Updated: Jul 2, 2020
You have opened a restaurant. Or perhaps, you want to open one. Or, maybe you've been open for a while. Regardless, you are asking yourself, "How am I going to capture the attention of every grumbling stomach and hangry human in my city?"
There is a massive amount of competition in the market. If you aren't competing with someone in a similar genre, you are certainly competing with someone. Maybe it's the guy right around the corner, or the lady who is just alittle bit cheaper, or more helpful, or cuter on Instagram, or has more Yelp reviews, and the list goes on and on.
Your audience's mind is on, "I am hungry, feed me now! Also, any reviews? What is near me? What does Uncle Jessie think." Google/Yelp, here I come!
How are you going to set yourself apart? Where do you need to focus your time and energy on growing your business with marketing?
Ask, and you shall receive my friends. Below we have highlighted a few tips and tricks to help your restaurant stay on top of this ever-evolving industry:
1. Food Selfies. It's a thing.
I meeean, we're in a selfie culture.
It's been the marketing buzz, all over the internet, for a decade. Agencies are studying it, businesses and brands are capitalizing on it. Rule number one for social media marketing: Look at me!
But don't worry, you have the sexiest, most mouth-watering commodity around...your food! One of the most valuable and trusted methods for promoting your food business on the internet is publishing high-quality images of your products online, particularly on social media platforms. Never underestimate the power of visual content, especially when you want to attract the foodie subculture. Photos and short videos of delicious-looking food and simple, DIY recipes will bring hungry mouths to your restaurant.
It is better to hire a professional to capture the best images. They know how to adjust lighting and how to make your food look more impressive in the picture.
PRO TIP Use filters on your phone to help your camera phone images look alittle more professional. If you like the blurry background look and have a Samsung, use the "food" option on your camera phone.
2. Loyalty Programs = Thanks for being cool!
Establishing partnerships with restaurant loyalty apps is a great promotional tool. Also, since many of them already exist, you don't have to build from the ground up. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Find your favorite, shop the competition, get the best price, and launch it.
When your business offers rewards and savings, just the fun game of collecting will bring visitors to your business. Reward repeat business and loyalty with gifts for inviting a new user or even offer exclusive discounts and free food options. Some of the most popular apps connected to valuable loyalty programs online are Perka, Loyal Blocks,
LevelUp, and Belly.
Remember, you have some of the best advertising space in the game. Use tabletops, email signups, fliers at checkout, in-person requests, etc. to push your loyalty program.
3. Food should be a Community.
Yum! Love eating as a family. What if every diner at your restaurant felt like they were part of your family? Community management tools are abundant on the internet, think Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google, so much more! You can talk to these people, respond to requests, and even defend a not so great experience.
New customers are going to find your business and make their dining decisions based on how you foster your community. For every positive review you receive, you should respond with a "thanks!" or "come see us again!." For every negative review, you should meet it with an apology or an acknowledgment of the customer's concern. Then, request to earn their business with another visit.
Positive reviews can do wonders to help grow your business. Negative reviews create an opportunity. Regardless, use your review platforms and social media to engage with your customers and show them what is happening at your location.
Add essential details to your accounts and keep it brief. Include the real price range, updated menu, correct location + store hours, new and enticing photos, if you offer free Wi-Fi, etc
4. Start a BLOG already!
We talk to so many businesses about SEO. Everyone asks, "do you have the magic key to open the SEO cupboard?" The short answer, of course, we have some ideas! The longer answer = write a blog! Also, it is another impressive way to build your community. Blogs provide a resource for your community and support for SEO crawlers. And that my friends is a win-win!
A great way to engage and attract a higher number of customers online is by writing helpful, relevant blogs. Blogs give business owners a chance to share funny stories, struggles, successes, and recipes to capture the interest of their target audience. When you first add a blog on your website, make sure that you can routinely post to keep it updated. Also, the more you update, the more new pages your site gets, which means more juice for the SEO squeeze. We are just going to pause there. It would help if you had a blog. You know you do. Don't act all cute like you don't.
Include keywords in the first paragraph of your blog, but don't be too repetitive. What does too repetitive mean? Make sure it flows as a reader, and you don't sound like a computer.
Another Pro Tip, cause we love you: include links in your blogs, link to other foodies, recipe owners, online stores, and most importantly: LINK TO OTHER blogs that YOU WROTE on YOUR SITE.
5. When I am hungry, honestly, imma little lazy. So….who is your delivery service?
Imma be a little lazy here, hire a delivery guy, or get a service. #millenialsloveit
Amazon rules the world today, and we love getting everything delivered to our front door in two hours. Just make it easier for your customers to order food from your business. If you do lunch, this is a great way to attract business customers. People love to take advantage of trustworthy delivery services and enjoy delicious food in the comfort of their homes.
You can join hands with some famous names such as GrubHub, Delivery.com, Papermate, Eat24, and Seamless. Or, you can find local companies to help support your delivery needs!
Did this blog get your creative juices flowing? We would love to talk more with you about ideas specific to your needs or restaurant. Email firstname.lastname@example.org!