If you own a restaurant, you need to find ways to attract more customers. That’s why it’s wise to invest in marketing. Marketing is one of the only ways to attract new customers. And when restaurants get it right, it can be very lucrative. We’ve found seven restaurant marketing strategies that work. And the best part is that they’re all affordable and straightforward. So, whether you’re a restaurant owner or a marketing professional, here are seven proven strategies you should incorporate into your restaurant marketing plan.
7 Marketing Strategy Ideas for Restaurants
1. Dine-in Offers
Dine-in offers are becoming pretty popular again now that restaurants are opening up and people feel more comfortable with dine-in options. Many customers love the idea of dine-in because it allows them to come into your restaurant. And they’ll end up spending more than if they had gone to a sit-down restaurant. So, when offering dine-in, you can set the stage by highlighting your buffet. If customers love your buffet, you’ll benefit with larger earnings.
2. Loyalty Program
It’s essential to reward loyal customers. Of course, that’s what most restaurants do. But customers get bored quickly. And that’s why some restaurants haven’t been successful at this. To keep customers engaged, you need to find a way to reward them. One way is to implement a loyalty program. By implementing a loyalty program, restaurants can earn loyalty rewards and engage customers in new ways.
The best way to implement a loyalty program is to go slow. Take the time to build it properly. It’s important to start small and make it fun. It would help if you went back to basics. Loyalty programs are about getting to know your customers. The more you can develop that relationship, the more likely customers will be to come back.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an effective marketing strategy for any restaurant. That’s because social media allows you to reach customers online. And if you’re smart about it, you can convince them to spend money with your restaurant. But social media marketing takes a lot of work. But it’s worth the effort because it can create millions of dollars.
Here’s what social media marketing can do for you:
- Create connections with customers.
- Build relationships with customers.
- Boost traffic to your restaurant website.
- Create brand awareness among customers.
- Remind customers about special events.
- Increase sales among existing customers.
Adding attractive images of your dishes, restaurant activity, entertainment, outdoor dining options, and any specials on Instagram or Facebook is a great way to attract followers and increase engagement. You can also partner with other venues and businesses (bars that don’t serve food, entertainment venues, local car services, etc.) to cross-promote your content with theirs and tag them, which helps you attract their followers and vice versa.
4. Online Reviews
Online reviews are still one of the most effective ways for people to evaluate a restaurant. You can add a QR code on the receipt that your customers can use their phone to open up your review pages on Google MyBusiness or Facebook. Alternatively, you can create a page with multiple review sites on a single landing page you can direct your QR code to so that the customer can review on the site of their choice.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is proven to be very effective at getting people to visit your restaurant. Research shows that email marketing is four times more effective at generating new leads than other methods, such as direct mail or phone calls. It’s also worth mentioning that your email list is the most loyal customer list you’ll ever have.
The reason for this is that when people click on your link or open up your email, they’re automatically placed into your menu and can instantly see your menu prices. This creates immediate interest. And when people are interested, they’ll trust you and give you their email address. This allows you to send highly personalized emails based on your target audience’s preferences and interests.
6. Mailing List Sign-up
Email marketing is an effective strategy for attracting more customers. When customers opt-in to your mailing list, they have access to helpful information. This includes information on your latest specials, discounts, and freebies. The list could also include customers’ email addresses, phone numbers, and even mailing addresses. They can use these details for future purchases and promotions.
Customers can choose to opt-in to your mailing list either through an email or in-store signup. To get a list of all of your customers, create a separate email for each customer. As mentioned above, email marketing is a great way to increase customer loyalty.
7. Send Special Offers Via Direct Mail
Mailings are still one of the most important ways to market to customers. That’s because people love receiving free stuff. And I’m a massive believer in direct mail. Many successful restaurants send coupons to thousands of readers every month. People appreciate the free things you send them. Why? Because people are more likely to buy products when they get something for nothing. I’m not the only one. Here’s why:
Direct mail has proven to have a 97% open rate when compared to e-mail marketing. And a direct mail campaign costs significantly less than a media buy.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the restaurant industry, leading to challenges and innovations. It’s likely many of the above-mentioned marketing strategies will change or become obsolete over time. In order to keep up with the ever-changing restaurant marketing strategies, it’s important to use creative strategies and data from your customers to help drive new revenue for your restaurant