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How to Promote Your Restaurant

Monika Kamińska

Marketing and communication enthusiast with 20+ years of experience, a psychologist by education.

Table of contents

We all know that good publicity is extremely important. There are numerous different options to advertise your business. If you want to know how to promote your restaurant, we are here to help you. There are many ways to improve your numbers and gain those new customers. Whether you already own a restaurant, or are about to enter this highly competitive business, a few more guidelines will not hurt. We have gathered some information, that might help you promote and advertise your business!

Let us Mention Google Business Here

If you were wondering how to promote your restaurant business online, then we have some answers here. You can have a local “business card” by setting up a business profile for your restaurant on Google. Customers can rate your eatery and leave comments. We are pretty sure your restaurant will serve some delicious food, so we expect nothing but those five-star reviews under your account! Do not be afraid of comments. Even the less pleasant ones can help you improve the work of your business, and all the good ones will definitely stand out and attract future customers. You can always respond to all of the comments, to show your clients that you care for their needs. Google browser and Google Maps? With Google Business, your restaurant will definitely show up there. You can also add reservation links to your Google Me Business account.

How to Promote a Restaurant Business? Try Using Social Media!

The social media frenzy has been going on for quite some time now. If you want to know how to successfully promote your restaurant business online, then you should definitely take advantage of the power of social media. People post millions of pictures daily. Consider getting an Instagram and Facebook accounts for your business. Make sure to keep it updated and interesting. Post pictures of the food your restaurant serves. Add few photos of your staff and pics of your restaurant’s interior. New commers usually like to see pictures before they decide to eat at a particular place. Perhaps you can collaborate with local influencers? That might definitely bring some new-customers. You can also come up with a contest, where people have to post a picture with a dish from your restaurant and that one lucky winner will get a voucher for a free dessert.

How to Promote Your Restaurant Business Locally?

Here is the question we all have been asking ourselves – How to market your restaurant locally? Collaborations can work magic here! You can always exchange business cards with other businesses, like flower shops or beauty salons. Ask if you can leave a bunch of leaflets there. In exchange you can take their business cards and place it somewhere at your restaurant. Results might not seem as spectacular as they can get with other forms of advertisement, but it is for free, and hey – you never know! Maybe a lady, who is getting her hair done, sees your card and decides to throw her birthday party at your restaurant. Or you might caterer her next house party! Take every opportunity that comes your way.

How to Market Your Restaurant Locally?

Have you been wondering how to promote your restaurant locally? Advertise your business using local media, like radio and newspapers. Radio ads can get a bit pricey, depending on the frequency of an ad. But trust us – there are many places where people just turn on the radio and let it talk. Check different radio stations and compare prices. You do not have to release your restaurant’s ad for the entire month long at just one radio station. You can always divide it – two weeks here and another two weeks somewhere else. Local newspapers can be your next target. You can add a coupon for a free drink or a free dessert. People love freebies. Getting a free dessert to a meal might attract some new-commers. Well, it will definitely attract your loyal customers as well!

Let us Talk About Social Media Again

If you want to know how to promote a restaurant business, you definitely need the Internet. It is the right place to do it. So, if you were ever wondering how to promote your restaurant online, we have two words: Social Media! You might want to get a whole lot serious with the quality of the social media images. Do not post blurry pictures. Avoid dull content. Get engaged with live stories on your social media accounts. Try to monitor your social media presence. You can always invest in Facebook, Instagram and Google ads. Your potential clients are out there, curious and eager to try out some new food. Have you noticed how many people have been posting pictures of food lately? It has become a new trend. Give your customers a reason to do it! Those Instagrammable dishes are definitely a must!

Focus on the Ingredients

If you want to promote your restaurant business, you have to do it right! You can use your social media platforms to show those fresh ingredients your restaurant uses for meal preparation. Focus on fruit and veggies. Be careful with the meat – if you have a great deal of vegetarian customers, you might want to show more veggies. But if you serve a lot of meat dishes, then by all means – show how it all sizzles! People would love to see that they can get good quality products at your restaurant. You can add a short video of how you go shopping to get those rainbow carrots, or fresh fish from the fish market. Make it interesting!

Respond to Reviews

We have mentioned reviews before, but let us elaborate on that. If a customer leaves a comment, it always better to respond as soon as possible. Be attentive. Show your clients that you care. If they write something good – thank them for the positive comment. But if they write something less pleasant, do not get discouraged. Be polite! Ask them what can you do to provide an even better service. When someone leaves just a five-star review, but no comment – thank them for the highest rating as well. Trust us – when someone writes a comment, they want it to be seen. Make sure to check those reviews and respond to all of them.

Update Your Online Website

Another way to promote your restaurant business online is to run an updated website. Avoid any outdated content. Always make sure to check the opening hours and if for some reason your restaurant will be closed on a particular day – make sure to let your customers know about it. Upload recent photos and menu. The website should be easy to navigate. Remember to include contact info there as well. Let the clients know that you do home delivery. You can inform them about different events and discounts as well. Many people like to order food online, so make it possible at your restaurant as well!

