9 Easy Marketing Steps to Enhance Your Restaurant Traffic
The restaurant industry has always been challenging, with a high rate of failure. Those challenges were amplified through the difficulties of the pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, giving restaurants even more to contend with. Though the chances to fail are high, there are tactics that allow your newly-opened restaurant to come out on top! There are two main requirements for a restaurant to become successful in this day and age: online presence and accessibility. There are many marketing strategies that lead to the desired result, but we’ll focus on techniques to increase your restaurant traffic that are the most effective and easiest to implement!
1: Build Your Presence on Social Media
To put it simply, ignore social media today, and you sign a death sentence to your business. It’s vital to have your restaurant’s pages on different social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Having an account on Instagram is especially helpful, as it spreads your restaurant’s visual content. Science indicates that the sight of food makes people hungry. Because of that, food photography has the potential to help drive your restaurant traffic. Just make a couple of quality photos of dishes from your menu, post them on Instagram, and voila! you can gain new subscribers and potential visitors to your restaurant.
2: Publish Your Menu Online
Knowing what’s on the menu drives restaurant traffic. People like to do online research on its menu to know what it has to offer beforehand. It is critical to have an up-to-date, easy-to-read, and high-quality menu online. This won’t cost you much: you can post your menu to social media or Yelp, and most delivery services provide an opportunity to publish your restaurant’s menu for free! It also makes sense to place your restaurant’s menu right on your site, as research indicates that 77% of guests check your menu before making a decision to go out. Make sure the menu looks nice. Take quality photos, hire a professional food photographer if you can, and consider ordering photo processing from a photography retouching studio if your budget allows.
3: Claim Your Listing on Google
There are 40,000 searches per minute on Google. That means that satisfying searcher intent is an incredibly useful tool in improving your restaurant traffic. To control the way Google presents your business, set up an account with Google My Business, the online listing tool. Having an approved account on GMB, you’ll be able to manage how your restaurant appears on Google Maps and in Google search results. Additionally, using this service will allow you to build your brand, add photos, and respond to Google Reviews. Businesses that take care of their visual representation on their listings gain 35% more clicks to their websites.
4: Start Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are a great way to increase your restaurant traffic, as they allow both to get new customers and retain the old ones. To start your loyalty program, consider partnering with online food apps. The work scheme is simple: because of the partnership, app customers get encouraged to check your restaurant through customer loyalty programs that offer visitors a discount or a free purchase for visiting your restaurant a certain number of times. Among the apps with integrated loyalty programs are Perka, LevelUp, Loyal Blocks, Belly, and others.
5: Partner Up With Delivery Services
Food delivery apps are another useful way to enhance your restaurant traffic. With off-premise dining as an integral part of the restaurant industry in 2020, third-party delivery platforms provide another opportunity to reach a fresh market. If it’s the right fit for your restaurant, consider partnering to help get more exposure through these food delivery services.
6: Invest in Geo-Targeting Ads
It’s no secret that most people are looking for eateries close to their homes: at least, it’s easier to get there. Geo-fencing is a digital perimeter that you can apply to your advertising efforts, meaning that people in your area are more likely to see what’s on the menu. It makes a lot of sense to invest in geo-targeted ads, i.e., ads linked to customers’ locations and shown only within a specific radius or in certain cities. This allows you to target your customers with increased efficiency and avoid costly, non-relevant clicks. Geo-fencing is a great way to ensure public safety and improve your restaurant traffic.
7: Email Marketing
Most internet users have an email address, which is another way you can attract attention to your restaurant. Your email marketing efforts might contain information on your restaurant’s discounts, new dishes on the menu, special events, parties, etc., calls to action to encourage your restaurant traffic. Avoiding sending emails too often, as guests may perceive them as spam and delete or ignore them. In order to prevent such an unfortunate outcome, consider only sending an email a week, and a monthly newsletter to avoid losing or worse, annoying, your guests.
8: Invite a Food Blogger
While it can be hard to come back from a bad review, the social proof that a positive review of your restaurant in a popular blog provides is invaluable for its promotion. Reviews from bloggers with significant numbers of followers can skyrocket your restaurant’s reputation in the blink of an eye (if they are positive ones), so it’s worth trying. Invite bloggers to your restaurant, compliment them with your special meal to help them form an opinion on your food. Do not ask for a positive review outright, as this would look impolite and could even harm your reputation!
Another valuable instrument for promotion is blog posting. You should just get natural links to a blog post, submit a guest post to news websites or other authoritative sites, and ask the blogger to add the info to their platform.
9: Invest in Mobile Ads
A little more than half of the global population is online, and users browse social media around 144 minutes per day. It’s no surprise then that the search phrase “restaurants near me” commands between 1-10 million views every month. Eateries are a great subject for mobile ads, and afford restaurateurs with very reasonable investment for a growing promotion opportunity. Sponsored and branded ads have a higher engagement rate, which creates more chances to grow your restaurant traffic. Google Ads provides a variety of targeting options and mobile customization, allowing you to get the most out of your ads. For example, with Google Ads, you have the opportunity to increase your bids around the time of dinner, when people are often looking for fast food restaurants on their smartphones.
Marketing is a great way to draw attention to your brand and promote your restaurant traffic. Your guests want affordable and delicious options, and they want them as quickly and easily as possible. Make sure that your efforts provide efficient solutions to your guests’ hunger by offering them fresh opportunities. Through clever and diligent marketing efforts, you can affordably stay competitive, increase your social proof, and bring customers back for seconds.
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About the Author
Marie Barnes is a writer for GearYoda. She is an enthusiastic blogger interested in writing about technology, social media, work, travel, lifestyle, and current affairs.