Portrait Of Waitress Serving Food To Customers In Busy Bar Restaurant
In the fierce competition where at every turn there is a new restaurant, it is getting more than difficult to bring new customers and retain loyalty. Customers are not only bothered about good food but also seeking supreme brand imagery of the restaurant. Customers want to relate their identity with the restaurant and expect better ambiance, better care, better engagement.
Restaurants to excel in the present or future need to focus on improved creative marketing strategies that work. Your restaurant may serve the best food or having the best location or you take care utmost for your customers but if you are weak in your marketing strategies and communication than soon competition will take over all your footfall and make your business weak. In the world of smartphones and social media platforms, it gets very important for the restaurant owners to focus on creative digital strategies and connect with the customer not only inside the restaurant but also find the ways to reach them when they are outside the restaurant.
We have collected a list of best digital marketing practices a restaurant can follow to achieve great success and stay with the modern time.
Make a restaurant website Do the domain registration, take the hosting and create your restaurant website if you want to stay parallel with the digital world. People are busy searching in smartphones and want their favorite restaurant to be online too. Gone are the days of yellow pages and directories, digital devices have overpowered the community. Make a stunning website for your restaurant with high definition images of the recipes and ambience your restaurant serves. "What your eyes don’t admire your heart never desires”. Create the desire among the customers by creating an interactive website that showcase your restaurant in style and beguile their stomach to order a portion of food from your restaurant.
Qualities of the Best Restaurant websites
High definition recipe and restaurant images
The website is a digital sales person for your restaurant, people will see your restaurant virtually on your website and will make their mind to visit or order. Visuals alone say a thousand words and help to create real imagery in the customer's subconscious mind.
Modern, futuristic presentation and navigation
Choose modern designs and impressive layout while creating your website. Try futuristic creative ideas that will represent true you and give an extra edge to your business. Website designs should future ready which means designs should not obsolete within a few years, choose layouts that go long. Navigation should be easy and clear that helps customers in acting without any hassle.
Automatically open in every digital device and adapts according to the screen sizes, people can't always have desktops or laptops but smartphones are always in their pockets. Searching for nearby restaurants while walking around the street or ordering food online will be easy if the website will be responsive.
Maps, directions and right address
Mention your address and phone numbers right on the home page. Integrate Google maps so that it will be easy for the customers to reach your restaurant. Always cross-verify your address and map directions as sometimes a little mistake in the address, phone number or wrong Google map can give you business loss and unhappy, unsatisfied customers.
Online booking forms and reservations Offer your customers an online forms to book a table in advance. Give convenience to your potential customers with online booking forms. With online forms customer doesn’t have to wait in a queue for eating in your restaurant. Sometimes customers are coming to celebrate the special occasions, sometimes there are big families dine outs, it gets easy for the customers to do the online bookings and reserve the space for them without any hassle. Try to give customizing options in booking forms like space customization and other fancy things like decoration or lighting.
Advantages of online forms
Hassal - free arrangements before the visit
Planned visits in exclusive venues without problems
You can call and cancel the reservation within the time frame without any penalties
Share customer testimonials and reviews When happy customers talk, it proves the value of your business!
Generate positive reviews and testimonials from your customers who have enjoyed a meal from your restaurant and post those reviews and testimonials on your social media and restaurant websites. People get influenced by the reviews and testimonials from other eaters. Restaurant's credibility also increases with the comments, ratings and authentic testimonials. Testimonials of the customers can also be shooted with the restaurant ambiance behind, which gives a evident value to the restaurant identity. Testimonials and reviews are convincing enough to bring traffic to the restaurant business.
Create testimonials and review in different forms
Like - Customer quotes, image post, interviews, Press reviews, Peer reviews
Regular social media posts Restaurants to increase the footfall in their restaurant must create accounts in social media platforms and post regular creative content that entices gourmet feelings of the viewers and make their mind to eat in your restaurant. Consistent content posting is the key, try to share some unique post on your social media platforms everyday to engage the viewers. Initially, you may not have followers or subscribers but with the time you will grow and can cater great traffic towards your restaurant by this simple step. Here are some tips that you must follow while creating your social media posts.