Online Delivery!

Since we have mentioned online delivery, you should know one thing – if you want to run a successful restaurant business, you need to offer your customers an online delivery option. It is a must. Ordering food online has become a trend, especially now, when times are a bit challenging. People are very convenient, and if you decide not to offer food delivery, then you will deprive your business from quite some income for sure. You can always partner up with some delivery services. And always make sure to check on them! Afterall, if the food arrives cold, then most customers will try to blame it on the restaurant. To avoid that – be sure to work only with those legit delivery companies.

Have You Met Our Chef?

Another great way to promote your restaurant, is to show off your staff. You can do it on social media platforms and on your restaurant’s website as well. Upload pictures of the entire team. Write a short bio. Show customers your great team of employees. People would definitely like that. Remember, that a good employee will definitely help your business grow!

Remember About Your Customers

As a restaurant owner, you need to take a good care of your employees as well as clients. You can encourage your staff to write down your customer’s birth dates. Keep track of the names as well. Loyal customers should be remembered by their names and rewarded by discounts from time to time. You can send out birthday reminder emails and offer those clients a free birthday dessert. There are many different software that restaurants use, which will help you keep track of those things. You can always use a SMS marketing technique. Send out text messages to those customers who are having birthday or remind them about their reservation.

Upgrade Your Menu

Impeccable customer service and delicious food plays a huge role in running your restaurant business. Food is extremely important. You have to make sure to make your menu interesting. Throughout the season, you will see which dishes are more popular and which are less. You can always tweak the menu a bit. Add some new seasonal dishes. But never cross out those classic meals, that everyone loves. Make sure your online menu is always up-to-date. Attract your customers with a new pumpkin pie during fall, and those refreshing strawberry margaritas for the summer time!

Consider a Loyalty Program

You can engage your customers in a loyalty program. With each visit, they can collect points. Later on, they will be able to exchange those points into rewards or gift cards. Many restaurants carry those kinds of programs. It can definitely increase your income and attract new customers to come to your restaurant and enroll in a loyalty program.

Think of a Campaign

If you still ask yourself a question – how to promote a restaurant business, then we have another idea for you. Run a coupon or a discount campaign. Your customer’s data base will play a significant role here. Pick those customers, who gave you their email addresses, and send out some coupons for them. Invite them for a free dessert or a free drink. Or come up with a campaign, where kids under 8 years old can eat for free on every Monday. Something like that might definitely attract some customers.

What About a Food Truck?

If there is a local event coming up, make sure to be there with your food truck! It is a great way to promote your restaurant. Get out there and feed the locals with your delicious food. Make sure to have those business cards with you. Try to stay informed about any event in your area. You might want to cater the next one. A perfect way to advertise your business. Things like local fairs are what you should look for.

Invest in Geo-targeted Ads

We have mentioned ads in local press and radio, as well as ads in social media. But we would like you to take a closer look at geo-targeted ads. They will get to those customers, who are in your area. Of course, people are willing to travel long distances just to try that famous burger, but let us also focus on local area and the people who live or work there.

Ask Their Opinion

You can also use those restaurant surveys. It is important to know, what people think and expect from a restaurant. Ask your customers if there are any drinks or dishes that they would like to see on your menu. Or how did the wait staff do? Ask about their likes and dislikes. This particular research method will collect data and you will get the insights into your topic of interest. With that knowledge, you will be able to imply any changes to your restaurant, so it meets your customer’s expectations and needs.

Do Not Forget About Yelp!

If you are looking for a great source of reviews for any local business, then you need to go on Yelp. And as a restaurant owner – you should be on Yelp. This social networking website features things like photos, contact info, one to five-star review options and comments of course. It is a very good platform for restaurant owners. Many people often refer to Yelp, when they want to find a restaurant to eat or to order out. That is why – if you want to promote your business online – you should definitely be on Yelp!

What About the Kids?

Advertising and promoting your restaurant usually revolve around the quality of food and customer services. But you can stand out from the crowd. Your restaurant can be known as a kid’s friendly place. There are many families who want to dine at a restaurant, but kids can get very absorbing, right? If you decide to create a kid’s area in your restaurant, then you might gain some new customers. A designated area, which will have some toys, books and building blocks. Keep it safe and simple. An indoor jungle might be a dream, but not every restaurant has a place for such things. Even a simple kid’s corner might do the trick. Parents will be able to eat in peace, while their little offspring will be occupied with toys and play with other kids.

As you can see, there are numerous ways to promote your restaurant business. Take advantage of social media and make sure to always keep the content up-to-date. It seems like a lot of work, but it will pay off for sure. Once you see your restaurant’s income grow, you might consider hiring someone to run your social media accounts. For now, try to invest your time and work, so later you will be able to rest up and enjoy the outcome.

Monika Kamińska

Marketing and communication enthusiast with 20+ years of experience, a psychologist by education.

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