Next Restaurants | Free Digital Marketing Ideas for Restaurants
Next Restaurants is the only source for innovative restaurant marketing ideas and intros to new restaurant tech tools. Here you will find free updates on next-generation tools, tactics and trends for digital restaurant marketing.
With hundreds of thousands of restaurants currently operating in the United States, you must find a way for your restaurant to stand out. One way to do this is to conduct effective market research to determine where your efforts and resources should go. But how do you figure that out?
The answer is relatively easy: You need to stay in touch with your customer’s needs while keeping your finger on the pulse of current trends. And you can accomplish that with a combination of customer surveys and keeping tabs on industry news.
Gather information from your guests and demonstrate that you’ve listened to them by adjusting your services to better meet their needs. That will bring you closer to your goal of giving your customers what they want — and ultimately running a successful restaurant.
Here are a few invaluable ways you can gather insights from your diners. If you can let them know you are striving to make their experience better, then you can avoid becoming one of the 25% of restaurants that fail every year in the United States.
How to Gather the Information You Need
There’s always room for improvement when it comes to customer experience, but do you know how to make it better? If you’re not sure, then it’s time to do a little audience analysis.
Market research can help you glean more about what your guests expect from and think about your business. There are two types of research — qualitative and quantitative.
Qualitative research includes gathering data through interviews and focus groups. If you don’t have time for that, it’s no big deal, but you can still implement it in less formal ways. Stop by your customer’s tables and ask for real-time feedback. In addition to providing valuable information, such measures demonstrate your commitment to improving the customer experience.
Quantitative research is about numbers. It involves the use of feedback from a large number of people to reveal trends. Surveys are the most popular way to gather quantitative data for your business. They allow you to gather feedback anonymously from many people. To conduct a survey, you should:
Set goals: Determine what specific information you want.
Use closed-ended questions: Generally, don’t leave the questions open; instead, make each answer take as little time as possible for the respondents.
It’s fairly simple to create a survey with online tools like Google Forms, Survey Monkey, and Typeform. Once you create the survey, you can advertise it in your restaurant, on your website, and through social media. Consider offering a coupon code or some other promotion to incentivize customers to complete it. Then, you can sit back and watch the data roll in!
You can also gather
Online reviews: Don’t forget to explore the feedback left for you on review sites, such as Yelp, Google Reviews, Trip Advisor, and OpenTable. These sites provide feedback for you and for potential future customers, so they can’t be overlooked.
Comment cards: This is an an oldie but a goodie when comes to customer feedback. You can circulate forms to your tables for your patrons to rate their dining experience after they’ve eaten.
Mobile feedback system: If you’d rather not leave cards on the tables, you can also distribute handheld electronic devices that customers can easily click through to leave feedback. Because it’s so easy to use, this has become a popular and convenient way to find out what your customers think.
Stay on Trend
New ideas are always entering the realm of market research. Business owners must grasp how their local customer’s preferences are changing. Whether that means your guests want to see healthier options on the menu or hand-crafted artisanal cocktails, being aware of changes in your target demographic early and taking the steps you need to stay on trend can help your restaurant thrive.
You can gather
information to help you stay on trend by:
Utilizing social media: Tracking social media can help complement other research channels you’ve established. This can help you track your target audience’s changing tastes. Follow your customers on Facebook or Instagram and research hashtags on Twitter related to your industry or brand.
Listening: The conversations your guests are having online can inform you of trends. Do you notice your target demographic speaking more about animal welfare issues or environmental concerns? If so, you can change a few of your practices to cater to their desires.
Make the most of on the
trends you see developing by:
Staying ahead of the curve: If you see a trend starting to take shape but aren’t ready to capitalize just yet, keep those ideas in play so you can roll them out when the time is right.
Diversifying your ideas: Always have several different options at your disposal. You can’t predict how long something will stay trendy, so be ready to replace it with something that is more profitable and popular.
You can’t jump on every
single trend, so be selective. If you are smart with your research and efforts,
then customers will embrace the changes you’re trying to make.
Show You Care
prioritize guests’ needs and work hard to stay ahead of established industry
trends. There’s no limit to how using these tools to their fullest can help
your restaurant evolve for the better. If you follow through on the data you
collect, it will show your customers that you value their feedback and aim to
act on it to increase their satisfaction.
When it comes to omnichannel restaurant marketing, one could write a book on tactics, channel-specific strategies, and campaign tips. We won’t try to cover it all, but bring you three powerful tips that help you lay the groundwork or help reset your marketing plan to attract more guests. From branding to customer relationships and influencer marketing, read on to refresh your strategy.
for Consistent Branding
As a restaurant owner or manager, you’ve invested heavily in your ambient, decor, and look-feel to convey a certain mood, an experience. Now it’s time to take the essence of what you’ve built and apply it to omnichannel branding.
Pay attention to how you sound, too.
If you’re a trendy Millennial eatery, use your social media posts and copy to
relay a fresh and cool vibe. Perhaps you’re a no-frills spot for modern comfort
food? In that case, speak to your customers in a warm tone that implies they
are a part of your extended family.
Encourage visual continuity: are your marketing assets consistent offline and offline? Make sure you use the same logo across owned channels, signs, printed materials, even restaurant uniforms. Also, pay attention to fonts: all too many businesses use a plethora of fonts without strategy. Pick a few that work well together (for example, one for headlines and one for body copy) and apply them across any asset that includes copy. Yes, that goes for menus, too.
Relationships and Marketing
It’s no secret that happy, repeat customers are what drives business in the restaurant industry. Today, happy (and disgruntled) customers are more vocal about their experiences than ever before. Feedback posted on social media channels and review site such as Yelp or Foursquare can make or break a restaurant.