Use high-quality images Try to click the photos you are sharing in the best lighting possible, nowadays smartphone cameras are capable enough to click high-resolution images. You can also do bit color grading or retouching to the clicked photographs on various free apps.
Share restaurant images Click your restaurant's photographs, when empty, or during peak hours. Share photographs of your executive chefs’ and employees too.
Festive celebrations and decorations posts Share images of ambiance you are providing on special occasions, how you are decorating your restaurant on the festive season.
Live streaming videos Share the live streaming videos of your chef cooking mouth-watering cuisine and in a hygienic kitchen environment. Employees attending customers, how they are greeting and taking orders. Create genuine small 10 to 30-second videos that will represent the soul of the restaurant and let you establish better in the customer's mind. Viewers like the live streaming concept and automatically get curious to know more about your business.
Use social media platforms like Instagram: A simple, fun & creative way to capture, edit & share photos, videos & messages. Facebook: Facebook gives businesses the power to connect with customers, find communities and grow businesses. Twitter: Engaging networking platform on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets".
Social media posts are created to forge a positive imagery of your brand in the customer's mind by creating engaging creative and unique content. Social media post helps restaurant in generating more followers, subscribers, and traffic. Creative posts get shared and liked by the viewers, hence spreading great word of mouth.
Youtube videos and tutorials
As per studies by 2021 videos will represent 80% of all internet traffic and will continue to grow.
Youtube as the number one video marketing platform where almost 5 billion videos are watched every day can be a great source of engagement for your restaurant. Make videos about your restaurant, explain your stories and teach how to cook the best food. Videos elevate the credibility and generate millions of subscribers, likes for your business. If you are famous on Youtube than we promise your restaurant will be earning like never before. For the simplest of the recipes people are searching on Youtube and your availability on the platform will give great exposure to your restaurant brand and soon people will search your location to eat in your joint.
Create Youtube videos on various restaurant topics like
Recipes, management, testimonials, cleanliness, deserts and many more.
Run social media contests Social media contests are one of the best ways to engage with your audience and raise brand awareness. We have brainstormed a few of the social media contests for the restaurant industry that will help you generate more leads.
For examples some of social media contest are
Like and comment to win
More likes and comments on your post deliver better authenticity and essential engagement. You can run the contest on all platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter. Example: You could win a 25% discount on a bill. Simply like and comment on this post for a chance to win 20% discount coupon.
Share to win or simply tag your friend
Same as like and comment, you can push your viewers for sharing the post with their friends and community by offering better deals. You will get great exposure for your restaurant more and more people will come to know about your restaurant. For example, on Facebook and Instagram, you can ask viewers to share your post or tag your two friends and on Twitter, you can ask for a re-tweets.
A typical online sweepstake will ask a visitor to enter some personal information (name, address, email) for a chance to win a prize. A raffle (game of chance) that rewards a prize to a randomly generated winner at the end of the contest.
Photo caption contest
Put your restaurant image or employees chatting image or some food recipe, just ask viewers to put a caption to the image and the best caption comment will get food discount or freebie while he steps up in the restaurant. Captions are great contest forms as you will collect a great number of creative ideas and quotes for the image by the viewers. Examples: Caption the above image to win a freebie.
Winner will be announced on December 25
Best comment competition
Share some unique video or an image from your restaurant or customers dining and ask for the best comment on the post. These types of posts are very engaging and entice the viewer's feelings to comment at their best. Open the contest for a few days and also announce the date when you will declare the winner.
You can also share the details of the people who will be involved in decision making and what will be the prizes.
Vote to win
You can run a campaign or contest where you will ask your viewers to vote on your post. Voting could be a great piece of advice for choosing the best thing out of two options and also engages viewers to make their mind after voting. Example: Friday special 'Recipe - 1' or 'Recipe - 2', vote what you want to see on your table on this Friday. There is a great probability those who have chosen the option may come to dine in the food of their choice on Friday.
Note - Always put hashtags (#) on your post, hashtags help to find the messages and post easily when people search on specific topics at social media platforms.
SMS (Text messaging) and Email Marketing Take your marketing campaigns to the next level with these two vital pillars of your communication and long-standing effective forms of customer relationship management strategy. Email and SMS work together and strengthen overall communication that helps you stay in contact with the people who matter to your business. Important benefits of email marketing and SMS marketing are:
Both reaches the subscriber's smartphones and can easily be read.
