There are over 100,000 eating places within the U.S., from dive bars to Michelin 5 stars, quick meals to fusion, sandwich to steakhouse, I might go on for days.

restaurant marketing - most popular restaurant types in the US

In different phrases, competitors amongst eating places is fierce, so that you want a bullet-proof restaurant advertising plan. Effectively, my good friend, you’re in the correct place as a result of this all-in-one restaurant advertising information goes to supply all the artistic, strategic, and aggressive inspiration you’ll want to entice, gratify, and maintain prospects coming again.

Restaurant advertising information desk of contents

How you can market a restaurant

There isn’t any one “finest manner” to market a restaurant, because it all will depend on your class, viewers, location, and extra, however these are the foundational steps any food-friendly institution ought to take:

1. Develop your restaurant’s model id

Your model id is extra than simply your model colours. It represents your corporation’s persona, the tone of your content material, the feelings you need to encourage in your prospects. “Glad” will not be sufficient. Take into consideration the preferred eating places:

  • Taco Bell: humor and wit
  • Cheesecake Manufacturing unit: indulgence and extravagance
  • Panera: well being and freshness
  • Olive Backyard: household and luxury

So at the start, perceive your target market, then additional section that viewers into particular person purchaser personas with pursuits and existence you cater to. Set up a theme and really feel that works nicely with all of your personas, after which persistently specific that in each piece of content material you create and each motion you’re taking.

how to market a restaurant - brand identity examples

4 completely different taquerias with 4 completely different appears to be like and feels.

For extra assist with growing your id, use our recommendations on the right way to model your corporation.

2. Get an internet site

That is non-negotiable. On the naked minimal, you want a homepage, about us, menu, and phone web page. However ideally, you’ll need a critiques web page, photograph gallery, weblog, and even a FAQ web page. We’ll discuss extra about optimizing your website later, however the essential factor to notice right here is that your web site is the go-to for present and potential diners, and it must be skilled—first impressions matter!

Have already got an internet site? Discover out how one can enhance it with the LOCALiQ Free Web site Grader.

3. Set up your mission assertion

This goes alongside together with your model id, and must be a documented assertion expressing the aim of your corporation. Is it to make wholesome meals extra inexpensive? Is it to encourage household bonding? Promote sustainability? Your mission assertion ought to state what you present, the place/to whom, why you do it, and the way. You’ll be able to acquire inspiration from these mission assertion examples.

how to market a restaurant - sweetgreen mission statement example

4. Arrange your socials

Subsequent on the listing for constructing your on-line presence is your social profiles. The most well-liked social media platforms for eating places are Fb and Instagram, however TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and even LinkedIn have their place for a lot of manufacturers. You should use our full information to social media advertising to get your profiles and technique going.

5. Get listed on restaurant apps

Eating and restaurant apps are among the many finest free restaurant advertising instruments, as getting discovered on one in every of these means getting discovered by individuals with excessive intent. Eating apps enable customers to filter very particularly, so the important thing to those is including as many particulars as potential, together with:

  • Class (There are excess of the eight within the Thrillist chart above.)
  • Web site
  • Handle and telephone
  • Retailer hours
  • Menu
  • Worth Vary
  • Photographs, and plenty of ‘em
  • Attributes: wifi, outside seating, parking, particular diets, and so forth.

how to market a restaurant - yelp search results

As for which apps to get listed on, these embrace:

6. Arrange your Google Enterprise Profile

Organising your restaurant’s Google Enterprise Profile is as essential as (heck, perhaps much more essential than) your Yelp account. This itemizing lets you seem in Google Maps, native search outcomes, and the right-side Data Panel in common search outcomes.

restaurantm arketing ideas googlel business profile example

However establishing your profile isn’t sufficient. It’s good to optimize your Google Enterprise Profile in order for you it to look within the Native 3-pack, rank increased on Google Maps, and really entice prospects out of your itemizing. You’ll be able to see {that a} Google itemizing accommodates a wealth of knowledge together with

It additionally means maintaining this info correct and up-to-date. Eaters like to do analysis on-line – in truth, 89% of shoppers analysis a restaurant on-line previous to eating. That is why it’s of important significance that every one your restaurant particulars are on-line and updated, together with deal with, telephone quantity, hours, your present menu, and so forth. The stronger and extra correct your on-line particulars are, the higher.

