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Good Restaurant Marketing Is More Important Than Ever

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The restaurant business has always been competitive, and filling your establishment with happy, hungry customers was never an easy task. But now that challenge is harder than ever with the impact of the pandemic. Instead of wallowing, though, use this time to reset and refresh, taking stock of your current marketing strategy and seeing how it can be improved.

To bring back old customers and gain new ones, we all need to start thinking a little differently about marketing. If you want to take a new approach, here are a few tips to try out. 

1. Focus on Local SEO

Most restaurants rely on a loyal, local customer base. If you’ve noticed your tables aren’t as full as usual, it might be time to start focusing again on your potential customers nearby rather than looking further afield. Try out some local SEO techniques if you’re not already to target local searches. Here are some local SEO tips you could start implementing:

  • Create a Google My Business account and fill in all the information correctly
  • Encourage customer reviews
  • Include local keywords on your website copy and blogs
  • Optimise long-tail keywords for voice search
  • Create content based on local events or news
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By focusing on the online presence you have in your local area, you could quickly win over the loyalty of your neighbours. Those that live near you are more likely to come back soon, so they’re a key market to target.  

2. Try Using AdWords and PPC

If you haven’t tried marketing your restaurant website with AdWords, now is the time! With 25% of clicks going to the first search result on Google, the second getting 15%, and the third around 11%, you really want to be up there with those top results. But, that isn’t always easy to do, and if you need new customers fast you probably don’t have the time. AdWords provides a solution to get around that problem.

Instead of conducting organic SEO, you can simply pay to be put at the top of Google’s search results. For every person who clicks onto your website you pay a fee, but if you win over their custom that’s well worth it. But, you have to do pay per click (PPC) ads properly. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, call in the help of the professionals to make sure you get it right and don’t waste your money. 

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3. Offer Loyalty Rewards

To keep customers coming back time and time again, you often need to offer more than just delicious food. This is where loyalty rewards come in. By offering a nice treat for returning customers, you entice them to visit again, spending their money at your restaurant instead of a competitors. This could be as simple as a free glass of wine for returning diners, or you could create reward cards. Customers can gain a stamp on their card every time they eat with you and, for example, after the 10th stamp they get 50% off their main course or a free dessert. 

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4. Put on Signature Events

Another way to encourage guests to dine at your restaurant is by putting on events. Diners can’t resist the appeal of a live band, themed food night, or all you can eat starters! The aim is to add more value to what you’re offering, giving something extra special to those who chose to dine with you. Of course, make sure what you offer fits your brand identity and appeals to your target market.

Marketing is never about getting it right with the first technique you try, so give a couple of different options a go. You can then analyse their success and see which techniques are resonating the best with your customers and which you might have to ditch. Once you know what works and what doesn’t, you can create a winning marketing strategy to survive the pandemic.

About Chef Lilian

Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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