You have a spectacular restaurant serving up the finest dining experience in town. That’s fantastic! Except, what’s your marketing strategy? Unless you were lucky enough to be voted one of the top restaurants in the country by The New York Times, it’s likely that not many people will get to experience what you’re offering, because they don’t know about it yet! The food and beverage industry is ripe with competition, so gear up to do everything you can to market your restaurant the way it deserves.
Your Guests will judge your book by its cover.
In all honesty, your entire establishment can be, and will be, judged by a quick glance of your website. There is no excuse anymore for having an outdated, non-user friendly website. Think of your website as your first impression. You get all of five seconds, if you’re lucky, to make a good first impression.
Invest in a gorgeous, visually-driven, mobile-optimized website. A cheap and unattractive site won’t cut it. A great website can be considered as integral to the success of your restaurant as the Chef. You will save much more money in long run if you invest in the best site possible, as opposed to trying to create one at a bargain.
At first glance your website should entice the viewer to stay and click around. Many of your site viewers will be using a smartphone or tablet. Those viewers will leave your site immediately if it isn’t responsive, meaning if the site doesn’t adjust size-wise to devices other than computers.
Another key component of utilizing a website properly is tracking it using an analytics program. An analytics program will provide you with data about how long viewers stayed, what they looked at, and in what order. Use that feedback to make any needed adjustments to your site. Google Analytics is a great option, but there are others as well.
Final touch – professional photographs. You want to use photographs that clearly emanate the exceptional experience awaiting future guests. One glance at a photograph on your site, and the viewer will be dialing your number to make a reservation.
What’s your story? Guest want to know, so tell them.
Blogging conquers many marketing goals. First off, a website populated with blogs will appear more interesting, and will assert the restaurant as an industry, and thought, leader. Second, blogging, done properly, will increase your restaurant’s organic search rankings. Third, blogging provides you with content to share across your various social media channels, which gives your fans more to engage with. Lastly, readers who stumble across your content on social channels may then visit your website, potentially propelling them into your restaurant. Blogging is simply a win-win all around.
Get Found Online. Easily.
Local search forums are critical to your success. When a potential customer types into Google, “Restaurants near (the city your restaurant is in),” you want to ensure that your establishment pops up within the first few, and also appears in the Google Local Carousel that runs across the top of the first page. Check to make sure all information regarding your restaurant is up to date and accurate on all search sites.
Now you need to get as many positive and enticing reviews as possible. The more activity your establishment has via blogging and on social media, the better search rankings you will begin to have as well.
Get Your Review(s) On.
Go. Get. Reviewed. Easily said right? Hand out free pastries to any passerby and tell them to review you. No, just kidding of course. Instead, claim your business on every review site you can think of.
Encourage customers to leave reviews, and consistently monitor the various review sites to see what is being said about your restaurant. Not only does monitoring allow you to deal with any damage from a negative review, but it’s a great way of receiving feedback, which will allow you to constantly improve your restaurant.
Gasp! A negative review appears, must be a misunderstanding of course, but regardless it must be attended to. If possible, attend to it publicly and turn it into a positive experience that asserts your restaurant as a friendly, helpful, and genuine establishment.
It’s Good to (Always) Be Social.
At the present time social media is inescapable so if you’re not already a social media guru no time like the present. Social media is absolutely essential for attracting business, as well as engaging with past, present, and future guests. There are countless ways you can utilize any one of the social media forums to engage with your customers. Most likely, guests who are frequent social media users will search for your establishment and judge whether or not there is a social presence and how strong of a presence there is.
For example, posting a “food picture of the day” on Facebook or Instagram is a great way to showcase your delicious menu items. To go along with the picture, you could have guests try to “name the menu item,” and whoever guesses correctly could win a free entree, or something along those lines. Within the actual restaurant, you could have social media contests.
Creativity goes a long way on social media, so don’t waste easy opportunities to assert your presence and engagement on social media.
The food and beverage industry is thick with competition which is why it’s imperative to stand out among the crowd. Believe it or not, there are still many restaurants who have little to no online presence, a stoneage website, and no social media presence whatsoever. Don’t let that be your restaurant; stand out among the crowd. Surprise, entertain, and please your guests within your establishment as well as online. Guests who have an excellent experience starting with surfing your website easily and comfortably, to viewing fun posts on social media, to finally being served superb food within the restaurant, will rave about you, and surely return for more.
If your hotel restaurant is in need of consultation, contact us at (858) 673-1534 today.
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