Whether you’ve owned a restaurant for years or you’re just getting started in the industry, attracting customers to keep your business going can be a challenge. Some promotional tactics can be pretty effective for the type of patrons you want to attract, while others can prove to be useless, no matter how much effort you put into your marketing campaign. Here are some of the most effective marketing 101 for restaurant owners tips to let people know that you are in business and ready to serve them delicious food.
Organize Your Efforts
Whatever you decide to add to your marketing mix, having a plan to keep everything focused in one direction is critical. If your online marketing doesn’t match what you show in your store, or what you are telling your customers while they are with you, it could be an issue. Consistency and organization are easier if you track what you are doing and what is leading to sales. As Toby Scammell points out, you need to be using a platform that allows you to track analytics, compare your sales to competitors, and manage reviews easily. Organizing all your efforts in one place makes it easy to get an idea of how everything works together.
Once you know what your marketing focus will be, make sure that you use vibrant visuals to accompany your marketing. The photos of your food should be attractive and accurate. People “eat” with their eyes first, so having good looking food is going to draw more customers. Many people are turned off when they can’t find pictures of what you are serving so make sure you get professional photos taken that you can share with your online audience.
Everyone loves free stuff, and offering this can draw people to your restaurant better than almost anything else. When people visit your restaurant, afford them a chance to earn points toward free or discounted food items. If you want to use this as a marketing tactic, it’s best to develop an app for your restaurant, so that customers can access the app at any time to see how many loyalty points they’ve accumulated and which items they are eligible for because of the points they’ve earned. The more people who eat at your restaurant, the more points they’ll earn, and if the food and service are great, they’re likely to come back for more.
Pay Attention to Reviews
The comments that customers make about your restaurant and your food can make a huge difference in the amount of traffic you see. When potential customers look you up online, reviews can play a huge part in their decision. Encourage your customers to leave reviews, and make sure you monitor what they are saying. If they leave a bad review, respond to it and offer to correct the problem. When they leave a great review, make sure you thank them for it. The more engagement you can encourage, the more likely you are to leave a favorable impression of your food and your business.
Restaurant marketing and online engagement will help you succeed, as long as you execute it properly. Make sure you have a plan, great pictures, and identify ways to appeal to your local community.
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