Define your target audience
Think about things that will help you determine this, such as your location.
For example, you’ll likely attract business people early in the morning and at lunchtime for coffee, this opens up the perfect opportunity for a lunch and free Wi-Fi.
If your business is located in the suburbs, you will likely serve younger couples and families. A very upscale fine dining restaurant will appeal to a very different demographic than a restaurant that serves pub fare in a casual setting, or even a family restaurant with a children’s play area.
Likewise, you’ll want to consider what people in your neighborhood are willing or able to pay for a meal.
Yes, this may have an element of generalization, but your physical location will not only affect the people you serve and try to attract, but it will also give you important clues as to how to position your business in your market. All this information will help you develop a strategy to attract this public, how develop or even where open in new premises.
No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll find companies that try to please everyone. Sure, you might attract the occasional customer who doesn’t fit your target customer profile, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.
It’s impossible to please everyone, and this strategy can do more harm to your business than good. This is why having a very clear understanding of who your target market is is so crucial.
Ensuring a professional image
In your industry, in particular, it is essential not to skimp on:
- professional and visually appealing photography
- beautifully designed menus (without any typos)
- striking and beautiful websites, and
- social media pages.
It should sound like a pro handling your web and social media marketing (because they really should be).
Dining is a visual space and people eat with their eyes, so you have to inspire people to dine with you long before they’ve set foot in your establishment or placed their order online.
Have a stellar online footprint
Your online presence should include your website, social media pages, any local restaurant review websites, food blogs, third-party listings, and local guides. All of these will build brand awareness and drive interest in your establishment.
Local South African social blogging sites such as:
Third-party advertisements such as:
Referral sites such as:
Food blogging sites such as:
Offer take-out meals
If you don’t market takeout and delivery services through third-party or internal efforts, you’re losing money and market share while risking customer dissatisfaction.
Promoting takeout and delivery offers a lucrative revenue stream that works for all types of restaurants, not just fast food outlets. People in all cities and all socio-economic groups sometimes want to relax at home without cooking their own meals.
Use Google Lists
Another important list to remember is Google My Business. It is free to set up and allows you to highlight:
- what is special about your restaurant
- share essential information
- show your best menus and dishes
- take reservations online, and
- share pictures.
Finally, thanks to Google Maps, your customers can easily find your restaurant. Google Maps also displays important information such as opening/closing hours, contact details and a link to your restaurant’s website.
Have online reservations
In all of these business listings, I urge you to encourage online bookings with links to your online booking service. It should be fast, easy to use, fully online and send an SMS to the customer reminding them of their booking details.
If you really want a reservation form that stands out, have a few extra checkboxes that allow the restaurant to customize things like “check if it’s a birthday, anniversary or other special celebration”.
Checking this box will ensure you have a quiet, romantic seat reserved for special occasions, or perhaps treat yourself to a complimentary bottle of champagne or wine from the house or even a complimentary cake with a personalized message like “happy birthday” or “happy birthday”. birthday”.
Really think about how you can go the extra mile with such little customizable extras.
Make sure your menus are available online. They should be in HTML, this will allow search engines to match your website with searches for those individual foods or dishes, a no-brainer to help with your website’s general SEO.
Social media is paramount, especially Instagram. Consider giveaways to encourage customers to post photos, videos, and stories of them dining at your establishment.
The best photos could be displayed in your restaurant or on your social pages. Great photos tagged on Facebook or Instagram could earn diners a free meal or a discount. Additionally, you can sponsor an Instagram contest to inspire customers to take lots of photos and generate business.
Another option is to reach out to food bloggers and offer incentives, create a newsletter providing those who have signed up with updates on all the events happening at your restaurant and other exciting new announcements. This will not only attract new business, but possibly a food blogger as well.
Create event dates
Announcing exciting event dates could be the perfect thing for your establishment. Here are some good ideas:
- Romantic Valentine’s Day menu: attract pre-bookings, change the decor, add soft background music, fairy lights and a free bottle of wine for a redesigned amount.
- Lunch menus for Mother’s or Father’s Day.
- Exclusive date nights such as “a taste of Paris/Greece”
- Invite local artists to play in your restaurant.
- Host live music events.
For more information, visit www.arcinteractive.co. You can also follow Arc Interactive on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.
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