As a restaurant owner, you are always looking for ways to increase your revenue and get an edge on the competition. These 7 digital marketing strategies will help your restaurant do just that by improving its online brand, increasing its search engine ranking, growing its customer base, and boosting its revenue. Let’s review these strategies that promise to grow your restaurant’s revenue.
1. Create a simple and mobile-friendly website for your restaurant.
For most restaurants, the website needs to be functional in order to attract and retain customers. At a minimum, the website should provide quick and easy access to information or links such as an address, directions, online ordering, delivery, hours of operation and a food image gallery. You can pay thousands for getting a nice website done by an agency or, do it yourself on a budget with services like Wix. While it is not listed on our website, you can get a free website (no strings attached) from Platr.co. You will get a simple robust website without lifting a finger. Send them us email at email@example.com and mention the code FreeWeb4Ever.
2. Increase your restaurants search engine ranking
The objective here is for your restaurant to be found at the top in places like Google Maps or search results when someone searches for a restaurant near their location. As a restaurant owner, you will need to use an outside service to improve your search engine visibility. Make sure that the service you use can accomplish the following, affordably.
• Claim your Google Business Profile and accurately update your restaurant information e.g., restaurant name, cuisine, physical address, phone number, hours of operation, and links to online ordering and reservations.
• Keep your restaurant information accurate and in sync with the top search and social media sites in addition to Google, i.e., Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Solutions like Platr and Yext can make simplify this task for your restaurant. Platr’s automated search listings manager can automatically post and update your business listing across 60+ search engines, social media & reviews sites, and local business directories. It is highly recommended that you check out these solutions and work with one of them.
• In addition, add photos of your food, restaurant, and staff. A 15-30 second walk-through of your restaurant showing the seating, ambiance, and people in the restaurant is a bonus.
• Growing your reviews and responding to your reviews, discussed next also contribute greatly to your restaurant’s search engine rankings.
3. Grow your restaurant’s 5-star reviews
Understandably, Google and other search engines give a higher rank to those restaurants that have lots of great reviews. That being said, growing your reviews and 5-star ratings can be challenging. The best way is for your staff to always ask your happy customers (those singing your praises) to put their praises in an online review and rating. Here again, Platr’s free review requester service provides you an easy way to request reviews and a very simple way (QR code based) for your customers to give you great reviews and ratings.
4. Respond to your reviews
Most customers that take the time to write an online review, do so because they want to be heard. As a restauranteur, you must listen and take action based on what your customers are saying in their reviews. Search engines also give higher ranks to those restaurants that respond to their online reviews in a relevant and timely manner. We highly recommend that you monitor your reviews across the top sites that matter the most – Google, Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. For most, it is challenging or at least time-consuming to keep an eye on the different review sites. Fortunately, Platr’s review and reputation management services show you all your reviews in a single dashboard and even provide personalized responses based on the review sentiment and rating so that you can respond with a single click if you like.
5. Post regularly on top social media sites for restaurants – Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Twitter
Your existing customers and prospects spend a lot of time on these social media sites. As a restauranteur, you will need to be where they are spending their time. Posting photos of your food, special promotions, and events are a great way to generate interest and foot traffic to your restaurant. Creating and posting social media content regularly takes some doing. Many restaurant owners and managers create post social media content themselves. It can be time consuming so staying regular can be challenging. Other restaurants spend hundreds on consultants. Platr offers social media automation services for restaurants that produce and customizes the content and also automatically posts it on your preferred social media accounts. So you can focus on serving and satisfying your restaurant’s in-house and online guests.
6. Send email promos and reminders to your existing customers regularly
Email is still a very powerful tool to reach and engage with your customers. Our analysis shows that over 90% of email promos generate net new revenue. In our experience, you should contact your customers by email every 7-10 days. You can use it to remind them of special promotions, events, and menus. You will want to make sure that you are using an email marketing service that allows you to segment your list so that you can send emails only to those customers who would be interested in what you are promoting. Your email campaigns should be coordinated with your social media postings. For example, if you are announcing your holiday menu on social media, do so in an email campaign also. Like social media, designing and sending your emails can be challenging. Platr.co also provides an automated email marketing service that stays in sync with the social media postings reinforcing your restaurant’s brand and staying top of mind of your customers.
7. Implement a Loyalty Program
A loyalty program is a great way to increase customer engagement and repeat business. The main objective at the center of any loyalty program is to reward your repeat customers and make them feel special. Some ways to generate repeat business and create customer loyalty are birthday clubs, coupons or discounts for next visit, or online order, and of course, the most popular are discounted gift cards, e.g., a $100 gift card for $85 pre-pay. Figure out what are the best offers you can sustain profitably and make sure to use them to build customer loyalty.
These 7 strategies described above are powerful and will drive more business and create a better brand for your restaurant.
The good news is that implementing these strategies is easy and can be done quickly, with very little or no work for you – so there’s no excuse not to get started today! And the best part is that they are all affordable too. Platr.co provides automated digital marketing for restaurants for less than one-hour billing rate of a designer or marketing consultant. Platr is probably your first choice if you are looking for a marketing partner to boost revenue and increase customer loyalty to your restaurant.