When you open a restaurant, what do you want to focus most on – delivering lip-smacking taste or bringing in a consistent flow of customers? Well, you could have the best food in your locality, but until people don’t show up at your restaurant’s doorstep, you’re failing. Hence, your restaurant marketing needs to be just as good as your food.
Let’s be honest – competition in the restaurant industry is fierce. Each of your neighboring restaurants is fighting for the same customer as you. With the digital penetration and online delivery system, the competition encompasses wider than just one area – you’re fighting with the best restaurants in your domain with the whole city.
According to The Restaurant Times, 60% of restaurants fail within the first year of operation. 80% of them fail within the first five years. On top of these generic statistics, the pandemic broke the backbone of the restaurant industry. As a result of COVID-19, around 3% of the restaurant businesses have closed permanently. The restaurants are still facing financial imbalances.
Sure, these statistics are off-putting. However, let’s not forget that we live in an age where we are just a few clicks away from the best pizzas, pasta, cold beverages, avocado toasts, and even a full-fledged dinner. Digital not only allows businesses to deliver food with no geographical barriers but also facilitates marketing on online platforms around the globe.
Restaurant marketing is no easy feat. It is more than cobbling a website and posting one social media post every week. With more businesses opening up to the idea of online restaurant marketing, especially after COVID-19, you need to step up above the usual marketing methods and practice unique strategies.
In this post, we are taking you through the best result-yielding restaurant marketing strategies. Let us get into the topic.
5 Top Restaurant Marketing Strategies to Deliver Success
#1 Do Not Ignore Social Media
Have you ever noticed the first thing customers do as soon as you put the food in front of them? While the obvious answer should be tasting the first bite of the scrumptious dish, doing so is, in fact, forbidden. The millennials and gen Z follow the trend of clicking aesthetic pictures of the meal and then sharing them on Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook.
If your customers are posting your restaurant’s food on their social media profiles, shouldn’t you also leverage the power of social media? Especially when we are literally living in the age of social media – 82% of the US population is active on social media in 2021.
Use social media monitoring to discover who’s talking about you or something relevant to your restaurant. Also, find out the social media platforms your target audience is searching for for your restaurant. Promote aesthetic visuals of your restaurant, your cooking process, and the close-ups of the ready-dish. Moreover, engage in the posts of your customers.
Along with the visual social media platforms, Twitter can also be a true treasure for restaurant marketing. Schedule your tweets around different meals of the day to target the specific crowds.
#2 Leverage the Use of Push Notifications
If you have an app to support the online delivery of your food items, you have opened a window of whole new opportunities for restaurant marketing. One of the promising strategies is sending push notifications to app users.
Push notifications are the messages that pop up in the notification bar of your smartphone or tablet. There’s no other marketing element in the app that has the potential to provide a more immediate and more direct line of communication than the push notification. Here’s what you should remember while sending one –
- Time is of the essence. Do not disturb them in the night with a push notification about breakfast special. There’s no way they will remember. Moreover, your message will look disruptive, inconvenient, and annoying.
- Schedule your notifications around the relevant meal time. Remind them about your daily lunch specials half an hour before lunchtime so that your restaurant pops up in their mind while choosing the lunch place. Also, do not overcommunicate – it irritates customers.
- Be specific. Generalized push notifications do not create an impact. You can draft location-based, weather-based, or city-based copies to customize your push notifications.
#3 Collaborate With Influencers, Critics, and Food Bloggers
You can’t deny the credibility or popularity of the food influencers in restaurant marketing. We’ve all seen and enjoyed their TikTok videos, Facebook posts, and Instagram stories. If any of their referral codes, reviews, or food promotions made you piqued about their content, you’ve vouched for their influence.
Influencers and food bloggers are known to have a remarkable impact on their audiences. According to a survey by SlickText, nearly 40 percent of respondents want a product or service promoted by an influencer to convince them to indulge in its purchase.
For you, influencer marketing is a chance to enhance your brand awareness and establish yourself as a credible restaurant in the industry. It becomes more relevant and essentially necessary if your target audience is youngsters or the people of Generation Z or Millennials. You do not need to worry about spending huge sums of money as, unlike celebrities, you have the option to collaborate with micro-influencers. They charge way less than macro or mega influencers. Most importantly, the collaboration with influencers or food bloggers is advantageous to your restaurant marketing strategy as they have a loyal customer base. Their target audience is most likely to visit your restaurant and contribute to your business revenue.
Must Read: 3 Signs of Fake Influencers
With social media monitoring, you can find the top and most relevant influencers for your restaurant. You can reach out to them and develop new cost-effective and result-oriented influencer marketing strategies.
#4 Initiate Loyalty Programs
A comprehensive restaurant marketing approach focuses not only on attracting new customers but creating repeat customers too. One of the most convenient and promising methods to do so is by creating loyalty programs for your customers.
According to statistics, 76.82% of women and 73.84% of men prefer shopping with a brand that has a loyalty program. If you create a reward structure that provides customers freebies, special offers, discounts, or reward points based on their buying habits. More the frequency of purchase, the higher the rewards. Customers like the fact that eating at your restaurants earns them extra value. You can remind them about redeeming their reward points through email marketing.
Starbucks is great at loyalty programs. It offers its customers stars on every purchase and allows them to redeem the star for rewards. It could be free food or drink. Needless to say, the higher the stars, the larger the scope for reward. Earlier this year, the global coffee brand made convenient changes to its loyalty programs by enabling members to earn rewards points with all forms of payment. The updates have increased both – new customers enrollment and engagement rates.
#5 Use Email Marketing to Create a Buzz
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways for restaurant marketing. With creative and engaging newsletters and email campaigns, you can target both the current customer groups and potential customers.
If you think email has lost its touch, we have news for you. According to statistics, email has three times more customers than Twitter and Facebook have together. Also, 91% of its users check their emails daily.
With email marketing, restaurants get the opportunity to inform the customer about the current offers and promotions. Moreover, it also acts as a branding tool – once you adopt a particular design temple, your customer will recognize your brand. The best part about restaurant email marketing is, you do not face any restrictions to craft compelling email copies. Whether you want to notify customers about your new food menu, bring a special recipe to the spotlight, or inform them about new offers, you can be as creative as you want.
Applebee’s, an American neighborhood grill + bar restaurant chain, sent out an email to its customers when they teamed up with Tyler Florence, a well-known chef, and Food Network personality. The email included a dish that he made especially for the restaurant and a link to tour the kitchen with Florence.
You can do something similar by showcasing your chef, other staff, and their specialty in your email marketing strategies.
How Can Mentionlytics Help You With Restaurant Marketing?
Mentionlytics, a web, and social media monitoring tool, assists restaurants to monitor their web presence. Managing your brand’s online reputation is no easy feat in today’s competitive and proactive environment. Our tool has features that allow them to collect vital insights about their restaurant from customers’ perspectives and use that wealth of information to improve their image, market their brand and food, and build a strong online community.
With the efficient use of the Mentionlytics tool, you can find marketing leads to grow your business and discover the latest trends and happenings of your restaurant industry. With regular data reports, you can conduct a thorough research about your competitors’ practices. Moreover, you get to know what the Internet is talking about you and responding to your campaigns or marketing activities. With close monitoring, you get to react to the positive reviews and prevent crises. The tool goes a step forward and provides premium features, such as finding influencers for your restaurant in your industry and setting up customized email alerts.
Mentionlytics is a leading all-in-one social media analytics platform that can help you enhance your restaurant marketing efforts and form a stronger foundation for your brand.
We hope this guide on ways to improve your restaurant marketing was useful to you. For more such content, stay in touch with our platform.