How To Create A Restaurant Marketing Plan
While it may not seem like it, restaurant marketing is crucial. Word-of-mouth can go a long way, but there’s a massive group of people who will never know about your restaurant without marketing. That doesn’t mean you have to have the budget to run a Super Bowl ad. Anytime you post on your restaurant’s social media, send an email to a guest, or mail out your takeout menu, you’re marketing your restaurant.
Marketing For Small Restaurants
It’s tough to compete with giant franchises and chain restaurants, but that’s what makes marketing for small restaurants so important. Your restaurant marketing budget doesn’t have to be the same as Chipotle’s to be successful.
There are plenty of opportunities to get your name out there. Here are some great ways to make your small marketing budget have a big impact.
Restaurant Marketing Ideas
The purpose of marketing your restaurant is to reach a large audience of people who’d be interested in dining at your establishment. It’s not just about casting a wide net. It's important to be specific about the type of people you’re targeting in your marketing campaigns, otherwise you'll waste time and money.
Use Your Restaurant’s Social Media to Engage with Your Guests
Using social media is a great way to attract guests to your restaurant. There are several social media channels to choose from — the most popular being Instagram and Facebook — so it’s best to understand which sites your customer demographic spends their time on so you can reach them where they already are. It’s great to experiment with multiple platforms because each channel offers a different way to communicate with guests.
Instagram is photo-focused, so it’s where you’d post a mouthwatering photo of one of your dinner options with a caption like “this steak is calling your name.” It’s an easy and effective way to get guests in your dining room. Additionally, you can use Instagram Stories, which disappear after 24 hours, as a quick way to reach out to your audience in a less formal way. Facebook has different post formats, such as long form text-based posts, link sharing, photos, videos, and reviews. You can even use a chat bot to scale your marketing strategy and respond to simple questions from customers without having a staff member constantly monitoring your messages.
Some restaurants use their Facebook account as their actual website, hosting their menu and crucial information, like their address and opening hours, right on their page.
Paying to promote your Instagram or Facebook ads is a great way to take your content and broadcast it to a larger audience. Paid ads are customizable, meaning you can choose how much you want to spend, how long you want the ad to run, and what type of audience you want to target.
Engage Your Customers with Email Marketing
Using email to market your restaurant allows you to reach customers that have either signed up to receive email updates about your restaurant or have physically been into your establishment. Either way, they most likely have interest in dining with you. This makes marketing to them relatively easy, but it still requires thoughtful planning. Filling your customers’ inboxes with spam emails will not get them in the door.
Make Your Restaurant’s Website Search Engine Friendly
Optimizing your website for Google or other search engines makes sure you’re visible to all your potential guests when they search for somewhere to eat. To increase your chances of being seen by the largest audience possible, keep your Google My Business page as up-to-date as possible, bid on keyword terms that match your restaurant, and include specific and descriptive keywords on your website.
Create Video Ads That Market Your Restaurant’s Team Culture
Video ads give you a lot of room for creativity and can reach a large audience very quickly. Whether you choose to create ads for YouTube or TV should depend on what audience you are attempting to reach. Generally, YouTube reaches more 18-49-year olds, while TV is more popular for those aged 50 and above.
Try to create something with meaning that translates your company culture to your guests.
Restaurant Marketing for Any Size and Budget
Small businesses have it tough, but it’s possible to compete with the top dogs in the industry as long as you’re using strategic marketing. If you thoroughly plan, budget, and execute marketing tactics that reach your target audience, your marketing will have a big impact, no matter your budget and size.
This blog was inspired from Toast https://pos.toasttab.com
Find out more about setting up your restaurants marketing plan by utilising our Operations Manual http://businessmanualsmadeeasy.com/products/operations-manual