Restaurant Marketing- How to Attract Customer and Retain Them

Arpita Chanda10/13/2021

What is restaurant marketing ?

Restaurant marketing is the systematic implementation of a strategy to increase market visibility, attract new customers and generate revenue. Restaurant marketing encompasses all of the ways that a restaurant advertises to get new customers. It can include anything from traditional advertising, like billboards and TV ads, to online marketing, like social media posts, to word-of-mouth marketing, like restaurant reviews. Consistent marketing efforts are an integral part of any business plan. Marketing also helps to retain existing customers with special deals or promotions. Effective marketing and advertising strategies are necessary to beat the fierce competition of the restaurant industry. Restaurants must develop well-thought marketing strategies that focus on the need of their target customers and make them keep coming back.

Defining Restaurant Marketing

Marketing in the restaurant industry has evolved in the past decade. With the evolution of new technology and social media, the definition of marketing is constantly changing. To promote a restaurant and its menu, restaurant owners need to do more than just put a sign outside and wait for customers to come in.

Customers today want a complete dining experience from restaurants. It's the good customer experience that makes them keep coming back. Unlike other businesses, restaurants are limited by their geographical location and time-based constraints. Hence, a full-proof restaurant plan must include small business marketing, local marketing, and digital marketing.

Building a good online reputation is necessary for the restaurant brand to gain recognition and loyal customers. Restaurant marketing ideas have the power to make or break the deal. For a local restaurant or a new business, it is better to start with low-cost marketing options before proceeding with ads ads are paid forms of marketing. For a restaurant business, customer service is paramount.

Keeping up with changing times, any local business or restaurant must upgrade and build an online presence. Creating a fully functional website with search engine optimization will help the restaurant business reach out. The website must include all important information like the online menu, phone number, online ordering details, terms service, food delivery options, and charges. Restaurants can use the potential of mouthwatering food photos to attract new customers. Content marketing in form of informational blogs can also pique the customers' interest in the restaurant.

The Basics of Restaurant Marketing

Restaurant Marketing is a complex, multifaceted topic. Ohio State University study reveals 60% of restaurant startups close or change ownership in the first year. Good food alone is not enough to keep the restaurants open and make a profit. It needs something more appealing to draw in people and make them keep coming back.

Restaurant marketing strategy includes a well-thought marketing plan with a reasonable marketing budget for executing the ideas. Restaurants must keep in mind where to begin before investing time and effort in marketing restaurants. Later, they can check the performance of their various campaigns and marketing efforts using marketing analytics. Using marketing tips is an easy way to get more customers.

The first thing to do is to recognize the target audience. Knowing your customer would help understand their dining preference, purchasing power, and what they like about the restaurant. For example, having a kids zone for a family restaurant provides a better customer experience and by spending more time they increase the average order value. Restaurants must keep the target audience in mind while branding. Good restaurant marketing can help build brand identity. A strong brand identity is essential for restaurants to express what their values are and connect to the customers.

Including your business, in Google, My Business listing helps it appear in popular search results making it easy to find restaurants. Optimizing it with business information makes the restaurant more attractive to diners and helps drive more traffic. With Google business listing, geo-targeted google ads will recommend the optimized restaurant in its search results.

To create a strong online presence, a well-designed search engine optimized restaurant website is a must. Listing the website on several directories and review sites increases its chances of ranking higher in search engines. The restaurant website structure should be easy for the search engine to crawl and index the content. In addition to this including social media marketing, promotional campaigns, customer loyalty programs can also help the restaurant in its marketing efforts.

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Social Media Restaurant Marketing

Social media platforms are one of the best ways to reach out to potential customers and increase brand awareness. According to Social Media Today, 30% of millennial diners avoid restaurants that do not have a strong social media presence. A solid online presence is essential for restaurants to keep up with digitally oriented customers.

Word mouth is a powerful tool for marketing. The local community also plays an active role in spreading the word about restaurants. People trust customer reviews recommendations more than advertisements. Today, word mouth spreads through online reviews via social media platforms. With proper social media management restaurants can add professionalism and legitimacy to their business.