Personalization. Personalized messaging and automated email marketing: birthday wishes and gifting, exclusive offers, and perks.
Seasonal marketing. Building email campaigns around seasonal moments such as Father’s Day, Valentine’s, Thanksgiving, and so on.
Direct marketing. Manage addresses to send direct mail. See which area has the highest customer population to buy local media, such as outdoor ads or local print ads.
Understanding trends. See what resonates amongst your customers to gain insights into which direction you should take with business development.
It’s Time to Harness Brand Ambassadors
Content marketing has become the holy grail to drive revenue and build brands – both large and small. This is also the case in the restaurant business. There is no better source of high-quality, user-generated content than that created by influencers. Granted, getting the top influencers in the food and beverage world may be out of reach for smaller players but there is something even more lucrative around the corner — meet micro- and nano-influencers.
While definitions vary, micro-influencers are usually people with around 10,000 followers or less while nano-influencers hover around 1000 followers. Not only is it more affordable to recruit smaller-scale influencers as ambassadors, but it is also proven to drive 66% higher engagement rates compared to the big guys. With smaller influencers, people are more likely to interact with them and trust their opinion.
Think of these influencers as your
brand ambassadors. Often, you’ll be able to find them amongst the people who
are repeat customers and follow you online, often commenting and engaging with
you naturally and regularly.
Tips for recruiting
and managing ambassadors:
Who’s following you? Turn to your own followers and fans to find people with a large enough following, a passion for food, and who love your restaurant.
Do hashtag research. See who’s posting about you or your competitors in the field and who pass the 1000 follower mark.
Look into food influencers and bloggers in your city. Find the ones who have authentic local communities.
Curate a list of all potential ambassadors and get in touch. For smaller influencers, a free dinner or brunch may very well be enough to incentivize. For micro-influencers, be prepared to compensate fairly.
Delight the influencer’s audience. Offer them a promo code to share with their followers or hold a contest to win a free meal.
Lay out the terms of the collaboration. Written agreements that detail what both parties are responsible for help smooth out any wrinkles in advance.
Goos is an award-winning tech
marketer and writer with over eight years of experience in creative and
The restaurant industry is one of the biggest and thriving sectors of the US national economy. Projected sales for the industry in 2018 was $825 billion while also employing around 15.1 million Americans. However, it is also one of the most competitive industries out there. While tactics such as coupons, freebies, and cross-promotions have worked for many years, the modern food industry needs to adapt to the ever-growing digital landscape.
Here are four tips that will help you
leverage mobile marketing to promote and grow your restaurant in the digital
Set up a Responsive
With more than 52% of web traffic coming from mobile in 2018, setting up a mobile-responsive website is a must. Your website is at the heart of your mobile marketing. Traditional fixed (non-responsive) websites prove many browsing challenges for mobile users. For example, some of the site’s elements may remain hidden from view while others, such as images, might look distorted or get cut off on mobile devices.
A responsive website, on the other hand, can automatically resize images and text according to the screen size. Users can seamlessly browse it on any mobile or tablet device, making it easier to find and consume the relevant information. Google also gives higher priority to responsive websites, so if you want to be on the first page in search you need to change to responsive ASAP.
You can either turn your existing site into a responsive website or set up a new one. While doing so, make sure to keep your Call-to-Actions (CTAs) front and center. You should also hide secondary elements or CTAs to avoid clutter wherever possible. The ease of navigation always comes first on mobile. So, prioritize it over marketing visuals or graphics. Keep the text size large enough for users to easily read your menu and other content. Don’t forget to optimize your website for SEO and keywords.
Create Your Google
My Business Page
People primarily use their mobile
phones to find local businesses. For example, a user must have used a search
phrase like “restaurants near me” or to be more specific
“Chinese restaurants near me” to find restaurants on a mobile. This
is why your restaurant needs to appear in local Google searches as well as on
The easiest way to make this happen is to set up a Google My Business page (or GMB listing). GMB is a free and an easy-to-use tool created by Google. When optimized, it can provide increased visibility in search results for your restaurant, better user experience for your guests, and send more web traffic to your site.
The GMB page displays valuable information such as your hours of business, location, website, images, contact numbers, menu, and customer reviews. As this page shows up at the top in the search results, your guests can quickly take the desired action.
However, you have to make sure all
the necessary information is accurate and up-to-date. Now, along with your photos,
GMB allows you to add a short description as well. You get a total of 750
characters to talk about your restaurant, dishes served, and service, among
Restaurant in Local Listings
With the rise of digital media,
several different local listing apps have also surfaced. They are the next most
popular place for your restaurant to show up after the search engines. These
websites also offer you a chance to accumulate more reviews for your
Some of the most popular local
listing apps or sites include Yelp, Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor, and Foursquare.
like GMB, you will need to claim your business on these sites by filling out
the necessary details. However, you have to make sure the details such as name,
address, phone number, website, and category remain consistent across all
You can also link your social media accounts to these listings and vice versa. Just like the GMB listing, you can also add a detailed description of your business depending on the listing site. Make sure to optimize these descriptions for SEO with the desired keywords to increase their chances of showing up in online search.
Restaurant via Text Messaging (SMS Marketing)
Although some marketers may consider it personal or even invasive, text or SMS marketing remains one of the best ways to promote your restaurants on-the-go. One of the best advantages of text messages is that people read them instantly as opposed to emails and newsletters, which may sit unread in their inbox for days or even weeks.
Apart from being affordable, text messages can also strike a personal chord with your target audience, encouraging them to take the desired action immediately.
You can use SMS marketing to:
Send reminders of upcoming events such as food fests or discounts.
Send alerts about special dishes and items available for a limited period.
Ask guests to share what they thought of a recent meal by providing links to your GMB or other listings, website or social media pages.
Send out coupons a few days after a customer’s first visit.
