Restaurant Marketing Basics
Restaurant marketing is essential to drive repeat business, nurture loyalty, and keep guests top of mind between visits. While acquiring new customers is costly, retaining existing ones is much more cost effective.
To boost online reservations, add a “Reserve a Table” link to your Google profile. This allows guests to book a table without leaving your website or social media page.
1. Social Media
Social media marketing allows restaurants to connect with their target audiences through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. These channels allow restaurants to post photos and videos of their food and ambiance, which helps potential consumers decide whether or not to dine at the restaurant.
In addition, restaurants can use these platforms to promote specials and promotions. They can also track engagement to see how well their marketing is working.
Another important aspect of social media marketing for restaurants is to regularly update their profiles. This can include posting pictures of new menu items and upcoming events. Moreover, it is also important to respond to all comments and messages on the platform. Restaurants can even reshare user-generated content to engage with their audience and gain more exposure.
2. Word of Mouth
The old-school version of word of mouth marketing involves in-person discussions and recommendations between friends and family. This can be anything from a happy customer telling coworkers about a standout restaurant experience to a local resident bringing visiting family members to your neighborhood eatery for an exceptional dinner.
The secret to success with this form of marketing is identifying or creating something special about your business that generates organic buzz and turns customers into brand ambassadors. It can’t be achieved through cookie cutter tactics, and it all comes down to genuine connection with your audience.
SMS messaging and email marketing are powerful tools to use for this type of strategy, as well as offering special experiences like exclusive pre-opening events, collaborative pop-ups, and can’t-miss promotions. Surprising your guests will give them a reason to spread the word.
3. Direct Mail
Direct mail is a type of marketing that involves sending physical letters, postcards, brochures, and catalogs to potential customers. It is a great way to reach new customers and generate leads.
One thing to remember with direct mail is that it needs to add value. Adding a personal touch, such as handwriting or including your signature, can help to make it more appealing to the recipient. This will increase the likelihood that they will keep it.
Using a clear goal in mind will help to improve your creative, offer, and list strategy. Whether you are trying to generate new sales, or convince a dormant customer to return, setting your goal will give you insight into what is working and what isn’t. It will also help you size your mailing based on expected response rates.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing can be a powerful tool for restaurants. It allows you to communicate directly with your customers about news relating to your restaurant, such as a new menu item or a seasonal favorite making a return. It also gives you the opportunity to directly communicate with your customers about deals, promotions and other events that are going on at your restaurant.
To maximize the results of your email campaigns, be sure to include your restaurant name and logo in every message you send. You can even segment your emails by location to send customized messages to your local audience. Don’t spam your customers’ inboxes though; overusing this method can turn them off from your business. Instead, keep your messages relevant and timely to avoid falling into the junk folder.
5. Print Advertising
The best print marketing materials set the scene for diners and let them know what kind of restaurant they’re in for. They also remind them of past good experiences and encourage repeat business.
Paid advertising is an essential part of any restaurant marketing strategy but it’s important to set a budget that makes sense for your business. It’s also important to track metrics and know your ROI so you can optimize your spend.
A common misconception is that print advertising is dead, but it can actually be one of the most effective ways to reach your audience. Posters, for example, are a cheap, wide-format print option that can be used to promote new entrees or events. You can also use them to drive traffic to your website or social media.