this. When you’re running a restaurant, you have a million other moving parts that you have to keep track of. We help our clients set up marketing strategies so that they can prioritize making their restaurants the best places to eat from. If you need to broaden your customer base but aren’t sure where to start or how to deal with the upkeep of a marketing strategy, let us work with you.