Tuesday, May 7, 2019

6 Creative Ways to Market Your Restaurant

6 Creative Ways to Market Your Restaurant

The restaurant business is a notoriously tough one, and out of all restaurants that are opened, nearly a fifth fail within the first year and only 20% make it past the fourth. This is why it’s important to always stay on top of your game and find new ways to make your business known. One good thing, however, is that marketing a business has never been cheaper, and there are plenty of ways that you can generate more traffic to your business if you’re ready to think outside the box. Here are a few creative ways that you can generate more buzz for your restaurant.

Focus on Quality First and Foremost
Before you even think about actively marketing your restaurant, you have to make sure that you provide the best experience that you can to your clients. These days, reputation is everything, and having a string of bad reviews could really hurt you as a new business. But, on the other hand, if your restaurant is getting rave reviews, it’s only a matter of time before people start flocking in.

If you already have a few negative reviews, what you have to do is address them and be sincere in your intentions to fix the situation. You then have to do what it takes to turn things around. Check what they were complaining about and see who or what is at the root of the issue. If the service was slow or unfriendly, then try to find out when this happened. Address the people who were working on that shift. And consider adding more employees if preparation time is slow.

Go check out what the competition is doing and go pay a visit to restaurants in your niche that have good reviews. Take notes and look at the reviews. Look at the interior and the type of service you’re getting. Look at the menu and taste the food. Then you’ll be able to go back to the drawing board and either fix your recipes, hire better cooks, or consider working with better suppliers.

Another thing you have to do is actually encourage people to leave reviews for you. You could do that by adding it on the receipt or enrolling them in a reward scheme. Have them leave their contact information and follow up on them. Regulars are most likely happy with what they’re getting and many will be glad to leave a good word for you.

Advertise on Review Sites
Another approach you could take is actually advertising on review sites. But it’s important that you build a solid reputation first since people will be able to see your rating as well. This is a great way to get attention fast if you started to get positive reviews, but it will cost you. It is ultimately up to you to see if the return on investment is worth it, but it can be a great way to start building word of mouth and get more reviews.

Use Social Media the Right Way
A lot of people still have a “build it and they’ll come” strategy on social media. Instagram is saturated with food pics and while your pics might look as good as anyone else’s, you’ll have a hard time standing out if that’s all that you are doing.

The best way to get results fast with social media is by using ads. Facebook ads will allow you to target specific demographics and their model allows you to pay only for the traffic you’re getting. There are even agencies that use AI to run restaurant promotions on Facebook these days. They use AI to automatically tweak your ads and change the configuration and automatically schedule ads to get the best results. Working with an agency first will allow you to understand how Facebook ads work and use them to build traction for your restaurant.

Use Geofencing
Geofencing is a technology that allows you to target a specific area and contact the people in this area through SMS. This opens the door to all sorts of great possibilities. For instance, if your restaurant is very popular with sports fans, you could target the parking lot after a local team wins and offer a special deal to fans. Or you could simply set a geofence around your restaurant and send special offers or freebies to people passing by.

Create Strategic Partnerships with Other Businesses in the Area
Sometimes, two businesses or more can share the same type of audience, even if they aren’t in the same industry. For instance, if your restaurant serves healthy vegan food, then you could create a partnership with a yoga center in your area. You can agree to give a discount for yoga classes to your clients and ask them to do the same thing for theirs. One particular restaurant noticed that a lot of people biked to their shop. What they did was partner up with a bike repair shop in the area. This is a great way to benefit from each other’s clientele and spread word of mouth about the business. And the best thing is that it’s free.

Sponsor and Organize Events
Sponsoring events is a great way to spread awareness about your restaurant, but more importantly, get people to actually taste your food. The goal should always be to offer something delicious and unique and make sure that you get your prospective customers the chance to taste it once. If you have a good product, the restaurant will basically sell itself. Set kiosks around the event and have people either sample or buy food. Make sure that it’s affordable. Also, make sure that you give them a special discount for their first visit to give them an extra incentive.

Conclusion
While the restaurant business is fiercely competitive, there are tons of different ways that you can help yours stand from the pack. Focus on quality first and use these few tricks if you want to attract more foot traffic to your establishment.

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