There are many marketing ideas for promoting a restaurant business. However, in the face of temporary difficulties, not every entrepreneur uses the full set of tools.
1. Maintain interest in the brand
The key is to work hard on brand reputation and maintain interest in the brand. It’s important to demonstrate flexibility, optimism, and confidence in the company, both to audiences and partners.
Budget for a range of measures that will increase loyalty to the establishment: order food photo shoots to get quality photos, run ads, come up with delivery and packaging “chips,” publish new products online, etc. Try several methods at a time to determine the methods that work best in your case.
2. Be proactive on Instagram
Now more than ever, it is important to use all the tools of Instagram, if you previously neglected it. Creative design of the profile header and “topical”, daily publication of storis, posting during active audience hours, live broadcasts – use all the possibilities of the service to stay visible. But we recommend you to refuse from subscribers’ recruitment and participation in guilds: we’ve already told you why here.
We remind you that reorganizing your account will require time and budget for photo shoots, planning and creating high-quality and “tasty” content. Of course, you can entrust these tasks to a responsible employee, but it is better to hire a good marketer.
3. Develop a loyalty program
Come up with a package of solutions that will make the customer want to come back to you again. A loyalty program may include time-tested holiday promotions, happy hours (business lunches), nightly sales, free shipping, discounts on pre-ordering and takeout, discount cards or promotional meals in an order.
In the restaurant business, gamification – a set of solutions aimed at maximizing the involvement of the audience in the “game” using the company’s products has proven to be a good idea. Simply put, the more often a customer uses a restaurant service, the more rewards they receive. These can be prizes or bonus points, which can be exchanged for a discount or a free dessert, for example.
4. Set up local targeting
You can be the most loyal restaurant in town with a masterpiece Instagram account, but still get few customers if you don’t talk about yourself in external sources. Don’t give up on advertising. As numerous practices show, geo-targeting advertising is ideal for promoting restaurant services.
It allows you to save the budget, because it makes the expenditure of funds targeted: about the institution learns your CA, which is located nearby. When working with the “cold” audience in the network is better to “warm up” interest relevant topic or immediately offer an inexpensive, but popular in the season product.
5. Do the mailing
Email newsletter will be effective if you do not send letters too often. Provide really interesting news for the consumer: important events in the work of the establishment, large discounts and promotions, invite to participate in contests and the company’s own marathons. Try to avoid spam words (“only now,” “have time to buy,” “you win”), capsic titles and too many emoticons. A competent newsletter is part of your brand.
Motivate customers with bonuses for signing up, simplifying the process with links and buttons in the letter leading to menus on the site and social networks. Don’t forget to be time-sensitive: The mailing will be effective during those hours and days of the week when the CA is most interested. Of course, you will have to analyze your statistics beforehand.
6. Go for delivery
A large percentage of restaurants and cafes now actively organize remote service – delivery: it gives a good chance to earn money and find new customers. To organize delivery should engage in an analysis of consumer segments (individuals, service offices and government agencies, holiday catering), the construction of a business plan and job openings for couriers and administrators.
This also includes the optimization of the kitchen: the development of online menus, adding “understandable” customer dishes and a temporary abandonment of the “exotic” and expensive offers. If you feel that the resources to launch your own delivery are not enough, consider cooperation with delivery services.
7. Show the company’s “kitchen”
Openly demonstrate a new format of the institution in a crisis: show cooking steps and the process of packing orders, get acquainted with the employees, provide a photo report (what do couriers wear and how occurs contactless delivery). This is fresh, unique and interesting: the honesty and openness of the restaurant allows you to quickly build a trusting relationship with a potential customer.
Launch an advertising campaign on this topic in the media or publish news in a business account, entrusting a trusted employee to promptly respond to comments, direct questions, and collect feedback from customers, in order to further develop a new flexible strategy for launching advertising and increasing sales.
8. Enlist the support of food bloggers
Opening or upgrading an establishment – cooperation with bloggers is relevant at any stage of the company’s existence. Create a detailed commercial proposal, stating several conditions of remuneration (conditionally: 10 free dinners, permanent discount or monetary gratitude) and send it to the top food bloggers in your region. Based on the feedback results, agree on a partnership with the blogger whose terms you are most satisfied with.
Start with one or two integrations or giveaways and monitor the results of the ads after each publication. If working together proves fruitful, you can make an agreement for a long-term collaboration.
9. Open a Food Truck
In the implementation of the idea with the opening of the foodtrak, of course, you will need strength and money, but in reality it is quite simple and fast payback idea to maintain your own small business. In addition, street fast food is still in high demand and allows you to find new customers.
The company will need a few skilled hands, a couple of pieces of equipment (which any establishment a priori has) and funds to rent a food truck. It is also possible to implement this idea with the support of partners in the market. Some caterers are willing to provide a food truck, develop food preparation technology, and supply their own products.
10. Cooperate with other companies
When choosing with whom to team up, study the specifics of the prospective partner and proceed only with the organization with which you have a common CA. Restaurants and cafes do not necessarily have to be catering; they have a common audience with online programs, portals, amusement parks and cinemas. When collaborating with other establishments, marketing campaigns such as joint special projects, partner programs, and cross-promotions are effective.