2020 will be here before you know it! As the restaurant industry grows, so does marketing. Now is the time to start thinking about improving your restaurant marketing ideas for the coming year.
We’ve put together a list of 10 marketing solutions to help your business thrive. Follow this guide to stand out from the competition in your neighborhood!
Here are 10 restaurant marketing ideas to get creative with in 2020:
1. Be Present on Google My Business
It is extremely important for every business to be listed on Google My Business regardless of size or industry. If your restaurant is already listed on this platform, you’ll just have to claim it as the business owner. If your restaurant is not already listed on Google My Business, you will have to get it listed.
When a potential or existing customer searches for your restaurant on Google, details about your business will show up in the sidebar of the screen. It has information listed such as business address, hours and phone number. It is important to make sure all of this information matches across all platforms.
Keywords are just as important as business information. Adding keywords in the description about your business will increase the chances of being found organically. Include words that your customers might use when searching for your type of restaurant.
2. Respond to All Customer Reviews
Your local restaurant might not carry the same reputation as larger companies because of their well-known name. Community members like to look into a local business to make sure they are trusted before going, so managing your reviews is extremely important.
You should be responding to customer reviews across popular sites. It is crucial that you respond to positive and negative reviews in a timely manner. Here at Welcomemat, we respond to our Review Management clients’ online reviews across multiple platforms within 1-2 business days.
The reviews and responses really shape the way consumers feel. Recognizing a customer’s review shows that your restaurant cares and values their opinion. If it’s positive feedback, your response shows that the customer’s opinion is appreciated. If it’s negative, it shows that you want to make things right.
Being active on on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Google My Business can affect your revenue and foot traffic. According to Bright Local, 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses (including 95% of people aged 18-34) and 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews. Reviews can make a huge impact on your restaurant’s reputation and the way customers perceive you.
3. Update Your Website
One of the most important restaurant marketing ideas is to focus on is SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Having an efficient SEO strategy will help you compete with other local restaurants in the area. This will help your business be found in search and bring in new customers.
If you want to bring in customers via online searching, you must make sure you focus on your search engine ranking. This is essential because the majority of consumers search a local business before visiting.
You want to use key phrases that would most likely describe your restaurant. For example, if a consumer is searching for Mexican restaurants in Atlanta, your Mexican restaurant should be one of the first on the list.
SEO ensures your restaurant can be found organically. Utilizing a good SEO strategy benefits your restaurant’s ROI. Using certain keywords and optimizing your website for search engine purposes can boost your SEO rankings.
Adding your menu to your restaurant’s website is a simple marketing technique that will please customers. Consumers enjoy looking up the menu of a restaurant before visiting. Be up front about your prices so they know what to expect. This is something restaurant owners make a mistake of, leaving off prices or the menu all together. Customers will appreciate the transparency.
Having a mobile-friendly website is essential to the success of your marketing goals. More and more people are using their phones for searching! According to Statista, over 60% of all Google searches were on a mobile device. Having a non-user friendly website can be frustrating for customers and could deter them from coming to your business.
4. Build a Solid Email List
With the help of new technology, email marketing still remains a vital tool in helping businesses communicate with consumers. Leveraging a solid email list is an inexpensive way to increase brand awareness and keep loyal customers. Getting a huge return on investment is a major benefit of growing your email list. Research shows email marketing generates $38 for every $1 spent.
Sending out a few emails monthly is a great way to increase your restaurant’s exposure. It also helps you communicate with loyal consumers and increase foot traffic.
Email marketing is an easy tactic to reach your customers on a more personal level. Personalizing the content can greatly benefit your restaurant. Many prefer local businesses over corporate, so build these relationships through email. Make sure your restaurant is sending useful material in its emails to build credibility and trust within the community.
Sending emails to your list is easy to track. You can look at key metrics such as open rate, bounce rate, and click-through-rate. This data will provide insight on what type of emails your customers best respond to.
