So you have completed all the points in the checklist to start a successful restaurant. You have chosen the perfect place, set up your delicious menu, got the government permits and found the suppliers. The only question that remains is how do you promote your restaurant business?
In this blog, I will provide you with 11 steps to boost your restaurant business.
Start by getting your own website. Get a domain name and host your site, having and maintaining your website gives you the power to control the content. The website is your chance to showcase your brand’s personality. Publicise your website on all your promotional materials and offerings. Your site is as essential as your restaurant’s physical address. It is where people can find you on the internet.
What I consider to be an ideal restaurant website should contain the following information:
1. An attractive Online Menu that goes with your restaurant theme
2. Order Online feature for customers to browse through and pay for online orders
3. Sign-up box for an email subscription (to promote promotions)
4. Social Media links that redirect to your social media pages
5. Rewards and gift card section – Loyalty Program
6. About us for a story on how you started
7. Contact information
10. Reviews & Gallery
Do not forget to check your site for mobile responsiveness as about 52.2% of the total website traffic in 2018 was through mobile browsing.
Note: If you’re looking to create your stunning website in the easiest way possible, try Yelo. With Yelo, set up your online restaurant in minutes and no technical knowledge is required.
2. Social Media Presence
Build a strong social media presence. Gone are those days when you try searching for someone on facebook and don’t find him there. The entire population is on social media and are very active.
‘Food porn is alive’. Open your Instagram, and you will find a million hashtags related to food. The best way to promote your restaurant online is by posting high-quality mouth-watering pictures of ‘FOOD’, make it appealing. Hire a photographer to take high-quality pictures of your menu and start updating them on your social media; it is essential for the hungry eyes. Refer this article “http://gizmodo.com/how-to-take-a-perfect-food-photo” to click your own best in class food pictures.
3. Identify your audience:
‘It doesn’t end with just hosting your website, and you need people visiting your site’.
You can drive traffic to your website through digital marketing. Firstly, define your target audience, analyze your ideal customer profile. Once the target audience is determined, you can plan the best way to reach them. Social media will allow targeting your audience based on demography and interests. Let’s take Facebook as an example; you can run promotional ads to users who match your target audience profile. You can filter the audience based on their geography and demographic factors. Running ads without a set targeting will exhaust your promotional budget sooner and will not provide good results.
4. Retargeting and Remarketing
You’re in control of your data use it wisely. Make a list of your customer data then start pushing promotional content through different channels. You can also categorize the list further and push different promotional offers for different segments.
Use E-mails and WhatsApp to send out updates on new additions in the menu, superstar employees, discounts and offers and news on industry trends. Engaged customer stays loyal for long time.
5. Go Crazy Offline
Use in-house advertising on receipts, tents and carry out containers. Make sure you print enough copies of menus and circulate them across the neighbourhood. Give additional menu lists for customers to carry home and display your menu in the windows. Train your employees to upsell to customers when they visit your restaurant.
To attract local customers in your geography participate in food fests and start a food truck to reach out to customers who generally do not come in contact with your restaurant.
6. Set Up Your Google+ Account
Restaurant businesses ideally target local geographic demand. Once a customer searches your restaurant in google, it provides the business details in the sidebar. Google extracts most of this information from your Google+ account, so it is a huge plus to have a Google+ account as it will help your restaurant appear organically in a search.
7. Partner up with a delivery service
Today’s customer expects convenience on the tap of a button; customers want to be able to order from local restaurants with delivery service. Partner up with a local delivery service, apps like Danzo are providing the best service with on-time delivery.
If you’re looking to manage your own fleet for the delivery service, then try Tookan. Tookan is a delivery management solution providing route optimization & real-time tracking for local deliveries.
8. Team up with local vendors
Build your relationship with your local supplier and start cross-branding. It will be an advantage for both entities. It’s a win-win situation.
9. Leverage local bloggers and writers
Influencer marketing is the talk of the day. Use them to promote your restaurant brand, invite them to your restaurant to garner reviews. Also, publish the event in social media to attract the customers in the local vicinity.
10. Referrals and Loyalty points
The most popular and efficient loyalty program is the points-based reward system. Define reward points for each dollar spent by your customer and come up with exciting reward offerings, like freebies and goodies.
Start a referral program and encourage evangelists for your brand. The referral program is very successful as people always go in for recommendations.
11. Offers and discounts
Almost every one of your competitors is going to use this strategy. But, you cannot ignore them. Offer discounts on speciality menu and the dry hours of the business.
Also, you can circulate discount codes on local e-commerce sites like Groupon and little for broader reach and acquire new customers.
Hopefully, these tips will help you promote your restaurant business and bring more traffic to your doorstep. So fire up your kitchen and start plating those meals!