When most people think of owning a restaurant, they imagine a place packed with customers, long queues, and the continuous ringing of takeaway orders. However, the reality for most restaurants is very different. They struggle to get a consistent flow of customers, and instead of turning substantial profits, they make significant losses. As a result, they often have no option than to shut down.
It isn’t because their food or service was terrible. They simply didn’t have a restaurant marketing plan in place to attract and retain customers for the long term.
In this article, we will cover:
Before we delve into the various techniques, it is important to set a foundation for your marketing efforts. Contrary to popular belief, people don’t visit restaurants just because of the quality of food. They could order a microwaveable dinner from the supermarket or cook at home. They visit for an experience they can talk about with friends the next day.
You could serve amazing food; however, if you don’t go above and beyond for your customers, they will just visit a different restaurant. Plus, they are likely to tell their friends about it. A university professor identified four primary reasons why people visit and recommend restaurants.
When I speak to restaurant owners I always ask about their food and beverage marketing ideas and current restaurant promotions. Most widen their eyes with amazement. The restaurant marker is fierce. Therefore, you must get into the mindset of ‘fighting’ to attract and keep customers. For every output, there is an input. You can’t get more customers (output) without an effective restaurant marketing strategy (input).
The easiest way to be consistent is to create a food service marketing plan calendar which marks essential national and local events. Here are some event types you would want to include and why:
Local sporting events: You can engage with fans using Facebook ads and do a few fun restaurant promotion ideas by presenting an ‘exclusive’ offer, such as 2-for-1 on pre-match drinks. Most teams have a supporters club. Reach out to them on social media or via email to promote this offer. Don’t just restrict this offer to football fans. Remember that there are a lot of local fitness clubs around the country who would appreciate unique restaurant ideas like an exclusive deal.
Public holidays: This is an opportunity to get families into your restaurant. Therefore, it is worth creating Instagram posts and promotions around public holidays.
Local partnerships: If your city has a university or sixth form, it is key that you engage with their societies. You can partner up with student unions to launch promotions during the beginning of the new academic year and post-exams period. This enables you to attract a lot of new customers. The more local partnerships you create, the more opportunities you have for a flood of new customers.
Street team: The most convincing way to exhibit your food is to let people have a taste of it. A few local restaurants offered free ice cream on a hot summer’s day in the middle of Manchester City Centre. Who would say no to free ice cream? Each small tub of ice cream also had their branding, opening times, location etc. In fact, the exhibit and tubs of ice cream got shared thousands of times on Instagram. In one afternoon, they had announced their arrival with a bang!
It is worth organising a street team campaign during quieter months. Be creative about the execution and weather conditions. For instance, offer a sample of soup during the winter months and ice cream during the summer.
Each method will bring in new customers. The key to long term growth is to be consistent with your efforts.
What do people see when they type your restaurant’s name into Google? In this day-and-age, a website and regularly updated social media profiles are a necessity. If they can’t find you, or reviews aren’t favourable, they will simply visit a competitor.
No matter how hard you try, some people will have something negative to say about your business. Competitors might even leave some. Don’t reply angrily. Potential customers would be able to see it. Therefore, you must respond in a certain way.
Notably, you can have fraudulent reviews removed. To do this, you will need to get a Google My Business account. This enables you to flag reviews for removal. Besides this, Google My Business allows you to post offers, pictures and control how your restaurant appears on the search results. Make your first impression great.
Using Google My Business helps your restaurant to appear in position 1 when people search for your name. However, what if people in your local area are just looking for a place to eat? They are likely to type in terms such as [Your city] + best restaurant. Competitors with better SEO and better restaurant marketing strategies are likely to hit the number 1 spot. As a result, they can attract many customers without spending any money on the best advertising for restaurants.
Here are eight ways to quickly get an SEO boost:
You can have the best restaurant growth plan in the world. However, without data and excellent ordering experience, it won’t matter. That is why we built etakeawaymax to put you in total control of your restaurant business and give you creative restaurant marketing ideas. Why pay massive commissions, and lose the functionality to follow up with customers?
With our easy-to-use service and carefully built marketing strategies for restaurants and owners, you get the following:
We have taken the very best from giants of the food industry and brought it to businesses big and small. Usually, a restaurant marketing plan like this would cost a small fortune. Our packages start from £149 – including setup. Our more than 200 happy customers have changed how their business runs. We are so confident that we even included a 90-day money-back guarantee.