Restaurants are always in the battle of maintaining their income stream as a lot of competitors rise and start operating. Right now, marketing could be challenging for every restaurateur out there especially in the digital world that we are in right now.
But where do you begin with crafting marketing ideas for restaurants? It starts with doing proper research and checking where your target audience is at.
With the mentality that exists in most people today, they consult the internet, friends, and family before trying out anything. Most people want to explore the world and discover new cuisines as they travel from one place to another. Plus, one of the best ways to know a place is to try out their best dishes. Seemingly, eating your way across the world allows people to experience different cuisines and slowly market the restaurants that give them the best experiences that memories. Hence, the restaurants are able to market themselves explicitly by word of mouth by their customers. However, aside from this method, how can restaurants market themselves to increase their revenue?
5 Marketing Ideas That Restaurants Need To Try
As businesses continue to discover and develop strategies that fit their businesses, everything continues to change. Here are five marketing ideas that restaurants can try.
1. Use the power of social media
Social media empowers just about everyone and allows them to post pictures, send updates, and even create reviews. These reviews help people discover new places and restaurants to try. With the more reviews and ratings that their page receives, the more that it becomes visible to more people. Hence, this has become one of the most effective marketing strategies to date.
Here are some of the best ways to utilize social media to the advantage of your restaurants:
Contact and collaborate with food bloggers and influencers so they can attend events in your restaurants. These events could be your launch of a new dish or when you create different promotions such as:
- If it’s your birthday, you get to eat for free as long as you bring at least four (4) paying customers.
- Children below 4ft get to eat for free.
- Posting a photo with a specific hashtag that garners a lot of engagement gets to eat free for a week even up to a month.
- Share reviews about the restaurant along with photos of the food that you serve.
- Create hashtags that relate to your restaurant and ask your patrons to use it when they post their photos or videos.
- Post bits of information about similarities and differences about the cuisines that you make or even a back story on how the restaurant came to be.
2. Build a website for the restaurant
Just like any business out there, building a website creates a space specifically for your business which in this case, the restaurant. Similarly, it is similar to putting up a brick and mortar store on the internet.
Putting up a website for the restaurant showcases it to your target customers. This way, the owners get to share the story behind the restaurant, cuisine, and themselves. It also paves the way to showcase the menu by creating a separate page and sharing details such as the ingredients and the inspiration for creating the dish. Moreover, it also gives the chance to create a platform for online orders such as for delivery or for pick-up.
Not only that but creating a website for the restaurant lets every owner showcase it to a larger audience and gather a bigger number of patrons. It may take some time to put up the website on your own so make sure you consult and seek professional help. This ensures the stability of the website.
3. Create contests or raffles to entice the audience
Some people like challenges. Those challenges could be answering riddles, joining raffles and other giveaways, or just simply doing some tasks that would eventually allow them to get a reward.
These contests could involve the customers doing some physical challenges when they go to the restaurant. Mechanics could include eating a dish or a set meal within a period of time. If in case they fail to accomplish or finish eating within the timeframe, they lose the chance of winning and also may need to pay for the meal.
An online contest or giveaway would include asking people to follow the social profiles of the restaurant. Engage with the posts; like a number of posts and even dropping some comments in response to a question that was crafted. Doing this will surely help spread the word about the restaurant and it will entice people to visit and dine frequently.
Some contest ideas that you can try:
Use seasonal contests such as on Valentine’s Day. With this, you can start a raffle that may target couples or whoever wants to share a nice dinner with their loved one. They could win free meals if they answer questions such as:
- How would they spend Valentine’s Day with their loved one?
- What do you do to express your feelings with your loved ones?
Letting them tag someone they know on a giveaway post. If there’s a holiday coming, you can use it for a short-term giveaway. Ask the followers to like the post and tag someone in the comments. Particularly, this could be someone who would be truly interested in eating at the restaurant.
Who knows, they might even recommend it to their peers and family!
4. Work with food apps and services
With the technology and the continuous development of mobile applications, innovations such as food deliveries are made online and even through apps. Gone are the days where you need to call to place your order. Almost every person that you’ll meet and interact with transact through their phones and if you ask them if they still call the restaurants to put in their orders, you’d probably get disappointed. Hence, people prefer accessibility wherever they go. Browsing through phone directories consumes a lot of time and your food deliveries will just probably get delayed.
Therefore, take advantage of joining the list of restaurants with different food apps and services. Not only does it save the customers’ time but it also gives the restaurant a chance to market their products.
When you successfully join a food app, try creating a special promo like giving out discounts when they order through the app. Some would work with the food app and say free delivery with a minimum amount of order. Also, you can share these promos on your social accounts.
5. Invest in the power of ads
Aside from creating raffles or various contests for your customers, boosting the posts you create on social media helps in reaching more people. Different platforms such as Facebook and Google have features such as paid ads wherein business owners expand their audience through the budget that they set. Advertising on these platforms lets you customize the settings such as the demographics of the audience you want to target, their location, and even how would you want them to interact with the ads.
Similarly, if you already created posts on your social profiles and choose to boost it, you intend on finding more leads and conversions through the posts. Furthermore, it will also allow you to modify the settings and customize the call to action. However, all of these are affected by the budget that you set.
Now, here are some ideas that you can try for your ads:
Create a video ad that includes your menu. Photos are great but videos allow brands to share more information about the food choices and beverage that they serve. Plus, they can showcase feedback of their previous customers so that it would help entice new customers to try out their dishes. Lastly, it lets customers absorb more information easily.
Use the 360 photos to your advantage. With the current updates with showcasing photos, a 360 photo allows you to show the interior and exterior of the restaurant. Surely, it makes the ad more interactive and fun for anyone who sees it!
Create wonderful copies and puns that will surely entice to engage your audience. When your followers or audience see witty posts that they think are shareable, you reach more organically and even more if you boost those kinds of posts.
Creating marketing ideas for restaurants can be both challenging and fun. This comes when you start creating the social media profiles for the restaurant. Next would be the challenge of creating relevant and shareable content that the followers would see. At some point, you hope that they will share it as they relate to the posts you create with the hope that it will become a successful sale when they visit your restaurant.
When you put up your own restaurant, remember to create a website as it is a powerful tool that you can use to showcase your restaurant, food, and the experience you give to anyone who dines. It also becomes the official platform that anyone looks for when they do a Google search. Maximize the use of social media. It’s one of the most affordable ways to express your presence. It’s just as easy as creating an account, creating unique posts, schedule it, and wait for people to see. Next, create contests and giveaways so people can join and get to know the restaurant more. With this, you can collaborate with food bloggers and influencers to be more effective. Also, you can invest in boosting and paying for ads while working on these contests. Aside from organically reaching people, you get to reach more as you control the demographics and location.