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With a constantly evolving industry and customer preferences changing and adapting as businesses reopen, marketing your restaurant can be a constant challenge. New trends are popping up, your business might have gone through some recent changes, and customers are always looking for the next new and interesting thing. As businesses reopen, customers are ready to get back out into the world and are looking for places to go.
5 restaurant marketing ideas
Many restaurants make the mistake of leaning solely on third-party marketplace platforms to raise awareness for their business. These platforms can be helpful with discoverability, but there are other options to spread the word about your business and your own website or ordering hub, without needing to pay third-party platforms to boost and promote your business.
Here are 5 ways you can market your restaurant and catch customers’ attention.
Stay active on social media
Social media can be your best friend when it comes to connecting and marketing directly to existing and potential customers. Here are a few things to consider when using social media to promote your business:
- Keep your goals in mind. Good social media posts for businesses drive both conversation and sales with customers.
- Keep your pages updated. Stay top of mind with your customers by posting consistently.
- Be strategic with posting times. If you’re not sure when to post, try doing it around lunch and dinner time when you know your regulars are hungry and scrolling through their phones for options.
Keep your business page up to date
There are multiple channels and websites that host business pages, and it’s important to claim them all for your business — and then keep them up to date. Some of these include:
- Apple Maps
- Better Business Bureau
- Google My Business
- Instagram for Business
- Yahoo! Local
- Yellow Pages
Accurate NAP (name, address, phone) data is especially important for discoverability, and being consistent across all of these platforms will help with getting better visibility on search engines. As your business reopens, make sure to keep these pages up to date with your specific guidelines and hours, and if you’ve made any changes to your business that customers should be aware of.
Explore SEO opportunities
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essentially a free marketing channel that offers a huge opportunity for discoverability of your business. While businesses of all sizes can and do utilize SEO, for smaller businesses especially, ranking high in search results not only helps customers find your business, it increases your credibility with them. To take your marketing efforts to the next level and expand your reach, take the time to learn the basics of SEO and implement them to amplify your business.
Interact with your community
Not all marketing happens online. In fact, some of the best marketing can be through word-of-mouth recommendations that loyal customers pass on to their friends. You can build this loyal customer base by showing your repeat customers that you care. A few ways to show appreciation for your local customers are:
- Special promotions for the community: Consider offering a discount for locals on a weekday where your customer base is more likely to be folks from around the neighborhood.
- A top-tier staff: Invest in who you hire and how they interact with your customers. Service can make all the difference and remembering your regulars’ orders can go very far in making them feel appreciated.
- A loyalty program: Offer rewards or promotions to customers that join your loyalty program. This entices them to keep coming back and helps strengthen your relationship with those customers. Loyalty programs can also offer valuable insights on what your repeat customers are looking for.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce
Another offline way to market your business is by joining your local Chamber of Commerce. From building local interest to getting exposure through Chamber of Commerce events and newsletters, this unexpected channel can go a long way in drumming up business. You’ll also meet other business owners in your community who you can lean on — or partner with — for future endeavors.
Marketing your restaurant and getting customers excited to come back can feel stressful, but the most important thing to remember when marketing your business is to have fun with it. You want your customers to feel eager to enjoy your restaurant and even more excited to keep coming back.