Running day to day operations, buying supplies, managing staff, creating a schedule, a restaurant owner’s day is all filled with challenges.
Running a restaurant is in itself a challenge I would say. Opening a new restaurant can be as rewarding an experience, but unfortunately, 60 percent of new restaurants don’t make it past their first year. The prime reason being, lack of exposure and accessibility. Here are some marketing ideas for restaurants to get over the first-year bump.
These strategies are used globally and are tested-and-proven methods in restaurant marketing
- Stay current: Keep yourself up to date on current statistics, trends, facts and figures that can help you analyze your restaurant marketing plan. Should you make any tweaks to how you market your restaurant? Should you position your restaurant differently?
- Have a functional website: Can local customers find your restaurant online? Make sure they can with a well-optimized website that does what you want it to do. The key is to get them to your website before they find your competitors. You can create a food blog, list daily specials and direct visitors to your social media profiles and online review sites.
- Enlist local food bloggers: Ask local food bloggers to review your restaurant in return for a free meal. The outside link will help with rankings, and the positive review will help your reputation.
- Monitor review sites: Pay close attention to what people are saying about your restaurant online. This is where your offline visitors can tell the online world about their (hopefully positive) experience at your restaurant. Thank visitors for positive reviews and respond to and respectfully resolve negative reviews.
- Get a social media presence: Strengthen your word of mouth marketing with an interesting, interactive social media presence. This gives you the ability to engage your customers all days of the year represent your brand and enlist customers to share their stories. That’s priceless.
- Manage your online reputation: Review sites have become an integral part of a business’s reputation, and negative reviews have the potential to harm your business. Too many negative Yelp reviews, whether true or not, will turn business away. Asking happy customers to write you a review, as well as responding personally to any negative feedback, is the best way to maintain a positive online reputation.
- Partner Up With Delivery Services: In today’s online-driven environment, ease of use is the name of the game. Many online delivery services streamline the ordering process, and internet-savvy patrons often love taking advantage of such delivery services.
- Find a Mentor: Most successful business owners have a mentor. Finding a mentor will help you get to success more quickly, save time, and help you learn valuable lessons. You can learn from your mentors’ mistakes and find out what worked and what has not worked in the restaurant business. Finding a mentor may seem like a difficult task – but it really is not – search for the person who has built a triumphant restaurant business – and reach out to them. Create a list of ideal mentors and reach out to them. Take action today.
More Restaurant Marketing Tips Wanted!
Do you have any more restaurant marketing tips to add to my collection? What successes and roadblocks have you encountered along the way? I’d love to know!