Restaurant marketing presents more challenges – and opportunities – today than ever. Customers are regularly bombarded with choices, discounts, promotions, and deals, making the job of staying competitive a tough one. At the same time, eatery owners have a multitude of outlets for advertising for restaurants. From good old-fashioned word of mouth to email lists through which you can offer personalized coupons, your business will benefit enormously from your awareness of advertising opportunities and your fair, honest implementation of marketing techniques.
Word of Mouth and Social Media Advertising
One of the most productive ways to increase your restaurant’s popularity is through the use of social media and word of mouth. First and foremost, your restaurant should have a website. Include your menu and prices, eye-catching but tasteful design, and all current promotions. This is one place to make room in your budget for a professional. The cost of hiring an expert should pay for itself within a very short amount of time. Besides a website, many restaurants have social media pages on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Just make sure you or your designated poster keep all updates clean, appropriate, and classy. Attention-getting should be done tastefully. Make sure that your staff is composed of people who will do the same on their personal pages. Also bear in mind that treating your employees well ensures that they have no reason to complain, especially in a public forum.
Your greatest asset in marketing is still word of mouth. Give your customers the best possible experience, and when they thank you before leaving, offer a friendly smile and a request that they spread the word. Make sure that your restaurant is always clean and presentable, restaurant equipment is well-maintained, and staff is friendly and professional at all times. It is imperative for your business that clients have only good things to say about you. One person’s opinion can determine whether their friends – both real and virtual – give your eatery a try.
Restaurant Promotions and Coupons
Promotions and coupons play a vital role in your advertising. Provide comment cards at each table with a line for the customer’s email address. Remember to include spaces on the cards for clients’ birthdays and anniversaries as well as the size of their households. Then, send targeted promotions. Place the expiration date somewhere in the email’s subject line and make it within two weeks to a month of sending. Loyalty customers account for up to seventy percent of sales, so focus on what will be useful to specific regulars. Send kid-friendly coupons to parents and special coupons near the client’s birthday and anniversary. You can even get your sheet pan ready and send out a personal discount on a particularly loyal regular’s favorite cake or quesadilla. Holidays are prime time for promotions, especially if you also do catering or take-out. Thanksgiving presents especially lucrative opportunities since most Americans celebrate it regardless of religious or cultural background.
Most importantly, be fair to your customers. Surveys show that today’s clients are skeptical of special offers and discounts that seem more beneficial to the business than to them. Tailor your promotions so that you are offering something your customers can use and enjoy. They will notice and appreciate it.