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10 Restaurant Marketing Ideas: How to Market a Restaurant Successfully

So you’ve finally opened up the restaurant of your dreams and are ready to start bringing in as much business as you can. Not so fast. In order to have customers filing in by the dozens, the first thing you’re going to need to do is market your restaurant successfully to catch their attention. Unsure where to start? Check out our top 10 restaurant marketing ideas to help you out!

#1: Develop your Restaurant’s Brand Identity

It helps to think of your restaurant as a brand that needs an identity as well as core values. By figuring out what they are early on, as well as who your target audience is, will help you greatly in building your brand. Furthermore, it’ll make your marketing tasks easier as you’ll know exactly who your marketing efforts are supposed to be targeting and what message to send out that will have the best impact in persuading them to visit your restaurant.

#2: Get a Website

This is non-negotiable for anyone looking to run a successful restaurant in today’s day and age. At the bare minimum, you’re going to need a basic homepage that has an “about us” section explaining who your restaurant is and what they are all about, an easy to read copy of your menu, as well as a contact page with all your contact details listed down. But that’s just the beginning. If you really want to market your restaurant properly then additions like a reviews page, photo galleries, blogs and even an FAQ page are all necessary additions to your website. Regardless of what’s on your website the most important thing to remember is that your website is the likely go-to for new and existing customers to check out, hence why it needs to be as professional and put together as possible.

#3: Show Off your Best Dishes

Nowadays everyone looks online for ideas and inspiration to figure out where they want to eat next. So why not capitalise on this and show off the outstanding dishes your restaurant produces! One way you can do this is by investing in a good food photographer who really knows how to make your dishes pop right off the plate in their photos. You can even use that same photographer later to better captivate your customers with more beautiful images of your venue and decor. On the flip side, you can also try shooting videos showing off your restaurant and all it has to offer. Videos are very quickly becoming a popular and preferred medium across social media sites like Instagram and even Tiktok. Furthermore video content will help you engage with and reach out to a much larger target audience base.

#4: Consider using Geo-Targeted Ads

A lot of people when they look up a place to eat online are looking for restaurants that are close to where they are for a variety of reasons. For this reason, it’s safe to assume that you can get a lot of value out of using geo-targeted ads as part of your marketing strategy. While it may be more expensive to target a specific audience, because of how relevant the audience is to your restaurant you will likely see an increase in conversions which means a higher chance for new customers to stop by your restaurant. At the same time, it is also extremely important to keep track of your analytics to see if the results from geo-targeted ads are worth the money spent on it.

#5: Establish a Strong Mission Statement 

Alongside your brand identity, a strong mission statement is also vital as it tells both your existing and potential customers exactly who you are and what’s the purpose of your restaurant. Your mission statement should clearly state what your restaurant does, to whom it is catered, why your restaurant does what it does, and how.

#6: Expand your Email Prowess 

One thing you should never do is underestimate the power email marketing has, especially in the F&B industry. You should always be on the lookout for ways to expand and improve your email database. This can be done in a variety of ways including collecting your customer’s emails in exchange for a voucher for example. You can also utilise email automation to drive repeat business to your restaurant by offering your customers special offers in conjunction with birthdays, anniversaries and even special occasions like Valentine’s Day or Halloween.

#7: Craft an Excellent Online Menu

Nobody likes an online menu that you have to squint to read or that has hard to understand jargon. Create an online menu that is both easy to read and of the highest quality to further entice your customers to dine at your restaurant. And your online menu doesn’t have to be limited to dine-in customers either. Because it is done virtually your restaurant now has the opportunity to create multiple different kinds of menus, be it for takeaway deliveries, events, or even special occasions

#8: Encourage Online Reviews

Be it through a legitimate review site like Yelp or having a food blogger stop by and talk about your restaurant on their page, you’re going to want to get a positive word out about your restaurant as soon as you can. Nobody wants to go to a restaurant they’re unsure about, and having tried and tested reviews from other customers is likely enough to sway them into trying your restaurant out for themselves.

#9: Encourage User-Generated Content

UGCs or User Generated Content, basically involves letting your customers do the advertising for you and is an amazing way to foster a personal relationship with your customers to coax them to keep coming back to your restaurant. One way you can use UGCs to your advantage is by adding something Insta-worthy to your menu or even your restaurant. Simple changes like painting a beautiful mural on one of your walls or creating a promotion built around sharing a photo online is enough to encourage customers to get their phones out and start snapping pictures. And in turn, your restaurant receives free advertising within their circles!

#10: Run Social Media Contests 

Another restaurant marketing idea you could consider adding to your marketing strategy is running a social media contest. This can be as simple as holding a photo contest and asking customers to share a picture of their favourite meal at your restaurant and why. You can even create a dedicated hashtag for this contest to help you compile entries in an easier way. If the prize being offered is valuable enough, like a free appetiser or 50% off their next meal, chances are you’ll be flooded with entries!

And that just about rounds off our list of the top 10 restaurant marketing ideas you can consider using to help make your restaurant a successful one. While it is worth noting that not all of these ideas are guaranteed to work for you, we hope that with the help of this list, you will have a better understanding of how to market your restaurant to the best of your ability.

Keen on taking the first step towards digitization for your restaurant? EasyEat is here to help! We look forward to hearing from you!

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