Best restaurant marketing is to use social media accounts on various platforms. Social media marketing helps to increase customer engagement. As customers love to see what goes on behind the scene, restaurants can show the cooking process as a part of their marketing social media.

Addressing customer reviews and appreciating positive ones help restaurants create a transparent and amicable persona. Restaurants can use the negative reviews to improve and offer better service. Social media marketing can also contribute to email marketing. Incentives like free items can tempt customers to sign up and opt for newsletters informing them about more offers.

Food bloggers are an integral part of social media marketing for restaurants. A recommendation from a food blogger or an influencer can put the restaurant in from of numerous potential customers. User generated content refers to customers social media photos, tweets, and more. Restaurants can use hashtag contests for encouraging customers to share content on social media.

Adopting the concept of listening more to customers on social media, restaurants can ask fun questions and encouraging responses to create a two-way dialogue instead of a one way conversation. Capitalizing on trending topics on social media is an easy way to increase exposure for posts. All this can help increase engagement with the target audience and boost sales.

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The Components of Restaurant Marketing

Restaurants must identify their market segment that is dine-in, takeaway, or delivery services. The market segment along with a defined target audience can help beat the stiff competition. With a clear marketing objective and an appropriate budget, businesses can explore different marketing channels and adopt the way that suits them best. Creative restaurant ideas for improving customer experience adds to the dining experience and make them keep coming back.

Here are some of the components of restaurant marketing-
  1. Billboard advertising
  2. Direct email
  3. Email marketing
  4. SMS marketing
  5. Local seo and search engine optimization
  6. Social media marketing
  7. Google ads
  8. Promotions
  9. Digital marketing

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Customer Loyalty Strategy for Restaurant Marketing

Loyalty programs are consumer favorites with 70% of US users rating dining programs as the most valued ones. A good restaurant marketing plan includes a restaurant marketing strategy for retaining existing customers. Restaurant customers can sign up for the loyalty programs with their contact information.

Restaurants can also use the contact information to let customers know about upcoming events or promotions. Loyalty programs transform normal customers into repeat customers who visit restaurant for availing the offers and discounts. Discounts, dining rewards, free items with simple straightforward rules of the loyalty program with rights reserved make it more effective.

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Promotional Tactics for Restaurant Marketing

Promotional restaurant marketing strategies highlight the taste and creativity of the restaurant. A creative restaurant marketing strategy is to offer discounts. Restaurants can use their creativity to put certain items for discounts on certain days of the week or by hosting an event to engage customers.

Various creative restaurant ideas like kids' meal deals, half-off on certain days, new specials help to bring in more customers. The restaurant must make sure that they have spread word about the promotions and discounts through various marketing channels. Along with high quality food, innovative marketing ideas can help market restaurant and achieve desired results.

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Promotional Items for Restaurant Marketing

Effective marketing leaves room for promotional items. Restaurants should plan the promotional items according to their image and keeping their target audience. These durable items are cost-effective for the restaurant while maintaining its brand identity or reputation. Promotional items like reusable bags, pen, coasters, and fridge magnets make the customers feel good. Special mugs or plates can also be a part of promoting new menu items or celebrating a special event like an anniversary or introducing a special item. Businesses can also pair up food challenges with promotional items to draw in more customers.

Restaurants can run marketing campaigns and take advantage of creative restaurant marketing techniques to become the top restaurant in the area. It is necessary to assess the target market and encourage customers to take part in the promotional challenges to get free items and discounts.

Here are some of the promotional items that are helpful for restaurant marketing-
  1. Mugs and glasses
  2. Branded clothing items
  3. Reusable bags for packing leftovers
  4. Branded plates

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The Importance of Restaurant Marketing

There are many things to consider, such as the location, the menu, and the design. But one of the most important factors is the restaurant's marketing strategy. Restaurant Marketing is a great way to reach new customers and to help those who have already visited the restaurant leave with a memorable experience.

Here are some of the many benefits of restaurant marketing-
  • Marketing is a great way to reach new customers and to help those who have already visited the restaurant leave with a memorable experience.
  • Marketing can help introduce a new restaurant to a potential customer base and to establish the restaurant as a leader in the market.
  • Marketing can help to create a sense of community around.

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