7. Have a modern, practical on-line menu

Don’t make customers scramble to seek out your menu or squint to see it. Present a high-quality, easy-to-read menu that’s updated and correct. Unsure how? Some supply websites like these talked about beneath provide to publish your menu on-line without cost. Open Menu is one other nice website that may provide help to get your menu trying modern and trendy (it even affords some helpful social integration, for each paid and free customers).

restaurant marketing ideas - attractive menu example

Nonetheless, you’ll need to be sure to have your menu revealed in your web site, since that’s usually the #1 piece of knowledge customers are on the lookout for when visiting your website (together with hours, location, and phone data).

Should you don’t have a superb menu on-line and accessible for purchasers, most of your different restaurant advertising methods are principally ineffective! Nowadays prospects want to have entry to an internet menu, in any other case they’ll merely look elsewhere. And talking of restaurant advertising methods…

Restaurant advertising methods

Now that you’ve got your fundamental basis established, it’s time to get into the precise methods that may provide help to to draw prospects to your restaurant and maintain them coming again.

1. Ask for critiques

The facility of on-line critiques is plain, and prospects are virtually at all times completely satisfied to go away them. However the factor is, they nonetheless want a bit prompting. Because of this asking for critiques must be part of your restaurant advertising technique.

Listed below are some methods to do it:

  • Have an inventive and framed signal close to the mints with an easy-to-remember hyperlink or QR code.
  • Embody a request and hyperlink in your web site, menus, coupons, punch playing cards, and receipts.
  • Ask for them in particular person
  • Sometimes ask in social posts

how to market a restaurant - twitter post asking for review

2. Reply to critiques

Whether or not and the way you reply to your prospects’ critiques shapes the general public’s notion of your restaurant. Listed below are some ideas:

  • Reply to constructive critiques to indicate that you just worth your prospects’ enter and to encourage extra of them.
  • Thank prospects for his or her critiques, constructive and unfavorable.
  • Reply to unfavorable critiques promptly, publicly, politely, and professionally, then provide to take the decision offline.

I’ve seen this work in favor of many companies, as reviewers are sometimes flattered on the consideration proven and are extra beneficiant of their critique understanding the restaurant proprietor values their opinion and is working exhausting to enhance.

3. Ship out an e-mail e-newsletter

Your restaurant’s e-newsletter can embrace new menu objects, upcoming occasions, coupons, buyer tales, and extra. And it doesn’t must be weekly. In truth, customers will most likely admire a much less flooded inbox if you happen to merely ship them a e-newsletter each month or so. Some fast ideas:

restaurant marketing - cracker barrel newsletter

4. Flip your Fb enterprise web page right into a group

Companies with a robust social media presence are those that fare the perfect, and within the aggressive meals business, ignoring social media is a loss of life sentence. We already talked about making a Fb web page above, however not about leveraging its energy to market your restaurant. Right here’s the right way to do it:

  • Deal with your web page like a list: Fb is a enterprise listing! Fill out all fields, encourage critiques, and maintain it up to date.
  • Submit usually: buyer images, upcoming occasions, particular affords, hours updates, and so forth.
  • Interact together with your followers: Encourage discussions, reply to feedback, observe them again.
  • Change out your cowl images seasonally.

Additionally try this listing of straightforward Fb advertising concepts for any kind of enterprise.

5. Loyalty applications

Partnering with on-line apps encourages guests to take a look at your restaurant by means of gamification and buyer loyalty applications, which provide guests a free buy or low cost for visiting a sure variety of occasions.

restaurant marketing ideas - example of a loyalty app

Fashionable foodie apps that supply built-in loyalty applications embrace:

You would additionally kick it old-fashioned and hand out punch playing cards. They aren’t fairly as cool as apps, however they nonetheless present that you just worth prospects and admire their loyalty.

