Marketing even the best, the most wonderful product can be challenging, as it has its own set of rules. The same is true for restaurants, including well-known Michelin star Chef owned venues. In order to create a marketing roadmap, you need to fully own and be proud of your product, staff, and concept.
Therefore, you must know exactly who you’re catering to in terms of your target audience demographics and segmentation before exploring the best options for marketing strategies for restaurants.
Only this way can you guarantee that your brand’s story is seen and understood by the consumers you aim to attract and that your marketing resources are utilized properly.
No matter how confident you are or how unique and fresh your product is, don’t just assume that word of mouth will create a supply shock and that people will be lining up for hours to buy your food (it may happen, just highly unlikely unless you work on that marketing strategy first). People in search of state-of-the-art flavors while filling their bellies now have a bewildering assortment of alternatives, and food businesses must think of smart and creative ways to get their slice from the client pie.
As industry experts, we have gathered the best working restaurant marketing strategies for you to think about and implement, so let’s take a closer look.
- KYC, a.k.a. Know Your Customer
Depending on your product, you should have crystal clear who your target audience is (and how much you want each customer to spend, but that’s food for thought for another topic). Say you’re selling bubble tea slush and jelly/tapioca drinks, and your target audience is aged 14 to 21. Your marketing should target the interests and attention of Gen Z and not that of baby boomers. Hint: You won’t attract this audience with an email campaign. They probably don’t even have an email address which to them is a thing of the dinosaur age. Think gamefi, metaverse and K-pop.
Likewise, if your product is Mexican, you have a much wider audience that you can narrow down if you want. Mexican food is casual, but you can pimp it up if you’re targeting the spending segment or a fine dining concept. You can also choose to target mainly students or families with kids; that’s totally up to you. Just make sure to choose your audience wisely and work on conscious and relevant marketing strategies to become the go-to Mexican among all Mexicans.
- Online Visibility
You should ideally have a nicely made website but even if you don’t, you’ve got to make sure to have online visibility because that’s how most customers will find you. From Tripadvisor to HolyCow and Google maps, the time you’ll invest in your online appearance, and user reviews will pay off big time for years to come.
Micro and medium-scale travel and food influencers often contact restaurants for free promotions in return for lunch or dinner. Most will also offer to take professional pictures of your food and venue. Making use of smart deals that won’t cost you anything is a great way of organic promotion.
- Image and Branding
The psychology behind consuming food is mostly quality and fun. From live music to a colorful, fun decor there are infinite touches you can implement to create your restaurant’s appeal. Fun is great because absolutely everyone wants to be a part of something fun. Activities and events that will look great in pictures, fun packaging for your takeaway food, and a concept that is thought through (be it a zero-waste concept or a social enterprise type community involvement, or just vibrant, fun colors) will make your restaurant stand out from the competition.
- Loyalty is Everything
Provide a good reason for your customers to buy their burger from you 8 out of 10 times they crave a burger by introducing a simple loyalty system such as a stamp card. It’s a great way to show your appreciation to returning customers while retaining them. Buy 5 (or 10) get the next one free is an oldie but goldie that just works.
If your product targets upper segments, you can still work around the same idea with a little twist; the rich also love freebies.
- Implement the Tech
Not a good idea to stay behind the tech available for your line of business. Utilizing apps, tablets, digital menus, QR menus, and partnering up with the right delivery tools and services is a must. There’s a wide array of tech products that make life so much easier to collect customer data, reviews, preferences, insights on your best sellers, stock management, and more.
FineDine, a next-gen menu creation platform, is a great example of such tech tools you must use that help food businesses track what works and what doesn’t, receive immediate customer feedback, and integrates digital payments. Using an all-in-one, end-to-end restaurant management system is a whole new level of making use of the resources available to you. You can design your digital menu with an easy-to-use tool like FineDine and provide your customers with a brand new experience that’ll open new ways to improve customer service.
Request a demo to explore how a 360-degree solution can improve your restaurant management.