Top 7 Marketing Tips for Restaurant Owners
Gone are the days when locals spreading the word was all it took to make a business successful. Those running a restaurant or café now have many options available to market their business to a wider audience and improve chances of turning a profit.
One of the most important parts of your online presence is your website. Restaurant websites usually do not require too many different pages, so keep it clean and minimal. This will make it easier for people of all ages to access and understand your site. Use high quality, colourful photographs of your food and people sharing a meal to entice consumers. Be sure to make your website optimised for mobile devices, so that it will adjust to suit smartphones and tablets.
Instagram is one of the most easy-to-use and powerful tools that restaurant and café owners can use to attract consumers. Start by creating your own account and posting photos of the food. You may even want to repost photos from other users that align with your own brand — for example, a quote about going for brunch on Sundays would be perfect for a restaurant that specialises in breakfast food. Put your social media details on your business card and menus, that way people can tag your account when they post a photo eating there. If your photos are aesthetically pleasing and the food looks delicious, people will begin reposting or making note of your restaurant name. Be sure to get involved by reposting photos your restaurant has been tagged in and interacting with those who have visited recently. Sardi Café in Melbourne successfully utilised Instagram by recruiting “insta-famous” model Steph Claire Smith to eat there and share photos with her 803k followers. If you know someone with lots of followers, ask them to help you out!
Formerly known as Urban Spoon, Zomato is a website/app that allows users to search for restaurants in their area based on cuisine, type of meal, cost and even specific menu items. It’s easy to sign up and ESSENTIAL for effortless marketing and exposure. Upload your address, contact number, website, opening hours, menu and short description. Before you know it visitors to your restaurant will begin posting photos, giving ratings and writing reviews. The more people that rate their experience positively and share it online, the more Zomato users will be exposed to your restaurant when they search or visit the home page.
Enlist food bloggers
With the rise of the Internet came the rise of the blogger, and by now the influence they can have on their followers is unquestionable. Encourage popular food bloggers to visit your restaurant. Some may be lured by a free meal, while others (usually those with extremely large followings) may require other incentives. If they’re impressed and write a good post about your food, you’re sure to have more customers in the door.
Using search engine optimisation techniques will improve the visibility of your website in search engine. For example, on Google. There are many ways to optimise your website. Regularly publish relevant content, utilise metadata (information about the contents of your page), include lots of links and ensure your site loads quickly. You can learn about SEO techniques by researching on the Internet, taking a short course or attending a workshop. If your business is large (perhaps you have expanded into a restaurant chain) then it may be worth hiring a marketing expert to work on your SEO and other activities.
Create a customer loyalty program
Customer loyalty programs provide many marketing benefits. Not only do they help you to grow your e-mail database, but also allow you to make customers aware of special deals or provide “member only” incentives for them to visit your restaurant. You may choose to invent your own loyalty program, or connect your store to a program run at various different shops.
Run a contest
Attracting customers is all about creating incentives. Running a competition will give consumers an out-of-the-ordinary reason to visit your restaurant. Hit two birds with one stone and make it an Instagram competition. For example, many brands run competitions that involve people reposting a particular image with a particular hashtags. A winner is then randomly chosen. Alternatively, you could award a prize to the best photo taken of food at your restaurant.
When running a restaurant, or any business for that matter, it is important to assign funds to a marketing program or strategy. Making an effort to market your restaurant will ensure you reap greater profit. Depending on the path you choose to market your restaurant (and you can choose traditional tactics like print ads or a letterbox drop), you may be faced with a hefty bill. If you’re faced with an expensive marketing opportunity that could grow your business and don’t know how to make it work, Prospa can help. As Australia’s leading online business lender, and with a super fast and easy application process, they can offer you between $5,000 and $250,000 with daily repayments that are cash flow friendly for restaurants and cafes.