However, you will first need to get
your guests to sign up to receive promotional SMS. While some of your patrons
will sign up solely because they love your restaurant, others will need a more
compelling reason to do so.
One way is to provide them with the right incentive. You can offer an opt-in discount for signing up to your marketing list. Alternatively, you can also offer a free appetizer, dessert or drink in exchange for signing up. Lastly, you can conduct contests to offer sweepstakes and giveaways in exchange for consumer’s contact number.
As mobile marketing has become a
necessity to grow your restaurant business, you need to find creative ways to
reach out to your customers. Hopefully, these four mobile marketing strategies
will help you get your campaign going right away. Have you considered using
mobile marketing to promote your restaurant before? What methods did you use to
improve your restaurant’s business? Do tell us in the comments section.
By Lorenzo Gutierrez, Digital Marketing Consultant
A study by “Ironroots” shows that with the right influencer, restaurants could generate an estimate of $17.50 with every $1 that is being spent on influencers.
Since the social media influencers have already built a higher degree of trust among their numerous fans & followers, they are an ideal platform for marketers, including those in the restaurant industry. With the right influencer, they can help promote your brand’s awareness which can lead to increasing your amount of sales.
The good news is if you don’t have to be proficient in content creation to leverage influencer marketing. The best influencers are extremely adept at content creation. They can create outstanding content that resonates with their follows and, if all goes well, will attract potential customers to your restaurant.
You don’t even have to aim for the mega-influencers with millions of followers. Restaurants can get a lot of bang for their buck by using micro-influencers, especially those in their area of business. Micro-influencers are individuals with between 2,000-50,000 followers on a specific social media channel and creates content around specific markets – like the restaurant industry.
Below are some of
the benefits that could be derived from hosting an influencer.
1. Boosts Your Restaurant’s
In today’s world, your social credibility really matters. Potential guests may decide to try your food and drinks simply as a result of what they perceive (see or listen) about your brand on the social media. Or, they may decide to visit your competitors instead. Think of it as word-of-mouth spoken through a very large megaphone.
Your brand’s awareness will be surely improved by employing the services of a food blogger or micro-influencer, but posting outstanding contents is what greatly counts to the amount of the conversions you get.
2. Cost Effective
marketing is also one of the cheapest forms of online advertisement when
compared to the level of engagement, awareness, and conversions you’ll earn.
Depending on the
relevance and size of your restaurant, influencers can be a boon even when you
are on tight budget. However, if you haven’t attained a fruitful negotiation
with a particular influencer, you may decide to look for the one with less
followers that’ll be more affordable.
If the influencer’s generated content is stellar enough, you may even want to re-share it or repost it on your social media pages. You’ll want to get explicit permission from your influencer to re-use any content they’ve created. But posting their content onto your handle can be a great content strategy.
offer you more localised precision, too, as they’ll connect you to the right
audiences that can visit your business in real-time. You just have to locate an
influencer within your area.
media influencers may host a larger number of followers that may not necessarily
be suitable if you own a local restaurant or bar. Micro-influencers with local
influences best fit local bars or restaurants while the higher influencers best
fits a broader spectrum of audiences and chain restaurants.
5. Boosts Your Restaurant’s
Online Experience & Exposure
As many businesses previously thought, you don’t have to look for a highly-paid influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers. You can split your budget across micro-influencers that have 5,000+ loyal followers and expect their effects within a shorter period of time.
BONUS: 2 Restaurants That are Crushing Influencer Marketing
1. Burgers N’ Fries Forever
“Burgers N’ Fries Forever” (usually shortened into BFF)
has a daring motto which can be found on their description within search
engines. It simply says; “SHHH.. Don’t click on this page unless you want
to read all of our delicious secrets. We’ll let you check out the BFF secret
menu, but tell no one!”
Burgers N’ Fries have made it to the top of the Canadian
restaurant market. Influencer marketing is among the various strategies Burgers
N’ Fries Forever uses to drive additional customers to their Toronto and Ottawa
Micro-influencer Theathleisureteacher (Instagram) has captured BFF’s classic dishes and amalgamated her love for food and her best friends. As she implies in her posts, you can enjoy BFF (Burger n Fries Forever) burgers and fries with your BFF’s (Best Friends Forever).
As the example shows, she does a great job at connecting friends & food while using stunning images of the restaurant’s dishes, enough for her and five of her closest friends.
2. Cluck Clucks Chicken & Waffles
“I’ve waffled before, I will waffle again. But,
this time I will waffle along with chicken!”
Cluck Clucks strives to give greater value for
money as well as taste. Thanks to a whole lot of experience in digital marketing,
they explored partnering with food bloggers and influencers to spread their
name and promotions.
Cluck Clucks is working a mix of their social media pages as well as influencers. Not only is their social media page colorful and mouth-watering, they’ve been working with social media influencers @brazilianfoodie for a giveaway! This can generate traffic and user engagement.
This partnership and giveaway succeeds in getting both the influencer and Cluck Clucks more followers, boosts impressions with the photo being liked, and spreads brand awareness by tagging friends. It also lets followers gain extra entries by sharing the image or using emojis that describes their follower’s relationship with the friend. Again, a great connection between food and friends.
About the Author Lorenzo Gutierrez MBA is a digital marketing consultant from California. Lorenzo likes to write about inbound marketing topics and when not working enjoys trips to the Bay Area or LA. Connect with Lorenzo on his social media accounts LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
With spring and summer just around the
corner, why not transform your restaurant’s outdoor area into an alfresco dining hot spot?
Outdoor balconies, patios and even
pavements are often underused by restaurant owners, when they could increase
appeal and covers during the warmer seasons. In fact, with suitable cover and
outdoor heaters, they are also a viable proposition for additional restaurant
seating most of the year round.
