You built your restaurant from the ground up. You took the time to perfect your recipes, the menu, and the interior design.
Now, it's time to get more foot traffic into your restaurant so you can improve your revenue and grow your business.
How do you get from point A to point B?
We're going to cover the most effective restaurant marketing tips you can use to achieve these goals.
Let's get right to it.
1. Restaurant Marketing Tip #1: Claim Your Business Listings
People are going out to eat all the time. In fact, 45% of diners eat out multiple times per week. That's plenty of opportunity to attract new business to your restaurant.
The best way to increase traffic is to attract diners via the platform they're using to find restaurants—Google, Yelp, and social.
By claiming or creating a listing on online directories, you can enhance your restaurant marketing and ensure it shows up in search results.
According to a study by SinglePlatform and research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, restaurants are the most searched industry by consumers. And this counts for both mobile and desktop users.
The study also finds that 81% of consumers search for restaurants on mobile devices. And 75% of them choose a restaurant based on their search results.
2. Restaurant Marketing Tip #2: Don't Sleep On Online Reviews
Now, there are two things consumers look for when searching for restaurants online:
Prominence in search engine results (closer to the top, the better your odds) and raving reviews (and ratings).
We already covered one way to make it to the top of the list (claiming your listings in directories). The next step is to improve your reviews and ratings with a simple restaurant marketing hack:
Asking your customers to leave a rating/review.
Consider printing the link on the receipt so they'll see it. If you collect emails from your customers, you can send them a request with the link that way.
As many as 94% of diners choose restaurants based on their online reviews.
This is why it's crucial to respond to negative reviews as soon as possible. By replying, you can negate some of the effects. For instance, if there's a disgruntled customer who had a bad experience with one of your waitresses, you can apologize and let them know you will resolve it internally. Then you can turn around and offer a discount for a future meal.
Some customers will remove the review. Or, if they don't, others who see the review may like your response and eat at your diner anyway.
3. Restaurant Marketing Tip #3: Geo-Targeted Ads
Advertising has changed in more ways than one, but one thing remains the same—it works. The difference today is in the medium you use to reach prospective customers.
Geo-targeting prospects is vital for restaurant marketing. By claiming your listings, you improve the odds of your diner showing up in the top 3 pack (the box that shows up with the map on Google).
This works well because it appears before the #1 spot on Google. But there's another way to get your business listed above the organic search results: with geo-targeted ads.
You can use Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, and other platforms to create ad campaigns. Choose the locations you want to target so your ads only show up to folks in those areas.
4. Restaurant Marketing Tip #4: Implement a Loyalty Program
We already covered how a lot of people are eating out multiple times per week. But, what's to say they'll return to yours?
By adding a loyalty program to your restaurant marketing strategy. With this one tip, you can drive more return customers to your restaurant. In the past, restaurants would use a card the waitress stamps each time the customer comes.
Then once the card is filled, the customer gets a discount or freebie.
But what happens if they lose the card? A better alternative is to create an app that allows users to keep track of their loyalty rewards. They can just scan the barcode of their receipt with their smartphone and it's logged.
5. Restaurant Marketing Tip #5: Post Foodie Photos
People love images, especially photos of delicious meals. This is why Instagram users (and diner owners) are constantly sharing meal pics.
You can capitalize on this restaurant marketing trend by doing the same. Open up a social media account on the platforms your customers use. Then publish photos regularly of the different meals your chefs conjure up.
Make sure to add these photos to your business listings as well. This can help entice consumers who are browsing around for a place to eat.
Then, to really get people talking and sharing foodie pics, you can ask your customers to share photos of their meals in your restaurant for a chance to win a coupon or free meal.
Creating a contest is an effective way to get people in your restaurant and spreading the word about your meals. It generates a ton of buzz that can potentially turn into a boost in revenue.
Use These Tips to Growth-Hack Your Restaurant Marketing
Are you relying on your sign to drive in local traffic? Or maybe you're hoping word of mouth will help your business thrive.
Either way, you're missing out on effective ways to improve your restaurant marketing. You need more visibility, which is possible when you're using business directories and local SEO.
With tools like GoSite, you can claim and update your business listings across 70+ directories using a single platform. Then on top of that, you can manage your online reviews.
Together, you can improve your ranking in search engines and the likelihood of folks stopping by your diner.
Learn more about how to improve your local search with our free guide!