Many new restaurants are so focused on their menu, décor, hiring and just opening the doors, they forget about the marketing aspect.
Marketing your new restaurant is all about understanding and meeting the needs of your customer, increasing customer acquisition, and retention and creating buzz for your fabulous food and atmosphere.
Successful owners and restaurant managers create a marketing plan in advance for the whole year and in line with it forming its annual budget.
So, marketing should be at the top of the to-do list. You can market your new restaurant easily and on a budget, and I am going to show you some great on-ground and online strategies for doing so.
Consider the following questions before trying any marketing ideas:
- Can the staff handle the increased business?
- Is there a better way to get the same result?
- Does the idea match the restaurant’s concept and customers?
- What are the risks?
- Could competitors sabotage the plan?
- Could the idea offend customers or the public?
- Are there any legal considerations?
- How can you analyze the results?
The point of all those questions is to keep a positive ROI when you start any marketing campaigns for the new restaurant. If you can’t measure the results and receive solid returns that exceed the cost of the marketing campaign, then it is usually not a good idea.
The Traditional Restaurants Marketing Still Works
Traditional marketing encompasses direct sales, TV, radio, mail, print advertising (think magazines, coupon books, billboards, newspaper, flyers, etc.) and printed promotional materials.
Traditional marketing is a superb way to reach your local customers. Traditional marketing offers your new restaurant customer something tangible. It may be a printed material they bring to you for redemption or a take-home menu.
4 Traditional Marketing Ideas for New Restaurants
1. Make An Event Since Everyone Love It
Consider a publicity event. Construct the event in your new restaurant, and the positive, free exposure for your restaurant will bring in many new and returning diners. Here is an example of event patterned with local influencers.
Invite local radio and television personalities to create their favorite summertime recipes at your restaurant. Send out invitations to your customers (if you haven’t started collecting addresses and emails, do so now!) inviting them to attend the grand event. The celebrities are sure to publicize it on their channels and stations, too. Once the celebrities have cooked their favorite meals in front of a live audience at your restaurant, have your customers vote on their favorite. Once the favorite is chosen, add it to your menu and give it a creative name that features the celebrity.
2. Partner with Other Businesses
A restaurant is a great place for networking, and you should leverage this for marketing purposes. Business people like social. Pick an area business to partner with and use their resources to promote your restaurant.
Don’t forget to visit the businesses in your neighborhood. These workers are potential lunchtime customers. Make a special visit to each one. The personal approach is important to get buy-in from office managers. Leave a flyer with your restaurant’s offer.
Invite business groups for a wine tasting event. It is a great way to get business in your door during slow times. Great for large or small groups, these are very popular because people love good wine and good food.
Make sure you are partnering the right type of business to meet your new restaurant concept.
3. Coupon, Coupon, Coupon!
Leverage coupon and encourage frequent return visits from your customers. The more retention you have, the more success your new restaurant. For example, you have a huge dinner crowd, but your new breakfast time isn’t doing so well. Offer your customers a comeback coupon for breakfast. Make sure to test your offers and see which ones are working. This is fairly simple to do since they’ll return your coupon to you.
4. Build Customer Relationships
How much do you know about your customers? According to enbridge.com, Nine in Ten (89%) Americans say it’s Important to Celebrate Birthdays, Feel Special when Others Put Lots of Energy into Celebrating their Birthday.
These customers are easy targets; they are just waiting for an invite to your new restaurant. If you haven’t to do so, it’s now time to start.
You’ll have to collect diner’s physical and/or email addresses as well as birthday info. You can use traditional media such as a postcard for the invitation, or you can go the digital, email route. If you are opting for the traditional print route, consider cloaking your birthday gift in a traditional birthday card. People love to get birthday cards in the mail, and what’s better than one with a gift inside!
Online Marketing Ideas for New Restaurant
It’s time to take advantage of the internet to promote your new restaurant. Online marketing strategy for new restaurants opens the door to virtual ways of promotion.
1. Build A Website that Serving Customers
Your website is the identity card of your restaurant and also a marketing tool. A fully functional restaurant website will give you so many benefits. For example, communication with guests, promoting the restaurant, giving information about daily deals, prices, menu changes and announcements about events in your restaurant. And also enable your customers to take orders and make payment directly on your website.
If you have a food delivery service online ordering will definitely increase traffic. Some people like me, prefer to see and choose the dish from your online menu and order it directly from the website.
2. Start Local SEO for Your New Restaurant Website
If you just type in Google “the name of your city” and “restaurants” your website is not listed, not even a third page of results, you need website SEO services.
Your site must be properly optimized and that means it must meet certain criteria according to which search engines ranking pages as interesting and offering them as search results.
This work is hard but for the result, you would have better positioning on search engines, and consequently higher website traffic and finally more potential guests.
If you don’t have the knowledge to do this, pay that someone does it for you, because this is very important part of online marketing.
3. Sign Up Google My Business
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.
With Google My Business you can:
- Manage your information
- Interact with customers
- Understand and expand your presence
4. Sign Up Yelp
The most important thing to understand about Yelp is that people can and will review your restaurant, even if you don’t set up an account. For that reason, as a restaurant owner, you should absolutely be proactive and dress up your Yelp account so it works for you, rather than against you.
This means adding as many details as possible, such as:
- Photos, and a lot
- Store hours
- Price Range
- Wi-Fi/Outdoor Seating/Parking/etc.
Do your best to add as many details as Yelp will allow.
Read more: How do I add a business to Yelp?
5. Be Proactive on Social Media
Presence on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or Instagram is a very important. Use these channels to inform your regular and future clients about everything that happens in your restaurant.
To achieve this it is necessary to create a profile on the social networks: Facebook, G+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and at least once a week to post interesting content or images on your profile page. It may be news like new dishes supported by beautiful and attractive photos, event announcements, photos or music that will evoke the atmosphere in your restaurant, various video clips and other interesting content.
Read more: How do I create a Page on Facebook?
6. Google Virtual Tour
Choosing the right restaurant is often tough. Build trust with a high-quality virtual tour that lets people experience your restaurant before they arrive. These immersive, virtual experiences inspire greater confidence among prospective guests and patrons. A trusted professional for hire can help you more easily create and publish your virtual tour.
7. Use Mobile Ads
It’s predicted that this year, half of all paid clicks on Google will come from mobile! Restaurants are one the best candidates for mobile ads, as users are often looking for nearby dining options while on the move. Place your restaurant ads on Google Search, Google Map, and any other places where people in need of food.
Read more: Discover mobile ads with Google AdWords
There are a lot of things that can be used for restaurant marketing, do you agree with me? If you have some new idea that works in your restaurant business, I would be appreciated if you share in the comments.