6. Native web optimization

Whereas Google can infer your location based mostly in your on-line info, and a searcher’s location based mostly on their IP deal with, that doesn’t imply you’ll rank in native outcomes for each related search. In different phrases, you’ll want to do your native web optimization:

  • Get listed on the highest native itemizing websites (we’ve touched on this already).
  • Embed a Google Map of your location in your Contact Us web page.
  • Publish content material particular to your location usually.
  • Get on-line critiques (the primary rating consider native web optimization)
  • Make sure that your info is as equivalent as potential throughout all of your on-line property. Google doesn’t like inconsistencies!

7. Spend money on paid advertisements

Operating paid advertisements on platforms like Google and Fb will get your restaurant in entrance of huge volumes of certified eyes. For assist incorporating paid media into your restaurant advertising plan:

Cell advertisements are usually cheaper than desktop advertisements, and cell boasts spectacular conversion charges. What’s actually cool is that Google Adverts permits for all types of cell customization and concentrating on choices that allow you to get essentially the most out of your bids. For instance, you possibly can enhance your bids round dinnertime, when customers are sometimes on the lookout for quick meals on their cellphones. Boosting your bids in the course of the dinnertime interval will increase your possibilities for exhibiting up for a selected question. This implies you could possibly be the primary advert to indicate up for a “pizza” search when pie-hungry customers are on the seek for a slice. Should you’re a restaurant marketer, don’t miss out on digging right into a slice of the cell advert pie (we’re speaking deep dish).

restaurant marketing strategies - location targeted ad example

8. Begin a weblog

Beginning your individual weblog is a good way to construct group and interact together with your prospects. Blogs provide the possibility to experiment together with your restaurant’s voice and persona. Share your successes and struggles, humorous tales, recipes, and anything you assume may curiosity your prospects.

A weblog generally is a big undertaking, however it doesn’t have to be. Maintain your weblog as easy or advanced as you’d like. You don’t must be continually posting (high quality over amount), however it’s good to have your restaurant weblog arrange for when you’ve gotten an announcement or information you need to get out to the world. Should you’re severe about taking up the world, try extra running a blog ideas right here.

9. Offline advertising methods

Don’t overlook in regards to the bodily world in your restaurant advertising plan! These ways are nonetheless efficient, particularly if you happen to’re a neighborhood restaurant.

  • Postcards
  • Menus
  • Care packages
  • Free samples
  • Native newspaper, radio, and TV

Restaurant advertising concepts

Let’s take these methods one step additional with some straightforward and inventive restaurant advertising concepts.

10. Foodie images

Should you’ve ever logged onto Instagram, you’ll perceive that meals porn is alive and nicely.

Arguably the perfect method to promote your restaurant on-line is with high-quality, drool-inducing images. Visible content material is in excessive demand on-line today, and having delicious-looking images in your web site and throughout numerous social media shops is crucial for drawing hungry eyes.

restaurant marketing ideas - food photos

Be warned although – taking actually nice meals images may be more durable than it appears to be like, as lighting is usually a key issue. Contemplate hiring a professional to take some top-notch images, or attempt it DIY model together with your smartphone (you need to use our product images ideas!).

11. Supply coupons & reductions

Offering coupons and reductions to your restaurant is at all times a surefire method to convey prospects operating. Supply a free dish to your new e-mail e-newsletter subscribers (we will present you the right way to get extra of these too).

Alternatively, you possibly can attempt promoting a reduction by means of Groupon or Residing Social – if you happen to go that route, you’ll get a TONS of publicity, however you’ll find yourself paying a hefty portion of gross sales to the deal web site, so maintain that in thoughts.

12. Share your critiques

Not solely does the amount and high quality of critiques affect how excessive you rank in outcomes and whether or not prospects click on in your end result, but in addition, the content material of these critiques makes for wonderful advertising materials. Sync them to look in your web site, share them on social, and even incorporate critiques on particular dishes into your menu.

13. Be an Insta-ham

Instagram advertising for eating places is a no brainer.

Showcase your storefront, rise up shut together with your high dishes, and use this social media primary stage as a spot to mess around together with your model id. For instance, an all-natural well being meals retailer may attempt snapping pics of individuals kayaking, cooking, farming, or different actions you assume your fan base will take pleasure in.

restaurant marketing ideas - instagram feed

Additionally remember to have some enjoyable with hashtags – whether or not leaping on the hype of present standard Twitter hashtags like #ThrowbackThursday or inventing your individual, hashtags are a good way to have some enjoyable with followers.

