You pour countless hours into crafting the perfect menu, creating the perfect ambiance, and training your staff for the perfect guest experience at your restaurant. But if you haven’t developed a strong restaurant marketing strategy to build your customer base, all that work could be for nothing.
Your strengths lie in restaurant management, not necessarily restaurant marketing, so we’ve pulled together four tips to up your marketing skills for 2020.
1. Prioritize Local SEO
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. When you are looking to try a new restaurant, what’s the first thing you do? Chances are, you’ll be turning to Google. It’s critical that when potential customers are searching for “best burgers near me,” that your restaurant is one of the top results.
Your restaurant marketing strategy needs to include an updated website that is geo-targeted to your location. Search engines like Google are constantly crawling websites to make sure that they are active and relevant, so if you haven’t updated for a while, you could rank lower in results.
Google My Business is a free tool that needs to be in your restaurant marketing tool belt. Claim your business, update your hours, contact info, and add a summary of your restaurant. Then, encourage reviews. Whether it’s Google, Yelp, or Facebook, potential customers are looking for feedback from reviews to decide what new restaurant they want to try.
2. Leverage User-Generated Content
84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That means that online reviews are a huge influence on your restaurant marketing. In fact, every 1-star increase your restaurant receives on Yelp translates to a 5% to 9% increase in reviews.
So how do you get more reviews? Try featuring guest photos on your own social media channels. Guests will feel incentivized to post because they want to be featured. Plus, with each post you are gaining more trust and building your brands reputation.
3. Get Personal
Loyalty programs are an easy way to improve your restaurant marketing strategy for current customers. It’s more cost effective to retain current customers rather than constantly add new ones, so maintaining a loyal customer base is crucial.
The best part about this marketing idea is that a loyalty program integrated with your point of sale will collect and organize crucial customer data for you. Then you can use that data to create personalized marketing messages for your customers.
You can text them about upcoming specials or promotions. Plus, you can personalize with their name in the emails and mailers. Try sending out birthday and holiday messages. The more connected customers feel with you, the more likely they will be to stop in. Sending “We miss you!” messages with deals for customers that haven’t been in for a while can be an effective way to get them back in your doors.
4. Focus on the Experience
Restaurant marketing is undoubtably important, but the overall experience is what customers are looking for in 2020. You need to set your restaurant apart from the rest in your area, so highlight your best and most unique features—whether it’s tablet point of sale, trivia nights, or awesome waitstaff.
Focus POS has spent more than twenty years helping restaurateurs find the solutions that will grow their business. For more information, contact Focus today.