The restaurant industry is chock-full of competition. In order to stand out and succeed, restaurateurs must provide diners with delicious meals and impeccable service, and that’s not all.
Restaurants must also provide diners with convenience, community, and conversation.
In other words, today’s diners expect to have an excellent experience, from the moment they decide to dine at your restaurant to the moment they sign the bill, and beyond.
They want ordering and dining options that are convenient. They want to feel welcome when they dine-in, and when they post photos of their meals on social media, they want to feel like they’re part of a community. Whether ordering delivery from home, picking their orders up from the curb, or meeting their friends at your restaurant, your customers are going to want to talk about their experiences online, in either a positive or negative light.
If you’re only offering food and beverages at your restaurant, you’re missing out. But the good news is that providing your diners with so much more than just a menu isn’t beyond your reach.
Give your diners an excellent all around customer experience by implementing these 5 powerful restaurant marketing strategies that are designed to help you retain loyal customers and increase revenue.
Mobile apps spell convenience, plain and simple. Does your restaurant offer customers a mobile app with ordering and payment options? This is not to be confused with a responsive web design that functions smoothly on smartphones, though it wouldn’t hurt to make sure your site is responsive. If you haven’t launched a mobile app for your restaurant, consider investing in a white-label app.
Here are some reasons to provide your customers with a mobile app:
● Consumers prefer in-app ordering above any other online ordering method
● Restaurant mobile apps help to increase customer loyalty
● A mobile app is a digital marketing tool that will give you direct access to your customers
Successfully marketing your restaurant can be tricky due to the fact that you’re not aiming to target a nationwide or worldwide audience. Quite the opposite, in fact, your goal as a restaurateur is to draw a local crowd of customers to your business. Using the hashtag #foodie on Instagram and maintaining a recipe blog are actually not going to cut it. Instead, focus your marketing locally by enhancing your Google My Business page. Add the Bookings feature to your GMB page, and enable the Check In feature on your social media pages.
Increase local SEO by incorporating the following ideas:
● NAP optimization is as simple as adding your Name, Address, and Phone Number to your business website
● Plug local SEO into your website content and GMB description to rank as high as possible on SERP
● Use geo-targeting in any social media advertisements you plan on running
Customer loyalty rewards programs have long since been proven to be one of the most effective marketing strategies for increasing customer retention and boosting sales. For restaurants, loyalty programs can be especially beneficial because they incentivize diners to try new menu items, increase order sizes, and return more frequently. You’ll want to choose a loyalty platform that comes with a mobile app and integrates with your online ordering system. We recommend the Loyal~n~Save platform.
Loyalty programs benefit both diners and restaurants in the following ways:
● Restaurant loyalty members dine 20% more often and spend 20% more per visit
● A loyalty program is a powerful marketing tools that enables you to launch email marketing campaigns, SMS text campaigns, and in-app push notification campaigns
● Loyalty programs include built-in CRM that will help you maximize the personalization of your marketing campaigns
It’s almost as though certain social media platforms were made for restaurant marketing. They say that experiencing a tasty meal begins with drinking in the sight of the food. You can give your diners a virtual taste of all that your restaurant has to offer by posting high quality photos of your dishes on Instagram and Facebook. An even better marketing idea is to include videos on Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and YouTube that feature your chefs and cooks preparing your most popular meal items.
Consider the following your high-quality action plan:
● Encourage your customers to post photos of their meals on social media to increase word-of-mouth marketing
● Add your best photos and videos to your Google My Business page, and thank your online reviewers who do the same
● Include high-quality photos in your email marketing campaigns
Consumers rely on customer reviews to help them make purchasing decisions. Unlike other types of businesses, restaurants face extreme challenges because they must provide excellent food and outstanding service. A perky waitress is not going to make up for a bland dish, for example, which means that one subpar aspect of a customer’s dining experience can lead to a low-star review. Restaurants are held to such a high standard, in fact, that you would be remiss to overlook the importance of online reputation management and marketing. Even if you receive a poor customer review, there’s a lot you can do to correct it both publicly and privately.
Guard your online reputation in these ways:
● Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, but avoid using autoresponders
● Strategically use loss leaders, such as a free dish or drink, to reward positive reviewers with surprise-and-delight and to assuage unhappy diners who left negative reviews
● Hire an online reputation management and marketing agency to leverage positive reviews and mitigate negative ones
FTx 360 offers unique, sure-shot marketing techniques for restaurants that are designed to attract and retain customers while spreading brand awareness locally across social media platforms and Google.
Our digital marketing services include website design & development, eCommerce solutions, content writing & marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and other creative services that will transform your restaurant business into a growing enterprise.
Contact our marketing team to get started.