Have Sufficient Shade & Weather Protection
Image source: AQ Blinds
Some form of awning is advisable for
outdoor dining areas to protect your guests from brutal sun glare and the
inevitably changeable weather. Consider terrace awnings for patio areas
directly outside of your restaurant, or butterfly awnings for outdoor dining
areas that aren’t directly attached to your restaurant building.I
Get the Right Outdoor Restaurant Furniture
of furniture you choose for your outdoor dining space matters. It needs to
be waterproof and easy to move and stack. Above all, outdoor restaurant
furniture needs to be both functional and comfortable.
When it comes to outdoor furniture in
particular, the tables and chairs you choose should be durable and designed handle
the varying weather. Even with an awning, any outdoor furniture will be exposed
to the elements for hours a day.
For security, it is likely you will be
stacking the outdoor furniture inside when the restaurant is closed. For this
reason, it should be light and easy for your staff to move. It’s worth choosing
chairs that stack easily if space inside is limited. Add furniture pads to the
bottoms of furniture legs to protect floors if the furniture is regularly being
moved inside and out.
There’s nothing more inviting than an
outdoor dining space that is full of lush foliage. Along with great food and decent
weather, it’s what makes eating alfresco
so enjoyable. This is easy to achieve with pots or by growing climbers around a
pergola or permanent gazebo.
Greenery can improve the visual appearance of your restaurant and entice more guests in. Foliage in planters are a great way to improve privacy between dining spaces and can act as screens between the public footpath and your outdoor patio. Planters with miniature trees add a sense of refinement to any roof terrace.I
design — especially above outdoor seating areas at the front of any
restaurant — plays a huge role in attracting customers in. Lighting is often
added as an afterthought but it’s actually essential
to the ambience you are trying to create. Without careful planning when
designing your outside eating area, you may inadvertently find some tables
over-lit and others in a dark corner.
See here for a 10-step guide to lighting in bars and restaurants. When it comes to the outside space, you may want to consider highlighting the architectural features of your building and illuminating any signage. String lights and lanterns create a romantic ambience. Outdoor lighting can also diminish the chances of break-ins when you are closed for business too.I
Get Outdoor Heaters
Outdoor patio heaters can benefit
your business. They make a great addition to any outdoor dining space and
will keep your customers comfortably warm when the sun goes down. Infrared
commercial outdoor heaters are less expensive to run than gas heaters. Terrace
heating enables permanent use of outdoor spaces even on colder days.
You’ll need to adhere to safety regulations
and ensure any cabling is suitably installed to prevent trip hazards. Parasol
patio heaters are an easy way to provide consistent heat for diners or gas
flame patio heaters look impressive.
a lot of talk these days about Millennials “killing” whole industries
at a time —
but one thing that will probably never go out of style is the sit-down
restaurant experience. In fact, “experiences,” versus tangible
products, represent one of the few types of discretionary spending young people
can justify or afford. And it’s not hard to see the appeal of a night out with
a group of friends at a restaurant — or even an evening indoors with that same
group, courtesy of a delivery service.
For restaurant owners, our tech-saturated and mobile-first society
presents many challenges and opportunities. If you’ve wondered how your pub,
diner or upscale restaurant can successfully meld the physical with the
digital, here are three tips for remaining relevant and profitable.
1. Cash in
on Instant Gratification
Modern technology delivers many opportunities for restaurant
owners. One of the most interesting is the prospect of shrinking one’s physical
retail space without the drop-in profits you might expect from such a
downsizing. We can thank instant gratification for this trend — or, more
specifically, the proliferation of courier services.
Restaurants of all types and sizes are redesigning their physical environments. Some are moving to more affordable real estate to better accommodate the arrival and departure of food courier services like Postmates, GrubHub, DoorDash, and others. These days, it’s not uncommon to find waiting areas specifically for couriers, where they can stack customer food orders using restaurant-owned tablets or kiosks, then wait for the food in comfort.
The benefit here is that even “higher-class”
restaurants, which live or die according to the quality of their food, can meet
their customers “where they live.” The mobile age means instant or
near-instant gratification, even in the food service industry — but
it doesn’t have to mean guests sacrifice quality for expediency.
Your Restaurant’s Brand Discoverable and Unique
The phrase “mobile-first” means consumers these days do a lot of their shopping and brand discovery online using tablets, smartphones, and web apps. Restauranteurs who’ve spent a lot of time on the curb appeal of their retail locations might think their digital “real estate” is a distant secondary priority, but that’s changing in a big way.
For example, it’s far from optional these days to establish a presence on Apple Maps, Google Maps, Yelp and other business-centric services and websites. In fact, this is the bare minimum, and so is investing in at least some modest search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. If you want your restaurant to show up in web searches for “burgers in Omaha,” you need to tailor your website to rank for those results.
But what else do you need to make your brand discoverable and
ensure it sticks in guests’ hearts and minds?
For one thing, it requires consistent branding and a unique identity. Your website and your mobile app should feature appealing and uniform design elements. It should tell your story and ground you in the city or cities you call home. Visitors arriving at your website deliberately or by accident should know they’ve found something unique. You wouldn’t want your storefront to look like “just another” restaurant, and your web properties can’t either.
Useful Digital Functionality
Our digital-first world means more and more of your customers are
whipping out their smartphones to find interesting restaurants or verify the
details for ones they’re already familiar with. But we’ve all had experiences
where a restaurant’s website doesn’t contain their hours of operation, doesn’t
offer a menu, or doesn’t provide coupons, daily specials, or details on special
events, such as live music.
But your restaurant website, and its app, if you have one, should
go further than just providing basic details like these. It should also provide
meaningful functionality for your customers, and it should tailor itself to
today’s busy lifestyles.
