Restaurant marketing is more important than ever

In a world where new concepts are popping up on every block and restaurants competition is at an all-time high, restaurateurs need to do everything they can to gain loyal customers. While many restaurant marketing strategies have been around for years, leveraging digital marketing is one of the newer—and more powerful—ways to boost profits in your restaurant.

To start, use our restaurant marketing grader!

Want to see how well your current restaurant marketing strategy is working? Put your business name into our restaurant marketing grader above! This free tool acts as a website grader, making sure your restaurant’s digital marketing is optimized across important sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. We grade your restaurant’s marketing based on data consistency, review sites, social media, and online visibility. Enter your restaurant name now to get your grade and some tips on how to improve your marketing strategy!

What to include in your restaurant digital marketing strategy

The root of restaurant digital marketing is ensuring that hungry customers find your establishment online. 90 percent of guests research a restaurant before dining (more than any other business type), which means you want to show up on their phones and computers while they’re looking. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating a restaurant digital marketing plan.

Restaurant social media

Creating a restaurant brand online that customers love can lead to increased customer retention at very little cost. Post about your food, drinks, staff, and specials every day to keep content fresh for your followers on Instagram and Facebook. Create your own unique hashtag and encourage customers to tag your restaurant when they share their own photos. Reposting customer content is a great way to influence your customers to keep posting photos of your delicious food and drinks for a shot to be featured on your page!

Restaurant review sites

When researching where to eat, 92 percent of consumers read restaurant reviews. That means maintaining positive reviews across all sites is crucial to the success of your restaurant.

A half-star improvement in average star rating increases a restaurant’s likelihood to fill all seats for the evening by 49 percent. That means you’ll want to make sure any negative or irrelevant reviews are addressed right away. Reach out to customers who left bad reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook, and address their concerns and steps you’ll take to make it right. Sometimes, you can get them to change or delete their bad review by showing that you genuinely care about their experience.

Another component of reviews is to have a lot of them. A restaurant can have a  five-star rating, but if there are only three reviews, that doesn’t mean a lot. Asking happy customers to leave reviews can boost your review count and add more evidence to prospective customers that your business is exceptional.

Restaurant digital marketing tips

Investing serious time in developing a great restaurant marketing plan is highly recommended. To help you get started, here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your restaurant digital marketing is on point.

  • Engage: Asking customers to comment, like, and tag friends is the best way to get eyes on your content! Social media sites have algorithms to put posts with the highest engagement on top result pages. Encourage customers to interact with your brand to land that top spot on Google.
  • Consistency is Key: Make sure your information is the same across all platforms. Having different names, phone numbers, addresses, and websites on different sites can confuse customers, so keep it consistent.
  • Make it Mobile! When researching restaurants, most consumers are performing a quick Google search on their phones, so make sure your site is compatible.
  • Take Photos of Your Food: A picture is worth a thousand words, so instead of telling people how delicious your food is… show them! Make sure your Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, and Google profiles show off your most photogenic meals.
  • Stay Updated: A restaurant’s menu, look, hours and events are constantly changing, so make sure your customers know about it! Update your customers about any changes you make to your restaurant to help avoid confusion and hangry diners.
  • Restaurant Email Marketing: There’s no better way to craft a loyal fanbase than to develop a strong email list. Sending deals, discounts, menu updates, and event notices to customers inboxes can keep your brand at your customers’ top of mind.

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Restaurant Marketing Grader