Would you like to bring new customers in your restaurant and create a constant influx of loyal and happy patrons? The answer is probably yes. Many restaurant owners have been striving to keep their business open since the onset of the economic crisis, and many have failed, not because their food is not delicious or because their prices are too high but because they did not apply efficient and cost-effective marketing strategies.
How Important Is Marketing to Get New Customers in Restaurant and Diner Facilities?
Every business needs to do two things to be successful: attract new customers and build loyalty with the existing ones. Large chains of restaurants have the resources to develop sophisticated and effective marketing strategies to attract new customers, but if you are working on a limited budget, you'll need to consider creative ideas to get new customers into your restaurant to achieve that same goal.
The best way to do this is through various marketing activities: loyalty campaigns, gift cards, membership cards, social media engagement, email marketing and various events hosted for the benefit of customers. The internet will be your most powerful resource to get the message out about your restaurant, and there are a number of low-cost ways to boost your visibility in ways you never thought about.
Effective Marketing Strategies on a Small Budget
A strong online presence with an attractive website and fine-tuned social media can be used in the effort of reaching out to potential customers and enticing them to try your products and services. Here are the most cost-effective and efficient marketing strategies small restaurants can utilize to attract new customers:
1.) Invest in Geo-Targeted Ads
Whether you opt for Facebook ads or Google Pay-Per-Click online advertising services, you should always be careful how you spend your budget. Target your own neighborhood and specific community. When people decide where they want to have lunch or dinner, they will look for a nearby restaurant. It is highly unlikely that you will convince people to drive hundreds of miles, so the most effective way to find the perfect customer is to set your ads to be viewed by people in your area.
2.) Share Recipes Online
People love reciprocity. If you share some of your recipes with them through a blog or your newsletter, you will attract a lot of subscribers who will become interested enough to walk in your restaurant and try your dishes. “Sharing is caring” should be your motto if you want to get new customers and turn them into loyal clients.
3.) Create A Booking App
You'll find that people now solve most of their problems and satisfy their needs using a smartphone. Dedicated mobile apps that help make reservations are very popular among your potential clients. Consider getting one of these apps developed for your business – it is not only useful to bring you new customers, but it is a very powerful marketing and branding tool as well.
4.) Be Active on Social Media
Open and maintain accounts on a few social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Many people use social media to get referrals from friends about various businesses, products and services, and the first contact an individual has with a new business is often through their social media account. When people see how active you are at engaging with your audience, they are all the more likely to come and see your excellent service in person.
5.) Share Mouth-Watering Photos
Use your Instagram account to post the best pictures of your dishes. Many people love sharing and posting about food on this platform, and images are a powerful advertising tool. Instagram is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to advertise your cuisine and get new customers dining in.
6.) Partner with a Delivery Service
Some people will want to try your food at home before they go to your restaurant. This is why you should consider adding catering to your services and partner with a local delivery firm.
7.) Feature Your Top Chefs
Create inspirational videos with your chefs in the kitchen and share them on YouTube or Facebook. Take inspiration from cooking shows and share step-by- step recipes starring real employees at your establishment. This strategy is used by many celebrity chefs and top restaurants due to its effectiveness.
8.) Share Your Menu Online
Today’s special, lunch menu and soup of the day should be on your website, mobile app and social media account. This makes finding an easy spur-of-the-moment lunch solution convenient for many people whether it's for their small office or catching up with an old friend.
9.) Feature Content Shared By Your Followers
Publish photos and videos shared by your social media followers who tried cooking your recipes or their suggestions for other recipes to introduce in your menu. Listen to your followers, acknowledge them and thank them for interacting with you. A lot of people respond positively when customer engagement is an important component of a business.
10.) Organize a Contest
Online contests are very popular and will help you reach a lot of people simply due to the amplified fun factor. Considering giving away custom giftcards or a similar promotion as a prize. This will give you the opportunity to reach and engage with potential customers, even the ones that do not wind up lucky winners.
11.) Share Local News on Your Restaurant
If your restaurant received a good review or was mentioned in a news article in a positive manner, you should share this on your website and social media. This is an excellent way to build a reputation and persuade people that your cuisine is a must-try.
12.) Monitor Social Media Mentions
You should react quickly and counteract negative reviews and opinions as soon as possible. To do so, you should use a social media monitoring tool and check your restaurant name on a daily basis. Even if a negative review gets posted, you'll have the opportunity to reply to that customer's concerns. Seeing a business address these issues, engage with customers and actively ensure a positive experience is a ultimately good thing in many people's eyes despite a negative reaction from someone else.
13.) Invest in Mobile Ads
As discussed above, many people browse the internet using their mobile phones. Mobile specific ads are very efficient and have an excellent click-through rate compared to desktop ads.
14.) Offer Coupons
Make it easy for people to try out your resteraunt. Create a special coupon and discount promotions for email subscribers and Facebook fans. Consider utilizing Groupon. Although you sacrifice a little on your profit margins, this is an excellent way to market to new customers, and you will recover it in time through anyone who tries the coupon promotion and continues coming back for more.
15.) Create Referral Programs
Ask your loyal customers to recommend your restaurant to their friends and offer incentives. This marketing strategy works for all businesses, and it will certainly help you bring in new customers. One of the best ways to do this is by investing in high-quality promotional materials. Here at 4colorprint, we have you covered.