Based on bodies of research like Tillster’s Online Ordering Index, we can draw a few conclusions about restaurants who embrace the digital revolution by offering online ordering and other meaningful functionality:
73% of consumers would visit their favorite restaurant more often if they could pre-order food for takeout or dining-in.
Restaurants may enjoy higher earnings and more bulk orders if they provide online ordering, as consumers are more likely to favor online ordering for group and family food purchases.
This research also says the popularity of online food ordering
knows no gender or age barriers. It’s Millennials and younger generations
driving these trends, but older folks are catching on, too.
Panera is an excellent example of this kind of pivot. Since introducing “Panera 2.0” in 2014, with its emphasis on online ordering and payments, the chain has seen 22% of its business shift to mobile orders. They’re not undermining or cannibalizing their physical retail presence — instead, they’re making sure their business model is as future-proof as it can be.
really, that’s the goal when it comes to applying digital principles to the
challenge of operating in a relatively old-fashioned industry. It means peering
into the future, anticipating how customers are likely to find and interact
with you, then learning how to deliver your product — without compromises —
how, where and when they want it.
We all hear about the wonders of the Internet
and what it has done for businesses around the world, but if you still own a
brick & mortar business, like a restaurant, it can sometimes be harder to
see those benefits.
The truth is if you don’t think about,
you’re going to be overtaken and left behind by your competitors. And that’s
it. Today, we’re going to explore exactly how you can use local SEO to grow
your restaurant business and be the best in your area.
is Local SEO?
Just so we’re all on the same page, SEO
means optimizing your website to perform the best it can be the search engines.
Of course, the main and most popular search engine is Google, so we’re going to
focus on that one in this post, but the general concepts work across all search
By optimizing your website, you can help
yourself to appear higher and higher on the search engine results page (SERPs).
The higher you are, the more likely people will be to find you, and the more
successful you’ll be.
While the concept remains simple, the techniques to get to that number one spot when someone types “best restaurant in ‘your hometown here’” is not. Fortunately, today we’re going to explore some of the ways you can do it.
Your Customers with Value
The first and most important thing you need to remember is making sure you give every single person who goes to your website the best experience you possibly can. That means no keyword stuffing your pages. Doing so will make your pages read clunky and create for a poor user experience.
Google is also cracking down on sites that keyword stuff, so you’re better off making your text read natural. Make sure your pages are nice and clean, easy to use, and have the most up-to-date information available.
This is the key to effective SEO. Too many marketers try and implement all the techniques to get the best results, but this only harms the website because your visitors can’t easily use the website and don’t stay on it for very long; thus, harming your page’s ranking.
for Mobile Devices
When you log onto your website using a mobile device, what happens? Is everything lined up nice and neatly on the screen? Are all the buttons easy to press and all the fonts easy to read? If not, you need to make a change.
“Well over 50% of all internet traffic these days comes through mobile devices, which means there’s an over 50% chance they’re going on your website. If your website isn’t optimized, they’ll leave quickly, and you’ll harm your ranking” according to Nicolas Denning, a digital marketer for Top Canadian Writers and Student Writing Services.
What works on desktop doesn’t always translate well to mobile. The good news is many templates you can purchase come with a mobile version that does most of the work for you, but you should experience your site via mobile to see how your potential guests will experience it.
Your Contact Page
Most likely, visitors will be accessing your website to get your contact information, check out your menu, or book a table. You need to make sure this information is as easy as possible to find. With most restaurant websites, you’ll notice they put it in the top right-hand side of the screen on every page.
However, you don’t have to stop there. You’ll also want to fill out your Google Business profile, so you again come up in the search engine. You may even want to have a live chat feature that you can answer from your phone, meaning you’ll never miss a message again!
By content marketing, I mean to start writing blogs and then post them on your website. And be sure to share them on your social media profiles. Blogs and articles are really helpful because you can bring value and education to your guests and visitors. In turn, this means they’ll stay on your website for longer, thus boosting your SEO ranking and being seen by more people.
But what sort of content marketing works
Let’s say you own a Japanese cuisine
restaurant. On the website, you could have blog posts talking about the
different types of Japanese food, how it’s made, how to make it at home, the
history behind it, the culture, more information on the country, recipes, what
drinks work well with what food, the styles, the flavors, the training; the
list is practically endless.
The final thing you want to think about is
making sure you don’t forget the local terms to help you show up in your local
area. This means writing your name, your town, your area, your county, and any
other key information that can help identify you in your local area.
After all, while it’s nice to have people following your accounts from all over the world, it’s only the people in your area that are going to come in as paying customers.
About the Author Nora Mork is a business journalist and editor at Paper Fellows. She shares her experience by speaking at tech and marketing events, and by writing articles for blogs and online magazines, such as Australian Reviewer and Boomessays.
Could your restaurant use an upgrade? Whether your service is suffering, or your customer base isn’t where you want it to be, many restaurant owners feel as though their business can use a boost.
There are a number of fantastic improvements you can make if you feel like your restaurant needs a change. Whether it’s a new marketing campaign or an adjustment to your workflow, plenty of methods exist that can inspire and revolutionize the way your restaurant operates.
While you might need to
break open the back-end of your website or take another look at your
point-of-sale system, these are minor adjustments compared to the results
So, let’s get started on
upgrading your restaurant and maximizing your business’s potential in simple,
Any restaurant in need of some new approaches could use custom merchandise as a way to boost their marketing and promotional opportunities.
merchandise is a fantastic way to change up your restaurant’s marketing
strategy or to add some spice to the current one.
You have a myriad of
product options when it comes to this. Remember that these are a few
suggestions you can follow in order to make sure your custom merch is at the
top of its game and not collecting dust in boxes.
