5 Ways to Improve Your Restaurant Marketing
Restaurant marketing is more important in 2021 than perhaps ever before, as the COVID-19 pandemic engenders increasing demand for online ordering solutions and the ever-shifting marketplace continuously accommodates new competition. Finding a marketing strategy that sets your business apart from the crowd of online competitors can be difficult, but necessary.
Whether you’re embarking on a brand new strategy, trying a certain sales channel for the first time or just tweaking your existing campaigns to get the most out of them, here are five tips you won’t want to forget.
1. Develop a Brand Voice
Consistency is important in marketing because it helps you stay on track, on message and focused on your best customers. Create a strong, clear “voice” for your restaurant that you maintain across sales channels, in your online presence and during ad campaigns too. It should align with the expectations of your most frequent visitors; don’t use text slang if you’re primarily visited by business professionals.
A good Point of Sale system, like the one powered by eatOS, tracks sales data so you can see what demographics you tend to attract. That, combined with information gleaned by servers on their day-to-day out on the floor, gives you a better idea of how to structure a brand voice so it fits with the guest experience when they arrive in person.
2. Curate Social Media
It’s important to be where your guests are. Do they use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter most frequently? Find out, and post consistently on those platforms and at the best times for engagement. It’s very important to connect directly with guests on your social pages to form deeper relationships so they’re more likely to become loyal patrons. Hire someone knowledgeable in SEO to guarantee you’re getting the most possible web traffic, repost user-generated content, run contests and take time to answer DMs and get to know your followers on an individual level.
3. Google My Business
A lot of customers search for new restaurants on-the-go from their mobile devices. Optimizing SEO is critical for any business who wants to show up in relevant searches when people type things like “seafood near me” or “best burger in L.A.” Google My Business is an especially important tool in your arsenal; it puts you on the local map when people search within the proper radius. Location services help market to only those relevant potential guests who are most likely to visit in the future. Google My Business also lets you update your hours, contact information and more so customers can always reach out directly.
According to the other NRA (the colloquial term for the National Restaurant Association), restaurants should invest 2-10% of their monthly profit in marketing services. That adds up over a year, but it’s well worth the cost if properly channeled into digital strategies and SEO. Keeping track of your key performance indicators, or KPI, is critical to success because marketing doesn’t end when the ad itself goes out. Track web traffic, ad clicks, follower and engagement rates, or whatever relevant KPI you monitor to constantly improve and make more worthwhile investments.
4. Mobile Experience
Online ordering is a must-have for a lot of modern consumers. Optimizing your website and menu for mobile devices ensures guests can get their favorite foods on-the-go. It should be functional and intuitive to use; eatOS offers a personalized branded mobile app for every restaurant we partner with for easier access to takeout and delivery.
Spruce up your menu with good pictures that showcase the best you have to offer. High-resolution photos display exactly what customers are missing and entice them to add that one side to the menu, boosting average ticket sizes. Just make sure what arrives at their door matches the promised picture so you don’t get inundated with complaints and refunds.
5. Rewards Program
Loyalty goes farther with frequent incentives. Advanced PoS systems build customer profiles so they can track their orders and join rewards programs with little effort on their part; this encourages their repeated business and gives you access to valuable customer data that tells you how to design targeted ad campaigns and make business decisions that appeal to what your best patrons think your restaurant is lacking.
Adaptation is a crucial skill as the industry evolves alongside customer trends and the world at large. Knowing how to adapt before fads fall out of fashion, or learning which temporary trends aren’t worth the investment, is critical to surviving. Over time, you’ll also learn how often to send out newsletters so customers don’t unsubscribe and how to identify the most profitable promotions without all that trial and error.
Give people an incentive to open your emails and visit your restaurant. Although it takes time to build an audience, and no small expense to get your name out in the most relevant web searches, the return on investment is more than worth it when you have a strong, faithful customer base to get you through the hard times. Schedule a demo with eatOS to find out what state-of-the-art Point of Sales and online ordering solutions can do for your restaurant business.
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