Restaurants are great businesses, and even greater is the ability to show off your creative side. Many restaurants embrace their quirkiness and that makes for a marketer’s dream. However, there are some steadfast rules that should be followed in order to ensure your restaurant marketing is effective.
In the restaurant business, having a Loyal Following is a must. Building relationships that last and providing excellent customer service are crucial because review sites can be the death of you. Relationship management should always be a top priority in the restaurant business.
Manage Your Reviews
Restaurants are the #1 industry for online review sites. So be sure to check all of your profiles often (TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Facebook) and respond to reviews, whether they’re good or bad. When you receive a negative review, reach out the reviewer, apologize sincerely, and ask for more information. Provide a point of contact so they know they are important to you.
Invest in Quality Photography
Whether online, on TV or in print, photos of your food should result in mouths watering. The only way to achieve that reaction, however, is through professional-quality photography that showcases your dishes in the best way possible. Always include an adequate budget for photos in your restaurant marketing plan to ensure you have new assets to keep your customers coming back for more!
Utilize Social Media
When you receive a positive review, thank the reviewer and share their experience on your Facebook page! Facebook is the perfect place to share reviews, pictures of your food, featured menu items, showcase local ingredients, employee spotlights, blog posts, and news about your restaurant. Make sure to share any mentions of your restaurant from the local press.
Get Involved in Your Community
Many TV stations, newspapers, and magazines go to restaurants for stories. They might be at your restaurant because you are involved in the community. If you have the chance to host a Chamber of Commerce event, holiday parties, or partner with an event coming to town, jump on it. This is a great way to get newcomers to taste your food. Leave them wanting more and they might become loyal customers.
Create a Loyalty Program
Loyal customers will want to keep in touch with your business, so they would love to join a loyalty program that gives them special offers. Or, they might be interested in joining a mailing list for a Monthly E-Newsletter. Include an offer in your newsletter, such as a free dessert, or 20% off an entrée. These tactics help customers grow stronger ties to the business and are more likely to return.
Midwest Marketing has over a decade of restaurant marketing experience. Contact us today for help creating the perfect marketing plan for your restaurant!