Roll out a signature item. Having a signature item among your merchandise makes your restaurant unique and aligns the merchandise with your brand. Any sort of object from a football to a scented candle can be used to establish a one-of-a-kind identity for your restaurant and get your guests excited.
For example, to customers, t-shirts can seem like the perfect mix between convenience and fun. There are services out there that can design custom shirts for you, but make sure you know the differences between common t-shirt printing styles, like DTG and screen printing, so you can request exactly what you want. A lot of people have a strong preference when it comes to how their design is printed on their shirt, and aren’t satisfied if they get the wrong one.
Another example: If you’re known for your special in-house made sauces, you may want to bottle them up and make it available for guests to buy and bring-home so they can enjoy your genius when they’re not eating out. You will, of course, want to balance the sales you’d make off this with any potential cannibalizing of in-house sales you might’ve gotten otherwise.
Carry a wide selection
of items. While carrying a special
item is a great idea, having a diversity of merchandise shows that your
restaurant wants to reach all kinds of customers. Why limit the possibility for
promotion and marketing with just a few items when you could use a variety to
reach all of them?
Custom merchandise does volumes for your restaurant both from a marketing and a management standpoint. Your customer base will be happy to have tokens from their favorite eatery, and your management can use the custom merchandise to motivate or reward employees.
In either case, you may want to poll your current following online and in-house guests to get a feel for what sort of merch they would be interested in. Flying blind with this stuff is never a recommended strategy.
the Right POS System
If you’re finding that your restaurant is suffering from managerial and workflow-based issues rather than marketing ones, it could be time to switch up your POS system.
Using a great point-of-sale system can improve your restaurant’s workflow and streamline communication between the front-of-house and the kitchen, making your restaurant more efficient and making your guests happier.
Check for functionality. Is the POS system you’re looking at restaurant specific or is it a general POS system? If it’s more generalized, you might miss out on features like delivery processing and table management. Or if you’re looking at a legacy POS system for your restaurant, you need to consider the difficulty of installing it.
Take advantage of mobile kiosks. Nowadays, state-of-the-art point-of-sale systems can be operated through mobile or tablet-based kiosks that look sleek and function smoothly. Given the ease of use and their advanced design, these tablet kiosks will impress your customers and make all of your interactions more straightforward. Not to mention how helpful they are in refining communication between your employees.
Track your customer metrics. Using an up to date point-of-sale system can help you and your managers keep better records of your restaurant’s data. Factors such as inventory and sales can be tracked in real time while you and your management focus on important day-to-day operations. This kind of data is helpful in both devising a marketing strategy and altering your current workflow.
A restaurant POS system
can often be one of the most important pieces of technology you’ll invest in
for your restaurant. So, it’s important you consider all the right features and
factors you need from a POS system before you get started.
the Social Media Sphere
We all know that social media can help a business, but the specifics are often a bit hazy. Using social media for your restaurant doesn’t need to be overly difficult, yet if you’re unsure about where to start, it can seem overwhelming.
Having a top-notch
social media presence can bring publicity to your restaurant and act as a
promotional platform for any deals you might be having.
Changing up your
restaurant’s social media presence is simpler than you’d think. You can take
simple steps to get started.
Choose the right platform. When it comes to social media, the platform you choose will affect both the kind and amount of content that you share. For instance, a platform like Instagram will function more effectively with picture-based content that other users can like, while Twitter might be more effectively used to promote deals and specials or to share news about your restaurant in real-time.
Create effective content. Using social media effectively is all about the content you decide to share. Crafting distinct, shareable posts that can catch your follower’s eye is the key to having a social media presence your viewers will enjoy. So, think carefully about how you want to represent your restaurant and its atmosphere, then use social media to represent that idea to stimulate interest in your business.
Throw special social media promotions. If you want to link your social media presence with an actual incentive to come to your restaurant, then try offering special deals for anyone who follows you through social media platforms. Guests will enjoy the interaction and discount, and you’ll earn more social media followers in no time. Try offering these promotions across multiple platforms and mix them with great content to garner maximum interest.
Sleek social media pages are often the first step to refining your restaurant’s digital appearance into what you truly envision it to be. Bring these suggestions into play in order to have great content that your customers can share to get excited about eating at your restaurant.
Design a Sleek Website
A great website speaks
wonders about any business, and your restaurant is no exception.
Take great pictures. Using high-quality, shareable photos can make or break a users’ interest in your website. When it comes to restaurants, having delicious pictures of your dishes can help stir interest and let your visitors know what to expect when they walk in the door. If you want to get clever, you can offer any customer who takes a picture at your restaurant a deal if they agree to let you post the photo on your website. Be creative!
If you’re really pressed for time, and can’t get actual photos of your restaurants’ dishes, use a website like Unsplash to find high-quality stock photos. As far as stock photos go, these are good ones, and they’re free to use. Just make sure you credit the original photographer and get your actual photos of your restaurant as soon as possible.
Make features clear and understandable. If you look at the statistics, you’ll see that a number of online purchases fall apart right before the purchase, through distractions or difficult-to-navigate web design. It can be a quick fix to prevent these issues from occurring, so make sure you’re doing all you can to make sure your restaurant’s website is readable and easy to navigate – especially when it comes to online ordering or table reservations. Taking precautions such as these is a simple thing you can do to make sure your online presence is as considerate of your customer as possible.
Website design can
assist in boosting your restaurant’s reputation and can even help bring in more
in-store business for your restaurant at increased rates. Use these suggestions
to make sure you’re working website design to your advantage.
an Effective Marketing Campaign
When it comes to
bringing more guests to your restaurant, nothing else works quite like a good
Whether it’s mobile e-mail marketing or targeted deals, there are strategies you can use to advertise to potential customers.
