Take the road less traveled if you want to be successful in the culinary world. Surprise your guests with new ideas and they’ll be counting the days until they visit your restaurant again.
Many factors come into play when doing restaurant marketing. We know it’s hard to come up with truly original, eye-catching ideas. The basis is to be well-prepared and not afraid to bring your ideas to life. Here are some ways to make your restaurant the talk of the town.
Everyone likes to celebrate – use that!
You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make an event at your restaurant. Turn at least one day each month into a one of a kind experience for your guests. Create your own special occasion for your guests to celebrate. It could be anything! High five day (April 19th) emoji day (July 17th), taco day (October 4th), you have plenty of wacky holidays to choose from. There’s a big buzz on the Internet around these nontraditional holidays and you can find many calendars that will tell you what you could be celebrating today (as we’re writing this, it’s tartan day!). It’s nearly impossible to find one, comprehensive calendar that includes all nontraditional holidays, check out this calendar for a nice selection.
Whatever day you choose to celebrate, organize a special promotion for your clients, introduce a new, decorative element and see your loyal following grow! This might just be the best (and most fun) way to market your restaurant.
Support local initiatives
A good way to promote your establishment is through various local initiatives. If you want to build a good reputation in your town, you need to show that you can give back. Get involved with local festivals by offering free meals giveaways, or donate some food vouchers to the organizers of the summer carnival. However you decide to get involved, your generosity won’t go unnoticed.
It’s not about selling, it’s about satisfying needs
Most restaurants understand that customers come not only for the food but also for the experience. An easy way to create an experience is through the décor. Whether it’s moderns, classical, avant-garde, choose your style wisely and stay true to it, there’s nothing worse than a mishmash of carelessly chosen pieces. People just love great design, and the reason why is because it looks good on pictures. See how this places in London turned their interior design into free Instagram marketing:
Customer service is also important. Your waiters are the face of your business, make sure they leave a pleasant impression on your customers. Thirdly, your food needs to be tasty otherwise no amount of hand-picked flowers or friendly waiters will bring them back. Invest in some nice cutlery and dishes to serve your mouth water meals on. Take plating dishes to the next level and your customers will keep coming back just to see what you’ve come up with next.
This type of restaurant marketing hasn’t been around that long so you might not be aware of its potential but your potential millennial client certainly does! According to HuffPost, “Influencer marketing is simply the act of promoting and selling products or services through people (influencers) who have the capacity to have an effect on the character of a brand.” It’s no secret that people turn to the Internet for food recommendations. A good word from influencers can bring many customers in who otherwise wouldn’t even think to visit your restaurant. Do your research, find out who your influences are, and invite them in! Do expect lots of selfies.
Reach out to your local bloggers
Marketing is a team sport, you simply can’t do it alone. Well, you can, but your effort will produce much smaller results. Find out who your local bloggers are and start collaborating with them. Unlike your influencers, whose main objective is to capture the moment with a good image, the blogger’s primary tool is words. There are many sites where they can post their thoughts, and they do! Established bloggers have a following that expects new content periodically so the relationship will benefit both sides. You get free press, they get fresh content – a win-win!
Grow your database
You have plenty of opportunities to collect customer data, like email addresses, that you can later use to entice the customer to come back. And it’s not as hard as you think. Whether it’s a free meal, glass of wine, or a scoop of ice cream, customers will more likely give you their contact info if they feel like they’re getting something back. Put a form on your website, keep a record of called in orders, have customer cards ready to be filled out at the table, keep a list of your followers on social channels and from time to time, send them a promotional message.
Update your website
Same as with fashion trends that come and go, website design undergoes a transformation from time to time. Simply, if you want to stay relevant, you need to keep up with the latest trends. Many times, your website is the “face” of your restaurant, it’s the first time people come in contact with your brand. If you don’t make a good impression, they will not visit your physical location. Invest in a good web designer for a completely custom look and feel or try a free template from WordPress.
Do you have any great marketing ideas for restaurants? Share them with us!