The restaurant business is fiercely competitive. But you already know that or you wouldn’t be here.
There are more than 624,000 restaurants in the U.S., but many more have tried and didn’t make it. Around 60 percent of new restaurants fail within the first year. And nearly 80 percent close before their fifth anniversary.
So why are some restaurants able to stomach success while others are left feeling queasy?
There are a lot of reasons, with location, food quality, perceived value, and service being at the top of the list.
But if all of those things are already in place and you’re still struggling to enjoy the mouth-watering aroma of success, you probably have a significant marketing problem.
But have no fear. You don’t need to spend countless hours searching the internet to find the easiest and most effective restaurant marketing solutions. We’ve already done the work for you!
5 Easy-To-Implement Restaurant Marketing Tips
1. Seductive, Tantalizing, and Vibrant Food Photos
The visual component of marketing is vital to success for any business. For example, visual impact influences choices more than consumer preference when making quick decisions (e.g., Where are we going to eat tonight?)
The imagery used on your website and in other marketing collateral should highlight the scrumptious food you serve. But don’t stop there. That would be like serving the appetizers but not the main dish. Take it to the next step by showing happy customers enjoying the meal and satisfied customers basking in the afterglow of a satisfying food experience.
2. Email Marketing That Is Reputable, Relevant, and Real
If you aren’t collecting email addresses from your customers, you are losing cash, and a lot of it. But you have to know how to mix the various email ingredients just right, or you’ll sabotage your efforts.
Here’s a savory recipe for great email campaigns:
· Emails should add value to your customers’ lives. What about sharing relevant recipes and fun food facts with them?
· Use email to help customers improve. What foods boost energy? What is a great low-calorie option on your menu? Let your customers know.
o Is the subject line 50 or fewer characters?
o Is the subject line 6-10 words?
o Have you included a “superword”? Examples include new, now, introducing, announcing, finally, and soon.
o Have you considered sending an “alert”?
o Have you considered using the word “secret”?
o Is the recipient’s first name in the subject line?
o Have you driven interest with exclusivity, scarcity, and / or short timeframes?
o Does the subject line start with who, what, when, where, why, or how?
· Have you identified the goal of your email? What action do you want the customer to take?
· Did you start the e-mail with a simple, brief pleasantry?
· Do you understand that grammar and spelling errors can cost you business? Proof read!
· Have you considered that people skim emails?
o Is the copy 100 words or less?
o Did you use bold type?
o What about a bulleted list?
· Have you communicated with a human voice? Write like you talk.
· Have you included a specific call-to-action near the top of the email?
· Have you used persuasive words like “because”, “you”, and “imagine”.
o “Because” has been shown to increase compliance with a request.
o “You” instantly personalizes email copy and involves the reader in your story.
o “Imagine” can prompt readers to imagine using a product or service, which increases desire to purchase.
· Would you open and read the email if it were sent to you? If not, don’t send it.
3. Start a Blog to Position Yourself as a Thought Leader
A blog is a terrific way to build meaningful relationships with customers. And while the first few blogs you write will take some time, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. In fact, by your third or fourth blog you’ll be investing 30 minutes or less on each.
And much like email marketing, there are some simple things you can do to ensure success.
· Make sure the content is relevant to your audience.
· Provide valuable answers to questions.
· Ensure the blog is focused on one topic.
· Include headlines throughout, with an ideal length of 40 – 60 characters.
· Allow white space and include bullets and numbered lists. This makes your blog easier to read.
· Place an image at the top of the blog and add a few more throughout the body.
· If appropriate, add an embedded video.
· Include a call-to-action. What do you want the reader to do?
4. Use Google AdWords – It’s About Right Place, Right Time
Don’t you want to be seen by customers the moment they’re searching for their next delectable dining destination? Your restaurant can be seen in a lot of ways, including:
· Search Ads – Your ad will appear next to search results on Google. And everybody uses the Google machine!
· Display Ads – With text and banner ads across Gmail and a network of over two million websites and apps, your ad can show up where your customers are (local, regional, national or global).
· Video Ads – Your restaurant can come to life to customers on YouTube.
· App Ads – If you have an app, you can promote it across the entire Google network. And here’s the best part… there’s no design experience required.
5. Offer Coupons and Discounts to Increase Trial
Okay. This is old school. We get it. But there’s a reason it’s on this list… it works!
There are countless ways to implement this age-old tactic, including online and offline.
One of our personal favorites (because it’s our product!) is Huddle Tickets. It’s so easy and incredibly effective, especially for restaurants.
Here’s how it works:
· You place your coupon on high school event admission tickets.
· High school event attendees redeem the coupons at your restaurant.
· You get more customers and sales increase!
A QSR client realized a 10.6% redemption rate, and a casual dining partner drove more than $5,000,000 in sales in a single academic year.
If you’re interested in learning more, just visit www.huddleinc.com to get additional information.
So there you have it – 5 effective restaurant marketing ideas to help you be more relevant, gain more customers, and increase sales.
Why are you still here? Get busy implementing these tips!