Marketing Your Restaurant Online.
I’ve worked my fair share in restaurants as a dish-washer, prep cook, you name it. I know restaurant owners are some of the busiest people in the world. Working from the early morning hours to late into the evening everyday, most barely get a break from the day-to-day action. That leaves almost no time in the day to devote to marketing.
So how then are restaurant owners expected to grow and market their business if they don’t have much time to devote to marketing? Here are a few tips for any restaurant owner to become a power marketer without too much added work:
Automate, Automate, Automate: For the busy restaurant owner, their best friend when it comes to marketing is automation. Creating autoresponder emails to respond quickly to inquiries is one way to achieve this automation. This will allow you to spend more time in the kitchen or the dining room and less time behind a computer answering emails.
Another great trick to automate your marketing is to create all of your blog posts and social media posts a week ahead of time. The best method for doing this we have found is to take a couple of hours on a slow day (Maybe a Monday or Tuesday) and write all of your content for the week. Whether that content is announcements about specials through Social Media, blog posts about recipes, or whatever content you are planning on putting out the rest of the week, get it all together in one big chunk and then schedule them throughout the week. This way, as you get busy with the restaurant, your content is going out automatically and you don’t have to worry about it!
Make Your Website Do The Work: As a restaurant owner, your website is your most important marketing tool. With your website, you can bring in customers through localized online searches, show your menu, pictures of your food, staff and restaurant, offer specials and much more! This means your website needs to be as strong and search engine optimized as possible! A sharp website will communicate a sharp business!
Use Social Media to Promote Specials: Devoting a good amount of time each week to your social media accounts is a great way to bring in customers. Using Facebook and Twitter to promote discouts and specials is a great way to both bring in new customers to your restaurant and to bring back previous customers for more! It is important however, to not strictly post specials; that can get old quick. Be creative with your posts! Create posts that make you stand stand out!
Get Reviews and Testimonials: In marketing restaurants, any owner will tell you reviews are extremely important. A good review can mean the difference between a first-time customer choosing your restaurant or that customer going to the restaurant down the block. This makes sites such as Yelp extremely important to get involved with! You can also get creative with your review gathering. For instance you can gather them in an email campaign with an incentive tied in, you can have a review card on the table; there are plenty of ways to gather them. You will need these reviews to stand out against your competition, so get as many as you can!