In any given city, there can be what seems like an endless number of places to eat. With all that competition, you want to make sure your restaurant stands out so you can bring in new guests while keeping regulars coming back. Here are 5 easy tactics that you or a staff member could do to help reach a wider audience.
Before You Start:
It’s best to have solid branding to keep your business recognizable and unique. From your logo to the colors on your menu to your overall values, a solid framework of your brand will help your marketing succeed.
1. Be Active on Social
One of the easiest ways to start marketing your restaurant is to be present on your social media channels. Posting snapshots of dishes, promotions or a glimpse behind the scenes is free and virtually effortless.
Currently, the main social media platforms you should have a profile on are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Aim to post something new every few days, but even once a week can help keep your brand in front of the eyes of your followers and even new guests.
2. Set Up Your Google Business Profile
The mighty search engine is a major way people find restaurants. When customers Google your business, they’ll see photos and information about your restaurant which are often added by other users. If you sign up for your Google business profile (also free), you can help control the information they see, by:
- adding your own photos
- making sure your location on Google maps is correct
- updating your business summary
- responding to questions and reviews
- adjusting hours based on holidays
- editing your service options, like delivery and taking reservations
3. Promote Hosted Events
Events are exciting ways to draw in customers. Try live music, trivia or fundraisers to bring in the crowd. And be sure to promote your events in places like your social media, community message boards and on your website.
You should also consider being a part of local events outside of your own restaurant. Annual fairs or community get-togethers are great places to sample out food, sell portions of your menu or donate funds to be a sponsor.
4. Send Out E-newsletters
Using a program like MailChimp or Constant Contact, you can build a simple email to send out every few weeks or so. Use these emails to highlight everything from new dishes, events, staff features and more. And no coding needed! Most email platforms do all the heavy lifting for you—you just need to add pictures, type in your messaging and change a few colors.
5. Partner with Influencers
An influencer is someone who’s heavily active on social media that will help promote your restaurant to their large number of followers. Though nationally recognized influencers come with a hefty price tag, there are many affordable “micro-influencers” in virtually every city with smaller, more-focused followings.
When you partner with a micro-influencer, they’ll review your restaurant and dishes, often creating photos, videos and write-ups of their experience, all for a modest fee. This allows their followers—who are often looking for places to go to around their city—to get a more authentic look at your business from someone they trust. Sometimes even one post about your restaurant is enough to see a sizable increase in the number of new guests.