In few seconds or minutes you will know the message.
Deals are encashed right away e.g. discounts, offers.
Offer discounts to your customers on every email subscription of your newsletter.
One of the most cost-effective ways to grow yo restaurant business is email marketing. Create beautiful and tempting designs that grab customer attention. Write enticing email headlines and descriptions that create curiosity among the receivers to open your email. Push your restaurant customers to subscribe to your newsletter. Grow your email list by using different strategies and attach freebies or discounts in return. If people are ordering food online, then offer discounts on the spot if they subscribe to your newsletter or share email id. You can also encourage people to sign up by including an offer on bills and receipts.
Promotional emails help build your relationship with the subscriber, by offering better benefits and making them realize that they are attached with good company. Engaging emails promote your business and include communication about offers and sales to the customers.
Late hour deals
Friday specials and discounts
Holiday specials and menu
Monthly contests and draws
Benefits and rewards
On average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to the text and 90 minutes to respond to an email.
SMS is a short message that is straight to the point and has great response time. Try sending SMS near to the food hours with discounts and coupons, timing can play a great role in generating traffic. Don’t send SMS late night or on Mondays, send coupons through SMS especially on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays that way you can have great benefits from your campaigns. SMS marketing helps to maximize your ROI than any other marketing platform.
Run loyalty programs Turn your restaurant customers into your ambassadors.
Exciting customers are the business owners that bring consistent footfall to your restaurant and helps your restaurant business running smooth. The restaurant must deliver the best value to the existing customers to retain them for the present and future. Running loyalty programs and reward schemes helps in repeat visits by attracting them with luring deals from time to time. Set up beneficial loyalty strategies with the below ideas and increase sales and conversions.
Refer to your friends and family members to enjoy benefits like free drinks or meals, 25% discount to first-time visitors, discount on some new and unique food on a special day.
Social sharing benefits
Sharing on social media platforms will bring new customers to your restaurant. Reward existing customers with fruitful and enticing offerings if they share your business with their social community. Social media sharing can generate immense exposure to your restaurant and direct connections.
Accumulate points on spending
Accumulating points on every spending is an excellent way for restaurants to keep their customers satisfied and returning in future too. Allow your customers to redeem points on a bill amount, which they can use in their future visits.
Take help of Food bloggers, influencers and reviewers Food bloggers are acting as a crucial part of modern digital marketing strategies and helping restaurants in attracting business. Blogger, influencers, and reviewers resonate with your target market and with their ambassadorial role alter the decisions of your potential customers in favor of your brand. The verdict presented by them can be taken as a guarantee that the restaurant provides great value and experience to the visitors. Share blogger's reviews and testimonials on your social media platforms and Youtube channel. You can let bloggers and reviewers to review your restaurant on various topics like Ambience, food, location, service and even deserts you are offering. Be careful in choosing the reviewers for your business and try to go with the best ones who can influence people on a positive side.
Creative branding and identity Restaurant logo, food packaging design, restaurant signage, restaurant menu design, posters, flyers, tabletops, cutlery, glasses, and even napkins prove to showcase your visual identity in style. Let customers inspire from your visual identity and boost their confidence in trusting your brand. Showcase gorgeous illustrations, typography, and images that evoke the ethos of the restaurant.
Visual identity can create a big difference in the overall imagery of the restaurant. Unique branding delivers recognition, association, and long term loyalty. Memorable and accurate communication leads to a better presentation, obviously customers come to enjoy their meal but sometimes they just come to enjoy the ambiance of your restaurant.
Create a restaurant mobile app Perfectly market your business and sit right inside the smartphone of your valuable customer. This is how mobile app works, potential or loyal customers download their favorite restaurant apps and use them to enjoy better delivery, services, and offers.
A modern way to communicate and share creative ideas, coupons, menus, campaigns and send regular notifications to the customers helps businesses with more business opportunities. Customers get privilege services if they download the restaurant app in their smartphones, let your restaurant app stay long in the customers’ mobile phone by offering valuable services and offers that he is not getting anywhere else. Longer the app will be staying in customer's smartphone, longer your restaurant will enjoy exposure and top of mind recall.
