How to Attract More Customers to Your Restaurant
The Food and Beverage (F&B) market is highly competitive, and your venue is constantly vying with other restaurants for attention. It can be difficult to fill tables during quiet times, attract local customers, encourage tourists to visit, and ensure that your restaurant is getting the exposure and recognition it deserves.
There are many different marketing ideas for restaurants, and knowing where to start, and what approach to take can be a difficult problem of its own.
Here are the Top 10 Restaurant Marketing Tips we recommend:
Make Full Use of Social Media
By having optimised, engaged and relevant social media channels, your restaurant can appeal to potential customers across the world. Different social media channels offer different benefits – for example; Instagram is highly visual and a good platform to showcase dishes and design features, Twitter is largely used for customer service, and Facebook gives the ability to highlight features, opening and closing times, and promote traffic to your website.
Choosing your channels carefully and running them with consistent, relevant content is vital in increasing brand recognition and encouraging new and returning customers to think of you first.
Engage in Review Management
Managing your reviews is important for a number of reasons. You can show happy customers that you appreciate their patronage, increase your rankings in Search Engines because there is now twice the amount of content for it to index, and potentially turn a negative reviewer into a brand champion by giving them a personalised customer experience that addresses and deals with their concerns or complaints.
Harness the Power of Influencers
Influencers are people who review, discuss, promote or denounce items, goods and services. Their opinion matters to the people who follow their channels, and is often acted upon.
Connecting with the right Influencer for your venue can bring a lot of positive attention and potential customers.
Provide Value Deals
Customers want to know that they are getting value for their money, and feel that you care about them – by offering value deals, your audience may feel as if their patronage is being rewarded, and a well-crafted and promoted deal will act as a good differentiator for customers that are looking to try something new. If you are looking to engage with a particular demographic, you can create a targeted value deal that will appeal to them, which will stand you ahead of competitors that aren’t doing anything similar.
Create Local Partnerships
No business runs in isolation, and it can be rewarding to create partnerships with other local businesses and reciprocally promote one another. An example of this could be for a family orientated restaurant to partner with a local day care – your restaurant lets families know about the day care, and the day care promotes your venue as a family friendly experience – this can potentially lead to more footfall from customers who are looking for the USP you provide.
Have a Mobile Responsive Website / App
More and more people are using their mobile devices to connect to the internet and engage with online content. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile usage, you will be losing customers.
According to Smart Insights, ‘Apps account for 89% of mobile media time, with the other 11% spent on websites’
Having an app that works in conjunction with your website, or allows customers to engage and find important information (such as opening and closing times, dietary restrictions, etc.) is becoming more important than ever.
Use Email Marketing
Email marketing is still an important way of connecting with your customers and reminding them that you are available to meet the needs of their dining experience. Creating newsletters or sending interesting content on a regular basis can help to maintain this connection and keep you relevant.
Encourage Visitors to Get to Know the Team
Your customers want to believe they are the most important people to you, and that their experience matters the most. With engaged and enthusiastic staff, your restaurant can meet these expectations.
By inviting customers to get to know your team, you encourage a sense of intimacy and friendship – this feeling encourages guests to return because they feel ‘at home’ and will be more loyal to your restaurant than some other venue that doesn’t offer that emotional connection.
Offer Loyalty Schemes and Gift Cards
Giving your customers a reward for returning will increase the likelihood that they will – if they are being given a well-rounded experience, and then being rewarded for the pleasure, it is more likely that not only will they become repeat customers, but they will encourage others to attend as well.
Gift cards allow customers to give this experience to their friends and family, and can encourage new or lapsed customers to visit.
Run Check-In Competitions.
Many social media and online platforms allow customers to ‘check in’ and show to their friends, family and followers where they are. By running competitions that encourage guests to check in, your venue will be seen by a wider audience, and potential guests may decide that because there is so much ‘buzz’ that they want to join in as well.
By running a competition, you are encouraging your visitors to create User Generated Content (UGC), and the more the UGC is seen and engaged with, the more your brand will be seen, trusted and visited.
Your restaurant may also want to consider adopting these marketing strategies:
- Keeping up to date with current food events and running events or classes, or themed evenings that coincide with them.
- Offering Extra Customer Services such as birthday emails or messages, and seasonal greetings.
- Providing Live Music or Entertainment that will appeal to your audience demographic
By going further than your competition, and offering a fully rounded experience – your customers will be more likely to recommend you to others, either through word of mouth, review sites, or social media. The more positive exposure your venue has, the more likely it is that customers will be attracted to your restaurant, increasing your bottom line as a result.
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