7 Restaurant Marketing Ideas – How to Market a Restaurant
Here are 7 Restaurant Marketing Ideas & How to Market a Restaurant that you probably haven’t heard before. These aren’t the same copied/ pasted tips or tricks you’ve seen online recently. This is real data from real research that I have done over the last 5 years or so. There will be several people who will tell you I’m crazy, or just plain wrong. I’ll go head to head with my data and numbers any day. There is a TON of bad info out there regarding restaurant marketing ideas. Some are unsuccessful, some only work in certain markets. Others are just plain outdated and worked in 2010 but are worthless in today’s online environment.
1.Get a profession Photo shoot done
This should be about a $300-$400 investment which will last you years. Get a great food/ architecture photographer and spend a few hours putting a great shoot together. You can use these on everything from print to web. These photos can be used on menus, table tents, posters or in house promotions. More importantly they can be used on social media to offer more interesting content instead of your average low-engagement posts with pointless drink specials. They can be used on your Yelp profile, your Tripadvisor profile, or anything else where you need a great online presence. This is the best money you’ll spend all year!
2. Pay attention to your Google My Business Page
If you haven’t claimed your Google My Business (GMB) page yet, CLAIM IT! I can’t stress this enough. You can claim it easily through a phone number verification or a postcard Google will send to your address with a PIN number on it. If you don’t know what this page is, it’s the panel to the right of your search engine results. It looks like this.
You can update your hours, contact info photos (those professional ones you had done) and you can post to it just like you can on Facebook. (See the 2 posts of mine directly under my contact info). This will be HUGE in 2018 and moving forward when Facebook posts will soon become a thing of the past. Read more on How To Claim Your Google My Business Page here.
3. Claim and maintain your Yelp page and online reputation
I’ve said it several times before and I’ll say it again. Respond to your online reviews! Respond to the good ones, the bad ones, all of them in a timely manner. Thank your fans and own your mistakes. Get the pissed off people back in your door and make the positive reviewers feel heard and appreciated. Leave your contact info in your responses so people can reach you with any questions. Don’t worry, your phone will not get blown up by people with stupid questions.
My cell phone number is in the response of thousands of reviews out there and I get about 1-2 calls per month. The best part – Most of these calls are from people who were about to leave a 1-star review but saw the number and called me to vent about a poor experience. I was able to turn around 100% of these people from haters to fans.
Flag any negative review that you can. Read the terms and conditions and learn what can and will be removed if you flag it. Anything defamatory or calling out an employee by name will usually be removed.
4. In tourist markets, Trip Advisor is your best friend
Trip Advisor can make or break your business. If you have not claimed your TA page and you are just letting it idle along, you are never going to rise up among your competitors. When you claim this page through a simple phone verification, you can upload photos (again, the professional ones you had taken), update your hours or contact info, and again – respond to reviews. (See a pattern developing here?). Do everything you can to get no the “Best Cheap Eats” list, the “Best Fine Dining” list or any of these lists. They are priceless to bringing people in your door. Usually these are voted on by users and positive reviews so if you want to rank here, the experience you provide your customers needs to be flawless. Read more on this here Trip Advisor for Restaurants and Bars.
5. Do NOT rely on social media to get a marketing message out to new customers
Social media has it’s place in cultivating one-time customers into repeat customers but as far as new customers are concerned, it’s close to worthless. If new customers don’t follow you on social media, or don’t know you exist, how would they ever see your posts? They wouldn’t. These people will find you on search engines (Google is the only one that matters) or reviews platforms like Yelp or Trip Advisor. With Facebook’s reach getting choked down to damn-near zero for free organic post reach, it’s as ineffective as it’s ever been.
Instagram is still effective with return customers and using great images of food, architecture, or attractive staff members is more important than ever. The only caveat to this is Instagram skews young so if you have this demographic, run with it. If your customers aren’t millennials, Instagram will be less effective but still a good tool.
6. Focus on the customer experience and create new fans with every visitor
“Restaurant Marketing Ideas” really don’t come into play here but this article is about bringing people in the door of your restaurant. Word of mouth is absolutely king, and always will be. Take your marketing dollars and put them into staff training, staff incentive programs, and only hire the best personalities and attitudes available.
Anyone can learn this business, people can’t “learn” a great attitude. Learn form high-end places who make the customer experience rule #1. Go to a great steakhouse and take notes. Use their methods and apply them to any restaurant. When the public is singing your praises and recommending your restaurant, you win! Word of mouth is the single more important and profitable aspect of your business. And it’s completely free.
7. Post on Google. Google for Business will become the next Facebook for Restaurant Marketing
Your Google profile always had the capability to make posts on but rarely did anyone use it. Recently these posts have been added to your Google profile right in the search results. Now where Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat can’t help you, Google comes though. Your posts are now visible to people who DON’T follow you on social media. Your posts are visible to ANYONE who is looking for a place like your on Google.
As of the writing of this article, this is a pretty new feature and will be a game changer moving forward. Start adding Google posts to your social media person’s to-do list. When you claim your Google for Business page, posting here will be easy and more visible than anything. Yes it is free as well. I hope this helps! For more check out https://barmarketingbasics.com