Running a restaurant means long hours and plenty of demands on your time. One of the first things to commonly fall by the wayside is your marketing. Unfortunately, restaurants that don’t market will find it much harder to get those essential table bookings and repeat customers that are always a priority. With a focus on your marketing, you will benefit by:
- Improving customer loyalty
- Attracting new customers
- Improving referral rates
- Highlighting promotions
- Improving reputation
If you’re not marketing your restaurant, then there’s a good chance that you are not gaining the same benefits as your competitors. In the tough world of restaurant management, you need every advantage you can find, and that’s why you should be using the following marketing trends in 2020.
Use your Footfall
Not all marketing methods need to rely on digital technology. Restaurants that have high volumes of passing foot traffic can gain a lot of impact with traditional signage, and this can be a very quick and easy way to get more people into your restaurant. A-Frame chalkboards are very common to see outside restaurants and bars, but they are rarely used well. Don’t design an A-frame and then leave it as it is for six months. Constantly change it and invest in some good quality alphabet stencils so that there is a consistent and professional look to your real-world messages. Look at those restaurants that have gone viral with funny or insightful signs and take inspiration.
Restaurants aren’t like ecommerce businesses because they rely on geographical specificity. Even for food delivery services, it’s all about location. That means your first step should be to ensure that you have a strong localized presence online. You can do this by:
- Using SEO on your website that will get you a higher search engine ranking for local searches. Consider the voice search query about ‘local restaurants in my area’ and tailor your SEO around localized keywords.
- Use local directories, including your Google My Business profile.
- Use localized social media methods.
- Gain positive traction in local traditional media like radio stations and newspapers
The more that restaurants localize their marketing, the more effective it will be. There’s little value in marketing to people on the wrong side of the country.
Building your Online Presence
There are lots of ways to make your restaurant stand out more online, and you need to leverage those options that are most suited to you. Some of the most effective methods for improving your potential reach is to:
- Use professional food photos on your website and your social media
- Engage with customers on your social media and review sites
- Offer loyalty rewards for repeat customers, with bonuses if they share their rewards online
- Use email marketing to highlight special events and offers
- Write and update a relevant blog
Additionally, you may not be set up for a delivery service, but it’s certainly something that you should give serious thought to. Now, customers are just as likely to buy food from you that they can enjoy at home. In these days of food delivery apps like Uber Eats, you don’t even have to buy your own delivery vehicle. The goal is to meet customer demand, and if you have customers that prefer to eat your food in the comfort of their own home, then you need to tailor to that need.
The restaurant sector is going through serious changes, but the marketing strategies that are the most effective remain consistent. The right combination of the physical and the digital approach to promoting your brand is the key to more profits in 2020.