Starting a new restaurant can be an amazing experience, but it’s often difficult to get your business off the ground. Understanding how to adapt to your new location and get customers through the door can be the difference between becoming the next local hotspot or shutting your doors for good.
Making the most out of the marketing tools you have available can help your restaurant get a foothold. Here are a few steps you can follow to leverage the marketing resources you have available, without blowing your budget.
10 Easy Steps for Marketing Your Restaurant
You may think that getting new customers through the door, generating repeat customers, and establishing yourself as part of the community depends on luck and factors outside your control. While being lucky never hurts, you can take control of your situation through effective marketing.
Understanding how to present yourself to the community can help drive business to your restaurant and set you up for long-term success. Here are a few steps that can help you take your business to the next level:
1. Develop Your Brand’s Identity
Before you can market your restaurant effectively, you need to decide what your brand identity will be. What cuisine do you serve? Are you a sit-down or takeout restaurant? How many people can you seat at once? One thing to consider as you develop your brand is the mission of your business. What’s your business goal and how does that influence and shape your brand? What does that mission mean for your customers? Once you understand these key characteristics, it becomes easier to place yourself competitively in the market.
2. Create a Unique Website
Once you’ve decided what your brand identity is, you should create a website that portrays that identity. When designing your website, it’s important to make it clear to online visitors what type of restaurant you’re running. It’s also recommended to include an online menu so that people can see what you offer.
3. Utilize Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms can be one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a restaurant. If you want to increase the visibility of your business, make an account on all the major platforms. After making these accounts, you can use social media to reach new customers, promote deals and get feedback.
4. Set up Your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile helps customers find your restaurant more easily when searching online. Setting up your Google Business Profile also gives you access to services like online reservations and digital orders. This free service helps you control how your business appears on Google Search and Maps, so it’s a no-brainer for promoting your restaurant.
5. Use Email Capture Strategies
Email capture is the process of collecting email addresses from people who visit your website or other online pages. If you want to inform customers about new promotions, offers or events, then sending out a mass email can be a great way to get the word out. When deciding how to use email capture, it’s a good idea to present visitors to your website with a discount code or offer in exchange for signing up for your email newsletters.
6. Send Out Newsletters and Promotions
After you’ve collected emails from your customers, sending out newsletters, discounts and promotions can keep them interested in your restaurant. This type of content gives people a reason to come to your restaurant and can start the process of earning repeat customers.
7. Generate Online Reviews
These days, people often look at the reviews for many different restaurants before deciding where they want to eat. Generating positive reviews for your business helps guide more customers to your restaurant and lets you serve more people.
If you want to generate consistent, positive online reviews, you can ask visitors to scan a QR code that takes them to the review page. Additionally, if you offer delivery services, you may want to ask customers to leave a review after they’ve enjoyed their meal.
8. Organize Local Events
If you really want to make a name for yourself in the local community, then organizing an event or sponsoring a recurring local gathering can be a great strategy. Taking part in these events can be a great way to get people who haven’t been to your restaurant to try your food. Not only will you be seen as helping the community, but you’ll promote your business at the same time.
9. Work with Delivery Services and Apps
People love ordering online. With food delivery services, it’s important to get your restaurant on as many apps as possible. Connecting with these apps gives customers the chance to look at your menu, even if they haven’t visited your site or come in for a meal. Partnering with delivery apps gives you access to new markets that you might not be able to reach through more traditional marketing strategies.
10. Always Adjust to Your Customers’ Needs
Even once you’ve gained a foothold in the local community, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse and stay connected with your customers. Keeping track of trends in the local food scene can help you craft new menus and promotional content that keep people coming back for more.
Establishing your presence both in the community and online is a continuous task that’s never quite done, so it’s important to never become complacent. If you want to work with a team that can give you more time to focus on food by handling these processes for you, contact GO2 Partners to learn more.