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  • Writer's picturePhilip Marchant

Marketing your Restaurant

Clearly Define Your Brand

Restaurants need to be sure they clearly define their brand.

Defining who you are and what you stand for helps you stand out from the crowd and gives you a platform on which to base all of your marketing.

Find your USP

Find the thing that makes you unique and push it make yourself different to everyone else and therefore memorable in the sea of restaurants.

Offer Amazing Customer Service

This should go without saying, but unfortunately these days in the fog of social media posts this can get lost. Make sure everything you do is to the highest standard and that you always put the customer first.

Make sure your food is Intagramable!

This doesn’t mean everything is photogenic but make sure a few of your key offerings lend themselves to having awesome pictures of them being taken.

Host Events for Influencers

Host an event at your bar specifically for local influencers. Offer free food and drinks, along with VIP treatment during the event, in exchange for a story or exclusive content. This provides the bar with unique and creative content for social media that they can reuse multiple times to promote their brand.

Offer Dessert in Exchange for an Instagram Post

Instagram is tailor-made for restaurant marketing. Make sure they use your hash tag along with a few others such as #foodporn #food #amazing as well as the type of food eg #cheesecake or #burger.

You can even link a competition to this to encourage more people to post such as most likes in a week gets a free meal. This costs you very little but will encourage your customers to promote your restaurant for you.

Intagramable food is a must

Did you know that customers in loyalty programs return twice as often?

A punch card loyalty program is a great incentive for customers to continuously return to your restaurant. Instead of traditional paper punch cards, however, save a trip to the print shop and go with a mobile solution such as candybar.

Share Behind-the-Scenes Photos on Your Website and social media

People love to see the characters in the restaurant—the chefs, the front-of-the-house staff, and anyone involved in making their restaurant experience incredible. Post people-focused images on your website that show the human side of your staff. And not only that but customers actually feel better as they know you are not hiding a filthy kitchen or bad practices.

Use Your Most Loyal Customers as Influencers

Consider creating an influencer marketing program for your restaurant to help spread the word. Make your loyalists excited to post pictures of your food by offering a reward or gift. Their reward can be as simple as giving them swag or a monthly gift card.

Offer Discounts to Participants in Local Events

Is there a 5K race on the weekend? Why not offer a discount on lunch or a free cake with every coffee if people show their finisher’s medal?

Local fete? Get people to take a pic of themselves taking part and post it for a free coffee? You can help support local events and boost the profile of your restaurant at the same time.

Use Delivery Services

Use all options for delivery services in your city. Restaurants can have multiple relationships with delivery services, such as Uber Eats, Postmates, Eat24, and others, which can significantly enhance business and increase profits. Additionally, you’re taking advantage of being listed on their websites and apps, which greatly expands your visibility.

Monitor & Respond to Online Reviews

Small restaurant owners frequently overlook, ignore, or respond inappropriately to their online customer reviews on Google, Trip Advisor, and more. Reviews can have a big impact on your business; even one bad review might turn away new or returning customers. Make sure you respond appropriately.

Run Contests on Social Media

We announced the contest on social media and also created cards to hand to customers when paying the bill. We asked the customers to take and post pictures with their favourite member of our staff, including a specific hashtag.

The member of staff received a shopping voucher and all the customers with that member of staff got a free starter on their next visit. Which encouraged loyal customers to try things they normally wouldn’t.

manage your social media effectively

Use Table Management Software

Successful restaurants are using technology to drive bookings across the web, build detailed customer profiles, and execute targeted multichannel campaigns. It can also help to maximise your bookings on busy times to increase your takings.

Partner with Local, “Like-Minded” Businesses

A “like-minded” business could be a business that is near the restaurant or it could be a business that has a similar audience. For example, one of the restaurants I worked with allowed dogs and lots of people walked their dogs along the path behind the restaurant. They worked with a local pet shop to offer a discount to the shop’s customers, and the Pet shop offered a discount to the restaurant’s customers. They even partnered in a charity dog walk together.

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