Running a restaurant is not easy. Long hours and demanding customers make it one of the more high-pressure vocations, but it has its benefits too. Whether you are considering your first restaurant launch or you are already on your third or fourth premises, there is a lot of fun in restaurant management. However, even if you work all of the hours possible, your restaurant can still fail if your marketing isn’t up to scratch. Restaurant marketing doesn’t have to be challenging or time-consuming. Instead, it can be creative, fun, and relatively simple to set up. Have a look at the best ways to market your restaurant in 2019 and beyond.
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Always have an up to date restaurant website. It should be your number one priority, and this is the one that too many restaurateurs miss out. However, nowadays it’s not merely enough to have a website alone. You need your website to be fully optimized for mobile use as well, and an astonishing 95% of restaurants have failed to develop this strategy. Even worse are the restaurants that make the decision not to have a website at all, and rely instead on their Facebook page to communicate with customers. Websites don’t have to be expensive to set up or design, and it’s never been easier to launch your web presence. You don’t need to learn to code. Just sign up for a website building platform and get creative!
Important Steps for Restaurant Marketing
1. Create Content
Once you have your website up and running, you’re going to need content to fill those empty pages. Start with the basics like contact details, maps, and menus. Once you have the foundation, it’s time to start looking at improving your online presence.
Search engines are usually how new customers are going to find you, so you want to show up as high as possible on those Google searches.
SEO marketing sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is to provide people with valuable content and to use a variety of content options. Video is ideal for restaurant marketing. Look at how social media pages like Unilad Grub film their food-related content and gain a considerable number of shares. Use professional video services like Promo.com and your restaurant could be attracting more people to your tables than ever before.
2. Get Instagrammable
Instagram and restaurants go hand in hand. A startling 69% of millennials will take a photo of their food before they pick up their knife and fork. This might be mocked by many, but it’s a massive opportunity for your business. Those photos will be uploaded to Instagram and Facebook, and with the right people posting the right pics, you could be expanding your audience reach in a very organic way. Some restaurants take this even further and make use of blank spaces in their premises to create selfie spots. These can be designed to suit your branding and can be a great way of encouraging people to take a photo in your establishment and promote you on their social channels.
3. Go Green
Younger generations are placing a high priority on sustainability. It can be an advantageous move to tap into (and you’ll be doing the planet some good too). Apart from this, you can even help to reduce your ongoing bills at the same time. That means you’ll be increasing profits and spending less while being kind to the environment.
It’s a win-win situation, and any restaurant that isn’t promoting their sustainable actions is missing out on a valuable marketing element.
Let people know that you have taken steps to use recyclable takeaway containers, used less water in the cooking process, or only bought from local sources. Being a greener restaurant is a fantastic selling point in the modern age, and is only going to become more critical.
4. Influencers – Yes or No?
The hospitality industry has primarily driven the rise of social media influencer. They might not be the only industry that uses influencers, but they certainly seem to have adopted them on a grander scale. While there are dangers with making use of social media influencers, they can be useful if utilized correctly. Look at your local area and identify local food bloggers. Never try to make use of social media influencers with a follower count that is too high. The more followers they have, the less likely that they will interact with their audience, meaning that you gain very little. Micro and nano-influencers are much more useful for restaurants, and they don’t have to cost you much more than the price of a meal either.
When it comes to launching a new marketing strategy for a restaurant, the more creative you are, the better it is. Build a plan and have a goal, and don’t rest until you’ve reached that goal. The more that you have a clear target, the easier it will be to assess your marketing effectiveness. If you prefer being fully booked over staying empty, then marketing is the key to getting more bookings in 2019.