If you’re running a restaurant in 2023, it can be hard to be seen out there. Foot traffic has gone down since the embracing of the internet shut a lot of high street stores, and Covid did a lot to deter people from eating out again with an over-reliance on the ease of food delivery apps.
What you need to do is to entice the masses with a thought out restaurant marketing strategy, and there are a lot of ways you can go about that. Take a look at our suggestions for getting more eyes on your restaurant and more people through the door.
Upgrade Your Business Website
But all the social media marketing in the world is of no use if no one knows who you are. If customers are searching for “restaurants near me” you want to be at the top of that list. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO can be confusing and full of jargon, so your best bet is to hire a provider who is familiar with the region, such as the Whoo SEO Brighton agency, to help you rank more competitively in Google searches.
And then there is your website itself. Business websites can be a great help to restaurant customers. Where other industries can offer you only a bit of basic information about the company, restaurant websites can offer customers a booking forum for reservations, a glance at the menu and its prices, and even a What’s On schedule for the nights when you have a guy with a guitar entertaining or a dinner theatre event coming up.
Studies have shown that having an online booking system showing availability increases bookings by 41% than requiring contact to check for availability. In addition, online ordering could open up a whole new customer based for collections and deliveries.
Nail Your Social Media Marketing
The best way to market your restaurant is through social media platforms. It’s accessible, it’s affordable, and it’s far more effective than traditional means of restaurant marketing strategies.
More and more people are consulting social media before they make any sort of decision, and that includes where they want their next date night or brunch. So open that Instagram account, post weekly updates on anything happening in the premises, and post photos of your food.
And remember the Martha Stewart rule: it’s easy for even the best dishes to look unappetising with an iPhone camera. If you’re going to post food photos, make sure they’re done by someone who knows what they’re doing, or read up on photography yourself. A DIY approach isn’t going to be appreciated here and might even put people off. Your pictures need to show the culinary feast on offer, and entice your potential customers to dine on your gourmet offerings.
Offer Themed Nights/Special Events
A special event night is a great way to get people in the door, and those people may well turn into regulars. You might look at your restaurant and think “That’s not really the vibe we’re going for”. Sure, maybe the idea of a pub quiz or a comedian doesn’t suit your more sophisticated approach, but you have options to entertain those repeat loyal customers.
Offer a one off special menu that allows your chef to get creative and break from the norm, or swap out the guy with a guitar for a piano player. Offer speed dating in a romantic venue or wine tasting. There are lots of options out there to bring in some new customers.
And, if you do consider yourself a place where everyone gets the chance to chat, you have all these options and more. DIY cocktail hour, karaoke night, charity events, and a million more options.
Another great way to spruce up your restaurant is to host nights with a theme. You could pick a specific type of cuisine and offer a special menu or drink specials. Or, you could pick a certain era or decade and decorate the restaurant to match. The possibilities are endless.
You could even have a rotating theme night and change it up every month. Not only would this keep people coming back, but it would also give your staff more exciting opportunities to explore different types of cuisine and drinks. It could even become a fun competition for your chefs, bartenders, and servers to see who can come up with the most creative and delicious dishes and drinks.
We hope these restaurant marketing ideas have given you food for thought for how you can increase the dining experience of your menu items.