5. Offer Promotions and Specials
Including promotions and specials to your marketing plan can boost sales and grow your customer base. Everyone loves a good deal, so implementing promotions will draw people in and put people in seats.
Updating your promotional offerings will keep things interesting and bring in new and existing customers. Using the same promotion over and over again can get boring, so switching things up can improve foot traffic. Also, if a promotion was really enjoyed by customers, you can bring it back every so often to increase excitement among consumers.
Having lunch specials is a good way to bring people in during lunchtime. The majority of people don’t eat as much during lunch as they do for dinner, so offering specials will help people in during lunch hours. If a consumer comes in once and enjoys your lunch special, they will most likely come back again if they had good food and service.
Creating memorable experiences for customers will keep them coming back time and time again. Fun promotions and deals will not be forgotten, so keeping up with them is an easy way to drive traffic into your local business.
6. Create Great Content
You might be thinking that this is an obvious restaurant marketing idea, but creating great content is something that many local restaurants lack. Attention grabbing posts are what brings in customers from social media, so having mediocre photos of food will do your restaurant no good.
You want to be posting photos of food and drinks from your restaurant that will make your customers’ mouths water. The captions of your posts matter too- make them stand out! Use hashtags to increase exposure and get involved in trends.
Mix up your content and make it unique. Videos on Instagram are very popular right now and are a great way to showcase what your restaurant has to offer. Social media is a great tool your restaurant can utilize for free.
If you want to pay for ads to enhance your posts, even better. This way, you can target potential customers and gain loyal customers. For example, using Google ads can help your restaurant be found better in search engine and bring in new customers who are searching for restaurants in the area. You can track ad performance and see if your targeting is working.
7. Set Up an Online Reservation System
Setting up an online reservation system is great for customers who enjoy doing things online. Not many people like to wait in line for anything, especially if they are hungry.
Some may leave a restaurant if the wait is too long, so implementing an online reservation system is important. By doing so, customers can go online and put their name in so they don’t have to wait as long when entering your business.
This is a great way to show customers that their time matters and that you value them. It will also be beneficial to your employees- they won’t have to answer the phone for reservations as much. They can direct customers to your website to make a reservation.
If you need help, there are plenty of online reservation systems to help get it setup and running on your website.
8. Offer Gift Cards
Offering gift cards from your restaurant is a great way to bring in new and existing customers. People love gifting during the holidays, so having them spend money on your gift card is great.
You can also offer an additional gift cards if a customer buys a certain dollar amount. For example, if someone buys a $50 gift card, they can receive a separate $10 gift card for them self.
Offering gift cards for your restaurant is a great way to promote your business and gain customer loyalty. You can make new and existing customers the happy receiver of a gift card.
9. Sign up for Food Delivery Services
Over the past couple of years, the use of third-party food delivery services has skyrocketed. Countless consumers are turning to apps such as UberEats, DoorDash, Postmates and GrubHub to receive food from restaurants. Implementing this strategy will bring in different kinds of customers that might not dine-in at your restaurant.
Some days, people don’t want to leave their house to get food, but now they can get it delivered. If you are a customers’ favorite place to eat, they will most likely order from you if you’re on such food delivery apps. You might also gain new customers browsing the app if they are interested in trying something new.
10. Get Involved In the Community
Attending local events and partnering with other local businesses in the community is great for any company’s reputation. This is one of the easiest restaurant marketing ideas, and you’re helping those in your neighborhood! You can personally promote your restaurant by showing up to local events in the area. You can pass out promotional items, coupons and more.
Personally greeting new and potential customers is extremely beneficial for your business. Customers can now put a face to the name of your business and may feel more obligated to support you.
Partnering with other local businesses can benefit everyone. You can hand out coupons or promotions from their local business, and they will promote you back. It’s a win-win for both businesses-just make sure they aren’t a competitor!
Looking for help with these restaurant marketing ideas? Contact Welcomemat Services today for to get started with our integrated marketing solutions! For more information on our restaurant marketing ideas, visit our website!