Effective marketing is vital no matter what industry you operate in, but it’s especially important in the competitive restaurant market. Diners have plenty of eateries to choose from, so you need to find a way to get your name out there and draw people in. After all, it doesn’t matter how amazing your food is if no one knows that your restaurant exists!
So, what’s the best way of marketing your eatery? That will depend in part on factors such as your location and target market; however, the following techniques are good places for anyone to start.
Hone your website to perfection
These days, the majority of diners go online to choose which restaurant to try next – so it’s crucial that you have a professional-looking website. This should contain basic information such as your location and opening hours, as well as your latest menu (including allergen information) and mouth-watering photographs of your best dishes. It’s also a good opportunity to introduce people to your culinary staff, show them images of your dining area, and advertise any special promotions you’re currently running.
Start a blog
Another way to ensure that you’re getting the maximum mileage out of your website is to include a blog. To make it a success, you’ll need to post regular articles that are both interesting and well-written. For instance, you might like to use it as a way to introduce new dishes on the menu, give out cooking tips, discuss how happy your chefs are with the stylish and functional bib aprons with pockets at ChefWorks.com, or talk about the importance of sourcing local vegetables. A blog can help drive traffic to your website in an organic way, as well as demonstrate your culinary expertise to the world.
Set up an email newsletter
Email is still one of the most effective strategies for direct marketing, so be sure to make the most of it. You can use an e-newsletter to let diners know about key information or events such as new dishes, special promotions and loyalty schemes. Just be sure not to make them too marketing-heavy or frequent, as this will likely cause people to unsubscribe. If you’re struggling to get people to sign up in the first place, try offering them a small incentive like a free coffee for doing so.
Partner with local businesses
Companies often think of marketing as a solo endeavor; however, it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s a huge advantage to be gained by teaming up with other local independent businesses and advertising one another to your existing customers. For instance, this could be through a referral discount scheme, a shoutout in each other’s email newsletters, or mentions on social media.
Get on social media
Speaking of social media, this too is a powerful – and free – marketing tool. Its informal nature makes it great for showcasing your restaurant’s unique personality, as well as connecting directly with potential customers. Do a bit of research first to find out which platforms are most popular with your target market, then set up a profile and start posting gorgeous photographs of your most appetizing desserts!