Posted on 01/03/2018 in Business

11 Marketing tips for Restaurant Startups

11 Marketing tips for Restaurant Startups

Starting a restaurant is a monumental task that requires the coordination of many activities to culminate in a opening night that leaves reviewers wowed and ensures repeat visits from your clientele. But after opening night, you’ve still got plenty you can focus on to increase your restaurant’s popularity and drive business into your dining room night after night.

Here are 11 digital marketing tactics that can set you on the right track:

Paid per Click Advertising (PPC)

PPC is a type of online advertising that allows you to bid for certain keywords on a platform such as Google Adwords and pay for your ad based on the amount of click-throughs that it generates. This can be an ideal form of advertisement because it can draw attention from your local or hyper-local audience (depending on which keyword you choose) and will only cost what your customers put into it.

List Management

Using a list management tool will save you a ton of time when compiling customer data and email addresses for customer contact. foodfind.co is a good solution that will help increase your visibility online and connect with customers.


Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is hot right now, and with many users switching their main online platform to their smartphones and tablets, you must remain in touch with this medium in order to stay relevant with your audience. Here are some of the most popular ways to do so:

Facebook messenger - a relative newcomer that gives restaurant managers the opportunity to connect directly with customers when they have questions

Google promoted map pins - puts you on the map - literally - when customers dine and talk about your restaurant

Social Media Strategy

As with mobile marketing, you must maintain an active social media strategy to capture a large portion of your demographic. Developing a cohesive blend of advertising components, like photos, coupons and other online-only offers will help build loyalty, particularly among younger customers.

Public Relations: target online bloggers

Leverage local bloggers to become brand advocates by offering free or discounted meals in exchange for honest reviews. This organic PR crew will drive awareness of your restaurant within your community.

Loyalty Program

Develop a loyalty program that rewards customers for dining with your restaurant. Whether it’s a “buy 10, get the 11th free” offer or a rewards card that captures points for free drinks and appetizers, a loyalty program will get your customers in the door again and again.


Manage Online Reputation and Reviews

Whether you like it or not, customers read online reviews to help them make purchasing decisions.  This was once referred to as word-of-mouth or buzz advertising, but today we call it advocacy marketing, and is essential for building your brand.


Develop a Plan to Capture Email Addresses

In past decades we shared business cards, but today we collect email addresses. Email allows restaurateurs to stay in touch with customers, offering deals and sharing exciting news.

You can collect addresses in your restaurant, as well as on your website, and use email services to stay in touch through weekly newsletters and other email marketing campaigns.

Use Reservation Tools

Reservation tools give your customers the opportunity to book reservations online from their home computers or smartphones. In the digital age, this capability is especially important because it puts the power in your customer's’ hands, which is where they’re interacting with the world anyway.

Tools like Open Table offer services that help to manage your reservations and handle the details of providing a smooth customer interface online.

Create profiles

To promote your social media marketing strategy, you’ll need to develop an online presence. Social media platforms provide free pages for businesses and walk you through the process of getting you restaurant’s profile off of the ground. These are some of the networks that you should consider:

  • Bing
  • Facebook business page
  • Google +
  • Yelp
  • Restaurant verticals services, like foodfind.co

Website

Your primary online presence should be contained to your very own website. Investing the time and money in starting and maintaining a professional website is one of the most imporant ways that you can spend your marketing budget.

At a minimum, you must include the following information on your site, to make it appealing and informative to your customers:

  • SEO
  • Name, Address, Telephone
  • Hours
  • Menu

Images of your dishes - whet your users’ appetites with stunning images of the menu items that you offer

By implementing the basic building blocks of online marketing strategy, you can develop a cohesive digital marketing plan that will drive customers to your restaurant. Unlike in some online marketing situations, you need to have an appealing enough brand and product that customers will get into their vehicles and come to your physical location.

It’s a tall order, but with the right tools, you can book out your dining room every night of the week, have your digital marketing plan to thank for it.

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