Mobile app benefits for the restaurants
Boost your brand
Grow your bookings
Increased customer loyalty
Online slot reservations
Digital menu cards
Timely campaign flow
Easy payments and processing
Apps give better engagement to the targeted customers and effectively entice favorable interest to the restaurant services. Beat the competition right away, a feature-rich mobile app for your restaurant business offers a plethora of opportunities to expand your business and serve your customers better every time.
Local listing on Google My Business
43% of all Google searches are local or location-based. 5 billion searches on Google for restaurants every month.
Set a free my business profile on Google my business for your restaurant and connect with the real customers across the location. You can post photos, videos, offers in your profile and engage your potential buyers, that's also for free. Local searches based on proximity or nearby location can be win-win for most of the businesses. When any buyer performs a search related to his needs, for example - Best nearby restaurant for Italian food, then Google will use your information provided in your created profile and show the best-matched results to the buyer. Great tool for a local restaurant marketing strategy that helps your business grow locally and bring more customers. Profiles are listed on Google my business with the exact information, location, address, phone numbers and maps which make it easy for the buyers to connect with your restaurant. Customers can also post reviews about the services and express their likings or disliking(s) concerning your services. You can easily manage your restaurant profile at Google my business and edit your profile or customize it whenever required.
Tips to create a better business profile on Google My Business
Use high-quality Images
Mention opening and closing hours
Give better services for positive reviews
Upload digital menu cards
Exact information like address, phone numbers
Use 3rd party food delivery services Food delivery apps are third-party businesses like Uber Eats, Grubhub, Doordash, etc. that deliver the food to the consumer's door whenever the customer order the food from his choice of the restaurant from the mobile apps of the third parties. Great help for the restaurants and hoteliers to deliver without hiring food delivery boys for themselves, though 3rd parties charge delivery services still percentage is not that much high and even restaurants adjust that amount within the prices uploaded in the menus. Now you can expand your business to new markets and enjoy new customers or areas which were far away from your reach. Third-party food delivery services are offering a new and exciting way to build greater revenue for food businesses.
Content creation Content marketing is a great way to keep your brand presence top of mind, attract new customer and stimulate interest.
Short videos, promotional flyers or recipes in word, everything comes under restaurant content creation or content strategy. Start by creating a blog on your restaurant website and initiate posting articles or posts that engage your visitors. Offer valuable restaurant information and food-related knowledge to engage your prospects with your business. The curiosity of the visitors to know more about our business make them explore your website. Unique creative content engages the visitors and builds up the trust to perform actions in favor of the restaurant.
Quick blog content ideas:
Meet the Chefs: Who is cooking your food. Recipe Videos: Delicious tummy satisfying recipes video tutorials. Guest testimonials and experiences: Short videos or articles of the customers, sharing their experience. Restaurant History: Owner interviews talking restaurant journey. Restaurant live tour: Kitchen, ambiance, sitting space, location, Announcements: Design unique creative for special events, offers and special days.
Hold the viewer's attention and inspire them to dine at your restaurant by showcasing and writing the best content for your business like customer reviews, restaurant tours, recipes, cookery books, events and staff interviews. Create your content strategy keeping in view all three content from text, images, and videos. Catch your targeted audience's attention by promoting your content in your website blog, social media, and Youtube platforms.
Advertisement Spending money on any type of advertisements whether it is on traditional platforms or digitally is easy, the hard part is to create amazing campaigns that generate business and bring customers. Differentiating your restaurant from your competition need highly creative and unique content that must shout loudly about the values and benefits of your business. Communicating compelling message in the overcrowded social media platforms can be a challenge for many restaurants.
Quick tips that can be really helpful while creating and running your next ad campaigns
Fresh, unique and interesting ideas
Create your ad campaign embedding fresh ideas that create interest and curiosity to explore more about your services. Millions of ads are posted every day on social platforms, viewers are stuffed to their neck and they don’t bother about boring and old fashioned advertisements. Bringing fresh thinking to your ads and creating unique ad content is the key to success and improved ROI for your restaurant.
Emotions through storytelling
Capture emotions of the ad viewers by creating a compelling storyline that educes the emotions and conveys a strong message to the specific targeted audience. Strong messages delivered in the form of ad campaigns reach masses and generates a top of mind recall. Be effective in the storyline and stir the emotions of the target audience to enjoy deeper relationships.
