tried-and-tested marketing strategies for restaurants that you could incorporate to stay ahead of the competition
tried-and-tested marketing strategies for restaurants that you could incorporate to stay ahead of the competition

Beat the Competition: Using Effective Marketing to Propel Your Restaurant to Success

The food and beverage sector is an exceptionally competitive one. There are over one million restaurants in the US, leaving customers spoilt for choice. With so many options available to diners, it becomes critical that your restaurant is noticed. For this, you need a vibrant marketing plan, one that captures the attention of your customers and shines the spotlight on your brand through multiple channels and campaigns.

Effective marketing is key to enticing new customers and cultivating customer loyalty. It is what draws patrons into your dining rooms and away from your competitors’ establishments. A well-thought-out marketing program helps you connect with your customers, build strong bonds and generate revenue. Marketing needs strategy from social media to your own food ordering application, a variety of channels could be utilized to generate revenue.

Planning your marketing strategy

Of course, like most other business strategies, a marketing strategy too must be carefully planned. First, you need to identify your goals: do you want to attract new customers or retain the patronage of existing ones? Do you want to get more people to join your loyalty program? Do you want to increase sales of selected menu items or introduce a new dish? You must be specific about what exactly you want to achieve. With clear goals, you can decide on which approach you should take and which channels to utilize.

Next, prepare your timeline. Figure out how long you want to run the campaign for and set kickoff and wrap-up dates. You should list out the various steps and when each one is to be implemented and/or completed by.

You must allocate a budget for each marketing program you launch. If you do not cap your spending, the expenses can very easily get out of hand, often negating the financial benefits of the campaign. Be realistic when budgeting – if the planned activities are getting too costly, then change some of them or reduce the amount of things you want to carry out.

Define your target audience. It is very rarely that a marketing campaign reaches everyone. You need to know who you are talking to – this will be determined by your goals. Profile your target audience to help you better understand their preferences and purchase patterns.

Once you know your audience, choose the media and channels you wish to use. Select the platforms that will put you in direct contact with your target audience. This may sound like common sense, but it is shocking how often restaurant operators get this wrong. Ultimately, your goals, audience and channels must align.

Suggestions for success

Marketing strategies come in all forms. They each have their own function and can help you achieve different goals.

Must Read: How To Build Your Restaurant Brand

Here are five tried-and-tested marketing strategies that you could incorporate to stay ahead of the competition:

1. Design an attractive website

Design an attractive website -tried-and-tested marketing strategies for restaurant

Social media is a great way to connect with your audience. It is a great way to get your brand out there and to get your message across. Social media is a great way to connect with your audience. It is a great way to get your brand out there and to get your message across. Social media is a great way to connect with your audience. It is a great way to get your brand out there and to get your message across.

2. Post on social media

Social media is one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) marketing tools these days. Almost everyone researches a restaurant before visiting and most of this happens through social media. Make sure your restaurant has a presence on all the main platforms – Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and whatever else that may become trendy. Post colorful pictures with creative captions. Encourage your diners to post on their social media and tag your restaurant. Use hashtags to enhance your social media presence. Keep posting – several times a day if you can. The more you post, the more followers you will get, which in turn will result in more business for you.

Must Read: How to Use Social Media for Your Restaurant?

3. Establish a Strong Presence on Google

Establish a Strong Presence on Google- tried-and-tested marketing strategies

If we are looking for something – anything really – we turn to Google. Your restaurant must be visible on Google so that it appears among the top few search results. Set up your Google+ account, claim your Google My Business page, and create your Google Business Profile. Check that your information is complete and up-to-date. With direct access to your website and phone number on Google, a reservation or order will be just a click away for customers.

4. Implement a loyalty program

Just as the name suggests, loyalty programs help retain customers. People are attracted by the promise of a reward and will keep coming back to get the stipulated number of points. Loyalty discounts and promotions garner more revenue because they make customers feel special – they see themselves as a part of a select group entitled to exclusive offers.

5. Stay in touch through email and text messages

Emails and text messages help you connect with your customers on a personal level. They can be used for just about any communication: announcing the launch of a new dish, promoting discounts and offers, sharing special news about your restaurant and even offering nutritional or food pairing tips. Their potency is often underestimated – sometimes the alert of an email or message is enough to trigger a response from your customers. Timing when you send these is also crucial to spurring your customers into action.

It is generally recommended that you take a multi-pronged approach for your marketing campaigns. You can choose the combination of modes to use depending on your goals and target audience. Keep implementing new and varied marketing strategies regularly – this is how you will ensure your restaurant stands out from the noise and hype of your competitors.