Instagram is a no brainer for these within the meals enterprise – be taught much more about Instagram advertising right here.

14. Meals blogger outreach

If you’re a brand new restaurant, you might discover it tough to generate critiques and hype about your corporation. One nice method to get critiques and press on the net is to ask meals bloggers to your restaurant to present you a attempt, and contemplate providing a free meal or appetizer to get them within the door. Politely ask in the event that they’d be prepared to evaluate your restaurant and share their expertise on-line.

You’ll be able to’t outright ask for a constructive evaluate, as that might be dishonest, however it’s positive to easily ask them for an goal restaurant evaluate. Some bloggers may decline your provide, however the extra you ask, the higher your chances are high of getting some constructive suggestions and producing extra curiosity on-line.

Some meals bloggers have huge followings, and getting their consideration can have an enormous affect in your restaurant. Even only one write up or point out from a significant foodie generally is a big for restaurant promotion efforts.

15. Showcase your employees

In an age of robotic customer support reps and shortly to be self-driving vehicles, the human factor is severely missing. Showcase your 5-star employees doing what they do finest! Seeing completely satisfied, smiling workers does wonders to your repute, as prospects lengthy to be served by joyful staff.

retaurant marketing ideas - example of staff pic

Displaying off your nice workers additionally gives main repute factors – completely satisfied staff say quite a bit a couple of enterprise, and followers are positive to take discover.

16. Share constructive press

One other main restaurant advertising tip – once you’re talked about in a information outlet or journal, remember to exhibit your good publicity in your web site and through social media. Followers will unfold the phrase, and newcomers will probably be inspired to go to in particular person after they see trusted sources celebrating your restaurant.

17. Social media contests

The important thing to Fb and Instagram giveaways is to have an interesting prize. Don’t do a boring reward card, provide one thing particular like, free sides, an additional pizza, dinner for 2, swag, free supply for a month. and extra. Have individuals enter by posting about and tagging your corporation and/or utilizing your hashtag on Instagram. This can be a nice method to enhance your followers and usher in your native viewers. Extra native social media advertising ideas right here.

18. Supply native components

Prospects love to listen to that they’re consuming native, and sourcing native components from close by can do quite a bit to spice up your fan base and offer you a constructive repute in the neighborhood. If it’s not out of your funds, undoubtedly contemplate this feature!

restaurant marketing ideas - locally sourced food

19. Accomplice up with supply providers

In immediately’s online-driven atmosphere, ease of use is the secret. Many on-line supply providers streamline the ordering course of, and internet-savvy patrons usually love making the most of such supply providers.

Contemplate partnering with providers like:

  • Seamless
  • Eat24
  • Foodler
  • Supply.com
  • GrubHub

Some prospects might even uncover you for the primary time by means of providers equivalent to these!

20. Trivia nights

Weekly or month-to-month trivia nights are at all times a success with eating places. Supply nice prizes to the winners, good in-between music, and market it on social media and your newsletters to unfold the phrase.

21. Fishbowl enterprise card giveaways

Let prospects drop their enterprise playing cards right into a bowl for a raffle. The reward can range – a lunch for the winner and 10 mates, a 2-hour completely satisfied hour with discounted drinks, no matter you are feeling like!

Not solely are these raffles enjoyable, however you can even make use of these enterprise playing cards by emailing prospects. Allow them to know that whereas they didn’t win this time, they’ll join your e-newsletter to be notified of their subsequent likelihood to enter, plus the chance to listen to about reductions and different affords they’d take pleasure in. Then tadaa – you’ve acquired your self a bunch of tremendous helpful new e-newsletter subscribers!