There are a number of
ways you can up your marketing strategy. For example, you could
Know your target customer. In-depth knowledge of who you want at your restaurant will greatly affect how you decide to market. What promotions you hold and who your marketing strategies target go hand in hand. Take the time to examine your target customers and what methods you want to use to get them to your restaurant.
Understand your current customer base. How are your current marketing efforts working out? What sort of customers does your restaurant’s atmosphere attract on a daily basis? Using all the tools at your disposal to investigate this question will help you move towards attracting the customer base you actually want, or it can let you improve customer satisfaction of your current base.
Use a variety of approaches. When it comes to restaurant marketing, you’d be hard pressed to find a successful business that sticks to only one marketing idea. Consider spicing up your marketing approaches in order to make your overall strategy more effective.
For example, you could hold an Instagram contest where you encourage your guests to submit their most “Instagram-Worthy” picture of their favorite dish from your restaurant. Have them post it on Instagram and tag you in the photo. In the end, you can either select a few winners yourself or let your followers vote for their favorites.
You can go big with your prizes and offer special, chef’s table style dinner to the winners. Or you can offer smaller prizes like free dinner for the first place winner, and give the second and third place winners free t-shirts. The latter option is easier to do on a recurring basis throughout the year to keep your users more engaged.
A marketing campaign can
make significant, positive changes to your restaurant’s clientele and their
perceptions of your business. While you shouldn’t consider marketing strategy
changes lightly, if you decide to follow this route, you’ll start to see great
results in no time.
businesses that constantly change and evolve along with their industries. If
you want to keep up, you’ll need to set new plans and goals to improve your
restaurant on a consistent basis.
Use these tips to make sure your restaurant stays up-to-date with its methods and to keep on the path toward constant improvement.
About the Author Kevin Penney is the CMO and co-founder of Bonfire.com, a company that’s reinventing how people create, sell and purchase custom apparel. He loves solving difficult problems, working with the Bonfire Product team, and hockey. He has over 10 years experience in digital media, design, and technology.
The influence of social media on the restaurant’s brand establishment is hard to overestimate. Today, people don’t really trust the paid ad any longer. They tend to base their decisions – like where to eat out – on the honest reviews published on Instagram, Tweeter, Facebook, Yelp, and other popular platforms.
If you want to improve brand loyalty and brand awareness, you should consider user-generated content as a key element of your marketing strategy. This article presents four ways in which you can encourage your guests to create high-quality posts about your restaurant. Let’s consider these ways in more details!
Make your place Instagram-worthy
The rule of the game is simple: if you want to encourage people to take pictures of your restaurant, you should make its design Instagram-worthy. What does it mean? It means that the restaurant interior design should look awesome in photos taken on smartphones.
The point is
that young people are obsessed with social media. Trying to create stylish
Instagram profiles, they struggle to find new beautiful locations to take
photos. So, if you create an adorable instagrammable spot, you will attract
numerous guests who will be glad to generate content for your restaurant.
In fact, you
don’t really need to renovate your place. All you need is to add one
distinctive decorative element, which will create a “WOW” effect and will
promote the core brand’s value.
Let’s consider a
few ideas, which might help you to design an instagrammable location at your
A number of female
social media users will never miss a chance to take a photo on the flower wall
background. If the lighting is adequate, nothing can spoil a picture.
So, if you
install a flower wall in your restaurant, it will drive curiosity among the
Instagrammers. It will help you to increase organic reach and, consequently, promote
your restaurant’s brand more effectively.
Live flowers and plants
If the interior
design of your restaurant looks fresh and “green”, modern social media
users will be glad to generate tons of content for you. You’ll be hard-pressed
to find someone who doesn’t love exotic live plants and beautiful flowers. For
this reason, you can be sure that you will not face any branding challenges.
Extraordinary piece of art
If you want to
boost your marketing efforts, you might visually express a concept of your
brand in one recognizable piece of art. For instance, Brasserie of Light
installed a huge crystal-encrusted
statue of Pegasus to underline that the
concept of the restaurant is built around this magical creature. Obviously,
most visitors take photos of Pegasus and post them on social media, tagging the
If you use lots
during the holiday season, you will definitely grab the attention of social
media users. Everyone wants to take a photo with an exclusive Christmas tree or
fireplace, right? You should provide your guests with an ideal instagrammable
spot, so they can share the holiday spirit with their social media friends.
If the exterior
design of your restaurant is Instagram-worthy, not only your clients but also
regular passersby will take pictures on its background. There are high chances
that your restaurant’s brand will become highly recognizable on social media.
Make your food look
The restaurant business is all about delicious food. So, it’s important to make sure that not only your interior design but also your dishes are Instagram-worthy.
unlikely that restaurant guests will share photos of the meals if they look ugly,
ordinary, or tasteless. Everyone wants to see and to taste something brand new.
For this reason, you have to come up with the creative food presentation ideas.
Tag your guests &
share their posts
If you use social media as a tool to establish your restaurant’s brand, you must actively interact with your followers. You should like, comment and share their posts on a regular basis. This is a great way to demonstrate that you value your clients as well as keeps your own social media accounts fresh with new content.
always mention and tag content creators when you repost photos and videos.
Otherwise, your actions will be qualified as copyright infringement. Your
guests will also appreciate the shoutout.
Offer a free
beverage or treat
If you want your guests to generate content on social media platforms, you can offer them a little gift. For instance, you can give them a cup of coffee if they publish a photo of your restaurant on Instagram. Just make sure that user will add your hashtag, geotag as well as will tag to your account.
social media is another way to grab the audience’s attention to your brand. For
instance, you can encourage your followers to share a post about your food by
offering a gift certificate to the most fascinating or exciting story related
to their experience.
If you have just opened a restaurant, you can invite the influencers for a free dinner. They will take high-quality photos of the food and interior design and will share them with thousands of their followers. Content, generated by digital celebrities, will help to grow brand awareness, as well as encourage other social media users to produce fresh content of your venue.
