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4 Restaurant Marketing Ideas to Increase Engagement

restaurant marketing

Cost-effective and creative restaurant marketing ideas can significantly increase customer engagement and bring your restaurant closer to success.

Strategies for marketing your restaurant 

Managing to keep your restaurant running in its initial years takes a bit of work. One common challenge that many new restaurants need to overcome is bringing in more customers. Now, while delicious food and excellent service are essential for keeping the tables occupied, people aren’t going to visit if they don’t know about your restaurant. And that is precisely where restaurant marketing can help you.

Strategies for marketing your restaurant are constantly changing as technology advances. So, you must use what you have to make people aware of your restaurant and the great food you serve. Effective marketing strategies inform more people about your company, which, in turn, will generate more profit for you. Well, here are 4 restaurant marketing ideas you can use to increase customer engagement.

Effective Restaurant Marketing Strategies You Can Employ

You must identify your target audience before using any of the following strategies for marketing your business. This way, you’ll know what topics your marketing content should focus on and what platform you should choose. Narrow your audience down to their age, income bracket, geographical location, and more. The more specific your audience is, the more effective your marketing strategies can be.

With that in mind, let’s get into the marketing strategies you can use to improve customer engagement. 

1. Encourage Your Customers to Mention Your Restaurant on Social Media

Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be excellent tools for marketing your restaurant. You can increase awareness of your company without even posting anything yourself. Instead, you should encourage your customers to mention your restaurant on social media platforms.

Give a table of customers a free food item or a discount voucher for “checking in” at your restaurant on Facebook, for example. You could do the same when a customer shares a photo along with your restaurant’s name in the caption on Instagram.

You can also include a social media wall in your restaurant to showcase its importance to your company. A great thing about social media walls is that they’re visible and accessible.

Marketing Tip: Place a notice on each table that mentions free food items for sharing a photo on Instagram.

Read about influencer marketing here. 

2. Prioritise SEO Marketing 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)can be one of the most effective restaurant marketing ideas when done right. SEO is a digital marketing strategy that allows your online content to rank high on search engines. With effective SEO strategies, you can ensure that your website makes it to the top search results when a user searches for a particular keyword on Google. An example of such a keyword is “best gourmet burgers in London.” So, if your website shows up on Google’s first results page when someone searches for that keyword, they’re more likely to click on your link than those on the next page.

Marketing Tip: Incorporate keywords with more than three words in your web content. Content with specific keywords has a much better chance of ranking high. 

3. Promote Your Business with Review Sites

A good online reputation can make a big difference in how many people come to eat at your restaurant. Whether it is your social media pages, review sites, or your official website, use these virtual spaces to boost engagement.

Many times your official social media pages are not sufficient. We recommend getting coverage through popular review sites. These include Google My Business, Timeout, OpenTable, Squaremeal etc. Trip Advisor is another online platform that helps you promote your business to travellers and newcomers in your city.

That said, people don’t always make it a point to review restaurants online. So, you have to give an incentive to persuade them. Use the same strategy you use for encouraging them to post on other social media platforms. Offer your customer something free, like a drink or any food item by asking them to post a review after their meal.

This raises a burning question: How do you handle negative reviews?

Beware that online reviews can be a miss sometimes. You might wind up with an angry reviewer or troll that spams your comment sections or tarnishes your reputation. It is not proper for reputable restaurants to argue with these individuals.

You should maintain a polite and professional approach at all times. Use their constructive feedback to optimise operations and resolve internal issues. Follow up on the negative reviews to retain your relationship.

Responding to negative reviews also helps the optics of your restaurant. It shows potential customers that you’re an effective manager who prioritises customer satisfaction. 

Marketing Tip: Being active on online platforms encourages users to interact with your restaurant. It also helps paint a positive image for your company.
Image of delicious food

4. Niche Targeting

Do you remember when we said it was important for you to determine your target audience?

Well, it is a critical part of niche targeting. Niche targeting is a restaurant marketing process through which you market your restaurant to a niche customer base. Your restaurant may be catering to a specific set of people. If that is the case, then you must capitalise on that.
Design a social media marketing campaign that highlights exactly those strengths of your restaurant. Does your restaurant serve gluten-free food, or does it serve all-vegan meals?

Whatever your strengths are, make it clear to your customers through your marketing strategies. The restaurant industry in the UK is incredibly competitive, so you should focus on specialising in one or two aspects. That’s a far better approach than being average in many areas.

Marketing Tip: Use specific hashtags on social media platforms like Instagram to reach more potential customers. Make sure that these hashtags relate to your niche target audience. 

Last Few Words on Restaurant Marketing

By incorporating the four excellent tips on how to market your restaurant above, you can keep your new restaurant afloat. With time, you can even ensure that your restaurant thrives among its competition. That said, you need to remember that the quality of your services should match your marketing strategy and you should never ignore a marketing budget. Your customers will love it when your food is just as good as advertised.

Do you want to learn more about restaurant marketing? Browse through our blogs to gain access to more trade secrets. If you’re seeking professional help, we have experienced restaurant consultants that are ready to help you. 

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About the Author

Judy Tse is extremely focused, confident and enthusiastic, Judy is an expert in Branding, Graphic Design and Marketing with great experience of creating, building, maintaining, re-branding and repositioning brands.