11 Restaurant Marketing Tips Relevant in 2020
Your guide on how to do better in the post-COVID-19 world.
COVID-19 has badly affected the restaurant industry. The restaurants which once had long waiting lines and reservations are now sitting empty with a handful of orders.
According to a report in ‘The Economist’, restaurant spending has gone down more than 51% across all the states of US and other parts of the world.
The restaurant industry is trying hard to get back on its feet. Times like these need extra efforts to put yourself in front of your guests.
Customer expectations are soaring when it comes to safety and hygiene, shrinking business puts more burden on yo to do more.
You need to communicate more effectively than before and for that you need to have a marketing strategy that works.
Right marketing strategy will help you stand out amongst your competitors and give you a deserved success.
We have listed down 11 marketing tips that are easy to execute. These tactics can make your customer outreach, communication and engagement powerful than before.
- Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the simplest and easy to execute idea to promote your restaurant business. Approximately 3.8 billion users, in the world, are active on social media as per a report on 30th January 2020. This gives the restaurant owners a huge platform to spread the word.
Here is how you can be a pro at social media marketing:
- Set up a page on popular social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Statistically, 91% of restaurant owners use Facebook for promoting their restaurants, followed by Instagram with 78%, and lastly, YouTube with 14% promoters.
- Get a professional photographer and get a food photo shoot done.
Pictures speak louder than words. Well shot food photos will directly communicate with your end customer.
- Put up excellent photos of your restaurant’s ambiance and dishes.
In the era of selfies and Instagram, ambiance plays an important role. Splendid pictures of your ambiance can also attract customers, especially teenagers.
You can promote the scrumptious pictures of your special dishes by using promoting tools on Instagram. This will fetch food-lovers to your page.
- Use creative and relatable content
Creative content attracts people. Social media users also tend to share witty and relatable Instagram posts.
2020 has been a dreadful year for the local restaurant as well as branded restaurant owners. Your social media game should also change accordingly post COVID19.
Your posts should ensure safety, hygiene, contactless deliveries, online payments, and other such hygienic precautions necessary in today’s world.
- Make use of marketing tools
Social media offers marketing tools. Taking the case of Instagram, it helps in showing the statistics of your page like – ‘how many accounts has it reached’, ‘what is your total progress in a month?’. It offers a paid marketing tool to reach out to the public too.
Hashtags are another marketing tool to get discovered by people. Make sure you use unique and relevant hashtags to get more views and page visits.
If you are new to this, hire a photographer, content writer, and a social media handler for more input. You can also refer to detailed articles based on Social Media Marketing.
- Collaborating with Food Bloggers
For a newbie, it might be hard to promote your restaurant. However, you can always invite famous food bloggers to your restaurant.
You can consider offering them big discounts or offer them free meals or appetizers.
It is important to offer them top-notch services to gain excellent reviews.
Food bloggers have plenty of followers and can help you in gaining customers’ attention.
- Listing Your Restaurant
It is necessary to list your restaurant on different sites like Google, Facebook, etc. to get featured through search results on Google or any sites.
It is a known fact that 90% of the customers research a restaurant online before visiting it. Put on a good show for them!
It is a necessary step to list yourself on Google to attract more customers through your website and the blog. Use relevant keywords, SEO optimization, and plagiarism-free content for better visibility.
Here is a tip.
Use free SEO tools like Google Analytics, Woorank’s SEO & Website Analysis Tool, and many others to ensure SEO optimized websites. For crisp vocabulary and grammar, you can use Grammarly.
- Geo-targeting Your Advertisements
Customers, nowadays, prefer to eat at closer restaurants than far-away ones.
It is preferable to geo-target your advertisements for getting more customers. This saves cost and also provides Ad efficiency.
Imagine a scenario where your restaurant is in the North and your advertisements are reaching the South. This will be a huge waste of money. It will also divert attention from your prime location.
Google Ads gives you the facility of geo-targeting your advertisements.
The advertisements should also contain relevant information. Generic advertisements may not appeal to the masses so go out of the way and find a unique way of advertising your restaurant.
Blogging is one of the most effective ways of connecting with your customers. It need not be an extensive website but a customer-friendly one. Here are a few tips on how to make it interesting:
- Meaningful articles based on your restaurant theme and cuisine.
- Chefs’ journeys.
- Sharing recipes
- Drool-worthy pictures.
- Customer reviews
- Your restaurant’s information.
You can post this on facebook or you can submit this as a post on your Google Business Listing. Every time someone searches something relevant, chances are your post will show up.
- Target An Audience
It will be easier to promote your restaurant if you have a targeted audience.
Cafe owners can have teenagers as their target audience. Similarly, family restaurants should look out for every age-group.
Targeting a specific audience can help you plan your approach on social media, advertisements, blogs, and other restaurant marketing tools.
- Emailing And Messaging
Emailing and messaging are the best ways to inform your existing customers about various offers, discounts, and new dishes. A few points on how to be a pro at this.
- Message the customers about your latest offers and discounts.
- Send celebratory messages and offers 1 or 2 days before the events or festivals.
- Use catchy titles to get the attention of customers.
- Do not spam your customers.
- Build a monthly newsletter for all the updates and send them to your customers.
- Take Orders Online
In the wake of COVID-19, every customer is preferring online ordering and getting contactless deliveries. These two are also here to stay post-COVID-19.
60% of US citizens order online every week. You can do it too.
A few instructions on how to do it:
- Once you have built your website or a social media page, let customers know that you’re now entertaining online orders.
- Update your website with a clear image of the menu.
- Also, update your contact information on your pages and website.
- Give some special offers or deals to gain more customers.
Your online ordering website can save you a lot of money which was initially spent on commissions.
You will also get all the customer details to build a rapport with them through messages, emails, etc..
Online ordering will let your patrons know about your brand directly.
A better alternative will be using a Grubly like platform. This saves you tonnes of headache and enables you with the following.
- No commissions per transactions
- Increased branding
- Online ordering
- Online payment
- Contactless digit menus
- Branded website for your restaurant
- Partnering with Online Delivery Services
You can partner with online food services like Zomato, UberEATS, or any other to grow your customer base.
Delivery services can help you expand your business in the following ways:
- They help customers to discover your restaurant.
- They also offer contactless deliveries.
- Online payment facility.
- You can also put up your menu card.
However, one downside is the commission you will have to pay.
- Customer Interaction
Engaging your customers in various interactive activities can help you build a rapport with them. You can execute customer interaction by following the options.
- Encourage people to share pictures of home-cooked meals, especially in the post-COVID19 world.
- Host contests through social media and gift free goodies or coupons to the winners.
- Put up cooking workshops on Instagram live or Facebook, by one of your chefs.
- Have an original trendy hashtag which people can use, for instance, #bakeawayyourstress for dessert shops or #shareyourcoffeestory for cafes.
Feedback and reviews play an important role in the success of your restaurant. According to research, 92% of customers read restaurant reviews. Good reviews on food reviewing apps and websites can generate word-of-mouth promotion.
This feedback can either be positive feedback or negative feedback. If it is negative, try to reply to it professionally. If possible, reach out to the customer and understand their grievances.
So ensure that you look after your reviews and respond to the customers in an affirmative and positive tone.
Thus, finding a place in the restaurant business will be a simple job if you choose the right resources and follow these steps!