Restaurant Marketing Trends

Want to get on top of your restaurant marketing game going into 2022? As always, Midwest Marketing is here to help! Our team stays current on the latest marketing trends so that we can offer our clients cutting edge solutions to stay ahead of the competition and keep customers coming back for more. Continue reading to learn some of the current marketing trends that are helping restaurants across the country keep their dining rooms full.

Take Care of Your Online Reputation

It’s no secret that word of mouth matters to a business, but with a restaurant, making sure your reputation stays as spot-free as possible is crucial. A whopping 35% of people report that online reviews influence where they choose to eat, and a study by Harvard Business School revealed that a restaurant raising their rating by just one star on Yelp can increase revenue by up to 9%. Being proactive in maintaining your reputation is as simple as claiming your profile on relevant review platforms and checking in regularly to respond to reviews – good and bad.

It may be tempting to ignore any negative reviews in hopes that they will just go away, but responding in a caring, thoughtful way, and taking it offline if necessary, does wonders for how people will perceive your business.

Keep It Social

Over 79% of Americans have a social media profile, making social media marketing a no-brainer for most companies. Not only is social media where you will find your audience, but it is cost-effective and relatively easy to maintain, which is why around 67% of restaurants choose to make social media marketing part of their overall strategy.

One of the fastest growing social media platforms for restaurants? Instagram, which only 18% of restauranteurs used in 2017. That number increased to an astonishing 78% by only 2019, largely due to Instagram’s highly visual nature that allows restaurant owners to capture their delicious menu items and inviting atmosphere.

However, Facebook continues to dominate as the top social media platform for restaurants, with 91% using Facebook in their marketing strategy in 2019.

Show Your Values

Nowadays, restaurants have to do more than serve mouthwatering dishes to maintain a loyal following – connecting with your customers through shared values is a concept that is fast becoming a rule. Take these stats for instance – a study showed that over 41% of the people interviewed disclosed that the values that a restaurant exhibits directly impacts their decision to dine there, with 21% declaring that they would not visit a restaurant with values that don’t align with theirs.

How do you show your values? Simply tell your story! Proud of your restaurant’s humble beginnings and smalltown charm? Want to show off your modern café that is all about sustainability? Is your restaurant woman-owned or minority-owned? Sharing what makes your business unique will build a connection with those that relate and are likely to become longtime supporters.

Join Forces

Collaborating with a company or influencer that shares the same values that you do can do wonders in maximizing your company’s reach. For instance, take the collaboration between McDonald’s and rapper Travis Scott. By assigning him his own customized McDonald’s meal that customers could order, they helped boost their sales forecast for the third quarter from 1.4% to 3%. By having two different parties promote one thing, you gain the exposure of your partner’s followers, and vice versa, making it a win-win for all involved.

Offer Dining Options

Even after the pandemic is a distant memory, people won’t forget the convenience of things like online ordering, curbside pick-up, and contactless delivery. The point is to keep everything as easy for your diners as possible and offer options that will leave them feeling safe and enhance their experience. Ensure these options are highly visible on every platform you market on, including your website and social media, and are easy for your customers to use.

Need some help putting together a sound restaurant marketing strategy for 2022? We’d love to help! Contact us today so that we can start developing a customized plan that is perfect for you!