Encourage more UGC
If you want to increase the volume of content generated by guests, you should create “visual reminders.” They will encourage clients to share their photos on social media and tag your restaurant. It’s highly recommended to place the restaurant’s brand name, logo, and hashtags on the following items:
Plates and dishes
Tables and bar counters
Mirrors in the restrooms
Today, user-generated content
plays an important role in the restaurant’s brand establishment. If you want to
stay competitive or grow your digital presence, you should try your best to
make your place instagrammable to grab the users’ attention. Encourage your
guests to publish posts on social media, and you will significantly improve
About the Author Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She is practicing regularly while reviewing new translation services at Pick Writers and constantly contributing to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. You can find her on Facebook.
Guests laughing and clinking glasses, servers rushing to and fro, the phone ringing off the hook – if only your restaurant could be busy all the time. The good news is it can. It just takes the right planning and the right marketing campaign efforts.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the
causes behind slow
times and how restaurants typically attempt to fill those dreaded empty
tables. Then, we’ll delve into kicking those tried and true methods up a notch
with layered targeting
Slow times vary from
restaurant to restaurant
Lore has it that Mondays and Tuesdays are
the slowest days of the week for restaurants. And, of course, there’s the
dreaded summer slowdown. The truth of the matter is, however: your slow times
depend on your particular situation. If you run a restaurant in a place with nasty
winters, for example, business may be booming in summer when all the
snowbirds return from Florida, California, New Mexico, and the like.
Even slow hours can vary between establishments. For example, a sit-down restaurant located right next to a college campus may not see a lot of action during typical lunch hours because the majority of students can only take a very short lunch break. In contrast, there may be a long line in front of the fast-food joint’s take-out window at this particular time.
So, the reasons behind slow hours, days,
months, or even seasons depend on factors such as a restaurant’s particular
location and offering. However, the ways restaurants typically attempt to fill
those dreaded empty tables are very similar across the board.
What do all of these experts’ suggestions
have in common? Special offers. And why not? Special offers make people happy. That’s a scientific
fact. The problem is that every restaurant under the sun
uses special offers even if it’s as simple a concept as Happy Hour or Lady’s Night. So, you
need to find a way to make sure you can grab the right people’s attention at
the right time.
This is where Facebook
advertising comes into play. Facebook advertising can give your restaurant
the competitive edge when it comes to filling seats on slow nights.
Facebook connects restaurants
As I explain in detail in my post “Social media marketing for restaurants,” Facebook is the most important social media platform to be on. According to the Pew Research Center, 68% of US adults have a profile and roughly 75% of those users access it on a daily basis. So, Facebook is the place to reach a large percentage of the population.
And as if being able to connect with the
majority of America wasn’t enough, Facebook offers businesses an awesome
advertising platform with oh-so-many perks.
The advantages of advertising
It’s user-friendly. Not only is the user interface very intuitive. Facebook also offers different levels of support with setting up ads: guided creation uses a wizard to slowly walk newbies through the steps a professional marketer would take. Quick creation, as the name suggestions, is faster – but you have to know what you’re doing. Facebook offers an extensive library of step-by-step resources. And if all else fails, you can always contact customer support.
It’s versatile. There are so many different formats to choose from on Facebook. Videos, images, collections, carousels, slideshows, instant experience ads, lead generation ads, offers, and post engagements, to be exact. But don’t worry, you don’t have to remember all of those names or even understand what they mean. The wizard will guide you through easy-to-understand examples.
It’s targeted. DING DING DING! This is where things get super interesting. Like many advertising platforms, Facebook Ads lets you target a lot of basic demographics:
Locations people are current or were recently in
Behaviors such as device usages
So that may not seem like anything out of
the ordinary. But think of how many details people enter about themselves on
their Facebook profiles. How old they are, where they work, what music they
listen to, whether they’re in a relationship or not… And that is exactly why
the targeting is insanely specific.
Layered targeting reaches the
right people at the right time
Let’s say you run a family-friendly restaurant and you want to target parents. You might be amazed at the choices Facebook will offer you.
you have access to that detailed level of information about people and you
start combining – or layering – that information.
the power of layered targeting, let’s return to the example of the sit-down
restaurant and the fast-food joint located near a college campus. The former
could create a take-out lunch special for busy students. And to reach those
busy students on Facebook, the layered targeting could be:
Occupation: student Location: at the neighboring college Behaviors: clicked on ads involving foods the restaurant offers
Facebook lets advertisers display their ads at particular times. In this case,
the restaurant might choose 11:30am to 1pm.
The fast-food joint, on the other hand, may want to highlight the fact that they are the cheapest option around. Therefore, they could benefit from adding an extra layer to the above targeting: low income.
So who should you market to?
This is, obviously, going to depend on your theme, market and target demographic. If you haven’t yet, we highly recommend you create customer/guest personas of your target/ideal guests. It’s difficult to target in on the right Facebook users if you don’t know who’s already walking through your doors. Marketing to “everyone” is a foolproof way to find failure in your campaign.
Once you have that figured out, you’ll want to make sure you’ve created a message that resonates with those demographics. Make sure you know your offer and have all the right text, links, and images/video prepped.
Your restaurant is bound to have some slow times, no matter how fantastic your food is. Try to identify the circumstances that regularly cause business to drop. And then come up with a special offer to delight your guests – and layer your targeting so they actually see it.
About the Author Tamara Marie Johnson specializes in Search Engine and Social Media Advertising for restaurants and other local businesses. As a student, she worked at different restaurants and bars where she fell in love with the industry. She is currently working on getting her Ph.D. Her thesis? How to manipulate ad copy so that foods taste better.