22. Begin a meals truck

Beginning a meals truck isn’t for the faint of coronary heart – it’s an amazing endeavor and, relying on the form of truck you need to purchase, it may be very dear. Nevertheless, beginning a meals truck allows you to dish out your meals to people you may by no means usually are available in contact with. You’ll be able to tremendously prolong your attain, construct extra press, and purchase new followers who may love you a lot that they develop into patrons of your brick-and-mortar location as nicely!

restaurant marketing ideas - food truck

23. Get artistic with nationwide days

There are dozens of consciousness causes and observance days all through every month of the yr which can be restaurant-friendly. Listed below are some, simply to call just a few:

  • Nationwide Meals Security Month in September
  • Nationwide Pizza Day in February
  • Worldwide Beer Day in August
  • Nationwide Baked Scallops Day in March
  • Nationwide Picnic Day in April

And the listing goes on. And on. And on. We’re speaking, Nationwide Corn Chip Day, Nationwide Glazed Spiral Ham Day, Rooster Tetrazzini Day. You’ll be able to have a area day with these. Listed below are some native advertising concepts based mostly on months of the yr (with lots extra to return):

Closing restaurant advertising ideas

We’ll depart you with some last ideas that can assist you save time, preserve a constructive repute, and profit from each penny and minute you spend advertising your restaurant.

24. Promote user-generated content material

Consumer-generated content material (lovingly dubbed UGC) is a good way to develop private and intimate engagement with customers. Host a photograph contest by asking prospects to share their favourite meal at your institution, and share the entries on a devoted content material web page (and/or share submissions throughout your numerous social networks). Contemplate awarding some random fortunate contestants with a free appetizer or different prize!restaurant marketing ideas - user-generated content example

Internet hosting and selling user-generated content material reveals prospects that you just admire them, turning occasional guests into die-hard devotees.

25. Use on-line reservation instruments

One positive eating restaurant advertising concept is to contemplate signing up for Open Desk. Open Desk is an internet reservation device that lets prospects e book reservations to your institution on-line! Patrons adore it once you make life a bit simpler for them, and Open Desk already has a base of loyal prospects you possibly can faucet into.

26. Time these Tweets

Twitter generally is a true treasure for eating places, and timing your tweets can have an enormous affect on hungry stomachs. Strive crafting and scheduling tweets at completely different occasions of the day to particularly goal the breakfast, lunch, or dinner crowds (relying in your choices).

restaurants twitter marketing

27. Monitor your on-line repute

One of the essential issues to know in restaurant advertising is that there are numerous locations on-line the place prospects can evaluate and speak about you—even if you happen to didn’t arrange a list on that platform! As part of your repute administration, you possibly can:

  • Google your self usually to determine any auto-created listings that must be claimed so you possibly can management their info.
  • Arrange Google Alerts to inform you when your corporation title (or different designated key phrase time period) seems in a brand new piece of content material on the net.
  • Spend money on paid social media administration instruments like Hootsuite or Buffer to remain on high of posts, mentions, and direct messages.

How you can market a restaurant [summary]:

Listed below are the steps on the right way to market a restaurant:

  1. Develop your restaurant’s model id
  2. Get an internet site
  3. Set up your mission assertion
  4. Arrange your socials
  5. Get listed on restaurant apps
  6. Arrange your Google Enterprise Profile
  7. Have a modern, practical on-line menu

Listed below are the perfect restaurant advertising concepts and methods:

  1. Ask for critiques
  2. Reply to critiques
  3. Ship out an e-mail e-newsletter
  4. Flip your Fb enterprise web page right into a group
  5. Loyalty applications
  6. Native web optimization
  7. Spend money on paid advertisements
  8. Begin a weblog
  9. Offline advertising methods
  10. Foodie images
  11. Supply coupons & reductions
  12. Share your critiques
  13. Be an Insta-ham
  14. Meals blogger outreach
  15. Showcase your employees
  16. Share constructive press
  17. Social media giveaways
  18. Accomplice up with supply providers
  19. Trivia nights
  20. Fishbowl enterprise card giveaways
  21. Begin a meals truck
  22. Get artistic with nationwide days
  23. Closing restaurant advertising ideas
  24. Promote user-generated content material
  25. On-line reservation instruments
  26. Time these Tweets
  27. On-line repute monitoring

That sums up our restaurant advertising information. Hopefully you possibly can put these restaurant advertising tricks to good use!

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