Say no to deceptive advertising
Never inculcate something in your ad campaigns that you cannot fulfill in actual. Misleading ads may help your business generating a better response to your ad campaign, but if promises not fulfilled viewers also lose interest in your brand and post bad reviews. User-generated negative reviews just finish the brands and give the business a very bad reputation. Don’t cheat customers with the claims that you cannot conclude and cheating can also lead you towards legal complications.
Running ad campaigns on social occassions
Spend your advertisement budget during Holiday seasons, festive seasons or special days like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and get ready to enjoy increased footfall. For example, if you are having an advertising budget of $1000 then spend 30 % ($300) throughout the year and 70 % ($700) on holidays and seasons.
Take sponsorships from famous bloggers by paying them directly for mentioning your restaurant in their article or video post. Famous Youtube chef can mention your restaurant name like, this video is sponsored by that restaurant, checkout restaurant details in my description. This kind of sponsorships can be a great worth for the targeted group of Youtube channel subscribers. These sponsorships could also be taken in writing platforms where some blogger is writing an article “all about the world of Italian cuisine” hence you can sponsor this article too.
Run ad campaigns on Social media
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Pinterest, foursquare are giving restaurants a great opportunity to quickly grow their business by targeting customers in proximity. Choose the best platform for your advertisement and carefully devise a strategy that will turn into maximum benefits. Think about the demographics and persona of your target audience before putting your money on ads. Careful planning and post-analysis are must or your hard earning money will just waste without any leads or customers. Great brand awareness can be reached with the social media ad campaigns, traffic can be generated towards your website or business and leads can be generated but careful planning is must to do it smoothly and efficiently.
Compelling messages in the form of videos or animations can be placed at the start of Youtube videos to generate broad awareness among targeted customers. Youtube gives businesses the freedom of targeting the targeted audience, perform the analysis and monitor conversions. Engage with your most valuable audiences on the world's largest video platform and reach the right customers. No minimum budget is required you can start from any budget range.
Types of Youtube video ads:
It is a six-second video ad that viewers can't skip. Bumper ads use target CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) bidding. Your pay each time your ad is shown 1,000 times.
Without-stream ads, you pay per one thousand viewable impressions of your video ad (vCPM). An ad counts as “viewable” when 50% of the ad screen space is visible for two seconds or more.
Mastheads are bought on a cost-per-day basis and appear on the YouTube homepage for a full day (generally 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM, but varies by country).
Geo-targeted Google ads
Ads that are based on geographic locations and help advertisers to advertise specifically in the locations of his interest. To generate local traffic footfall or online orders restaurants perform Geo-targeted ads and relevantly spend their ad budgets. For example, if your restaurant is serving in Boston, then you can specifically target the location and your Google ad will show up only in and around Boston. Carefully think about your areas of interest, area or radius. Restrict your ads with Geo-targeted Google ads and your ads will not appear in other location searches.
Bid on certain keywords like a Chinese restaurant in Boston and your restaurant will come up on search results holding the first position. Google search ads can be expensive while choosing the exact and specific keywords, but various keyword bidding strategies can help you rank on top of the search results with less money spent.
Targeted mobile ads
Run separate advertising campaigns for mobile users and desktop users. Mobile advertising is becoming significantly more effective at reaching the right customers as compared to desktop ads. Nowadays smartphones are just like mini desktops, from Microsoft word to Skype everything is possible and that giving great scope to businesses to reach exactly in the hands of the customers at the right time with the targeted display campaign. People are spending more time on their smartphones than on the desktops, social media platforms are generally viewed on smartphones only and rising interaction with mobile apps have proved as a great mobile advertisement opportunity.
Boost your restaurant business with these digital marketing strategies and reach new growth horizons. Use traditional advertisement tactics like newspapers, magazine or TV ads in combination with digital marketing to boost the traffic. Stay flexible while creating your content, come with new and unique ideas, make engaging ad campaigns and touch every opportunity to build top of mind awareness and recall for your restaurant.
@ Jirafix we have helped many restaurant owners with unique creative marketing strategies and solutions. We can help your business too - contact us right now!