The increase in the number of people dining out in restaurants presents both opportunities and challenges to restaurant owners across the globe. It indicates that there are many people to target and that the industry is more competitive than ever before.
For a long time, restaurant marketing primarily focused on one goal: getting more people through the door. As a result of technological innovations and changes to the restaurant industry brought on by the COVID pandemic, the restaurant’s focus was flipped on its head.
Along with bringing customers to your restaurant, your marketing strategy should also focus on taking your restaurant to them. As entrepreneurs and consumers continue to adapt to navigate these new conditions, some business owners, especially those running restaurants, have been more affected than others.
If you are planning to reopen your restaurant or have already done so, you need to incorporate new marketing strategies to appeal to customers. The following affordable marketing ideas will ensure that cash continues to flow into your enterprise during these tough times.
Establishing a loyalty program can go a long way in attracting customers. Not only are you giving back to your best customers, but also encouraging current customers to return regularly.
Loyalty programs also act as a simple way to connect with new clients. You can go the traditional route and offer tried and true punch cards. Ensure that you provide special deals after a certain number of purchases or let the customers accrue points to spend on select items. The clients will find each visit to your restaurant more exciting since it gets them closer to a free or discounted meal.
Another great way to excite your customers is by offering them birthday desserts, meals, and other treats. Personalized gifts show them that you care and will be fun for you and your guests. Additionally, a digital membership is a modern and simple way if you want more control over your loyalty program. Digital membership makes it easier for customers to keep track of their progress and gives you greater insight into what they might be interested in.
Use a POS System
Some of the most effective ways to increase your revenue involve using a POS. A point-of-sale provides your restaurant business with many ways to maximize sales. A good example is the micros restaurant system with smart payment terminals with in-built tools designed to drive growth. Also, a POS can save you both time and money and assist you in expanding your business. A POS system can help you in the following ways.
- Gather customer feedback
- Understand which products are running out and need to be restocked
- Make it easier for customers to locate products that are exclusively available in one location
- Get an advantage over your competitors
- Gain information on how you can make your sales and promotions as profitable as possible
Many restaurant owners dismiss POS systems because they are worried about the costs. However, POS systems are relatively cheaper compared to other solutions, such as a debit card machine.
Use Social Media
In the modern world, social media is a powerful tool that you can use to attract new customers. Although you might already have a social media presence, spending a little money on promoted advertising increases your fan base and engagement. You should begin with one platform to make it easier to engage with customers and consistently keep your page updated. Constantly update your potential customers with new pictures and posts to keep them engaged. Some ideas of what you can post include the following.
1. Showcase Your Food
Showcasing your food is one of the best ways to promote your restaurant online. Tantalizing your food photos will enable customers to visualize what they could be eating is much more than just a wordy description. Although you can take pictures using your phone, it is worth hiring a professional photographer. Using photographs can go beyond social media, thus making the investment easier to manage.
2. Promotions and Offers
Another great way to build an online following is by announcing exclusive deals or limited promotions on your feed. It makes sure that your customers are always connected, so they don’t miss the next offer. You can also use a selected audience to test out new deals to gauge interest and see if they are successful before sending them to the general audience.
3. Community Involvement
If you are involved in the community, use your social media platform to talk about causes you support, volunteering with your team, or hold fundraisers for nonprofits. Ensure that the support is part of your company’s mission to avoid contradictions.
4. Run Contests
A social media contest is an excellent way of giving back to your customers while simultaneously promoting your restaurant. Encourage your followers to re-share your posts or post their photos under a hashtag designed by your team.
5. Feature Your Staff
With their permission, look for ways to showcase your employees and what makes them unique. The chances are that if you own a small local restaurant, people may want to know how you started and your inspirations.
Create a business website
Without a website, you have no control over your digital brand and no place to send customers online. If your competitors already have one, you may find it more challenging to compete. You can replicate most of the work you have already covered with your social media campaigns on your website. Make sure your website is updated to represent the quality and branding of your restaurant accurately. Setting up a business profile allows people to search your restaurant, view your operating hours and make reservations. To make your business more accessible to the public and help promote it, fill out all the necessary information. It also allows you to edit data directly from the customer’s viewpoint making it easier to get your listing right.
Any marketing campaign will take some time to refine before it becomes effective. Before you implement any new marketing practice, revisit your business plan and goals.
Your goals act as the guiding light through the process and ensure that you are not following arbitrary success metrics or overspending. Do not forget to remind your customers to leave good reviews if they enjoyed the meals and service in your restaurant.