10 Ways to Attract More Customers to Your Restaurant
Your restaurant can serve the best food, offer great deals and provide an amazing ambiance and dining experience. None of that, however, matters if customers don’t know that your restaurant exists – or if they’re misled into believing that your restaurant is mediocre or bad.
In fact, how you market your restaurant can make ALL of the difference in whether potential customers are aware of – and willing to try – it.
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How to Attract More Restaurant Customers:
10 Proven Tips for Success
To help you improve your restaurant’s marketing strategies and campaigns, below are some essential insights on how to attract more customers to your restaurant. While these insider tips from our experienced restaurant marketing experts are incredibly helpful, don’t hesitate to contact GTG Elite when you are ready for insights specific to your restaurant, needs and objectives.
Develop & Properly Maintain an Optimized, User Friendly Website.
About 40 percent of restaurant goers discover new restaurants online, and nearly 60 percent place restaurants food orders online. This means that, if your restaurant lacks a website – or if the current site is dated, difficult to find and/or difficult to use, you are likely giving customers away to your competitors.
Some essential features of great restaurant websites include:
- Good pictures – Showcase pictures of your dishes, dining room, staff and/or special events. Pictures can say more than words on a page, showing customers what to expect in terms of the cuisine and experience offered at your restaurant.
- Functional and up-to-date menus – This lets people browse and learn more about your offerings. It could even empower them to place an order online, instantly turning a website user into a new customer.
- Maps and up-to-date contact info – These details make it as easy as possible for customers to locate, reach out to and/or visit you.
- Integration – This refers to integrating the site with your restaurant’s social media pages, review pages, etc. Integration not only helps optimize a site, but it can provide more “social proof” and enhance the user experience (by pointing people to areas where they can find more info about your restaurant).
- Mobile-friendly versions – This can assure that on-the-go customers who are looking for restaurants on smartphones or other mobile devices can readily find your restaurant. Mobile sites can also be a great way to attract traveling customers who are unfamiliar with the area and are looking for great dining options on their phones.
Pay Attention to Online Reviews.
Online reviews can make or break a restaurant. In fact:
- More than 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
- Of all online reviews, those for restaurants get the most views and traffic by far.
- Ask for reviews – Hand out comment cards at your restaurant, ask for reviews on social media and add review buttons to your website. A quick prompt or informal request for reviews can be enough to motivate people to share their experiences.
- Don’t ignore poor reviews – If you see a poor review posted online, address it with an appropriate comment, and/or double down on your efforts to gather more positive reviews that will outshine and minimize the negative one(s).
When it comes to cultivating and maintaining positive online reviews for your restaurant, here are some important things to keep in mind:
Stay Active on Social Media.
While Instagram is the single most popular social media platform for restaurants, about 3 out of 4 customers will check out restaurant Facebook pages when deciding which restaurant to visit. So, develop engaging social media pages that showcase your restaurant, and stay active on these pages.
Some great ways for restaurants to be active and engaging on social media include by posting content like:
- Pictures, especially photos of dishes, the dining experience, special events and more
- Announcements of new offerings, like new dishes or services (like food delivery options)
- Deals and discounts, such as coupons or limited-time deals on certain offerings
- Special events, like holiday parties, charity events and more
- Tips and recipe ideas, which can provide some extra “value” that can keep people interested in your social postings.
Depending on your budget and target customer, you can run ad campaigns on TV and radio, well as on billboards, in local newspapers and/or online. While it’s generally best to run bigger campaigns around major events – like the opening of a new location, the rollout of new service offerings or special parties, smaller campaigns (such as those featured on billboards or online) can be helpful to staying in front of your target customer(s) any time of year.
Partner with Food Delivery Services.
If your restaurant does not offer its own food delivery service, partnering with a business that does provide this service can be a great way to expand your customer base and get more people ordering from you.
Launch & Maintain Engaging Email Marketing Campaigns.
Email marketing can be one of the most cost-effective ways for restaurants to advertise and stay connected with customers. In fact, email marketing lets you get (and stay) right in front of your customers, in their inboxes, keeping your restaurant top of mind even if customers don’t open the email.
When it comes to email marketing for restaurants, some helpful tips include:
- Timing campaigns around your restaurant’s special events and/or your contacts’ birthdays
- Developing an email rewards or loyalty program, through which you can blast special deals to those who receive your emails
- Running contests through email campaigns, like a photo contest that offers the winner a special meal, discount or prize.
Don’t Forget about Mailers.
Affordable and not to be forgotten, traditional mailers can be another great way to inform people about your restaurant, as well as its newest offerings, latest deals and upcoming events. While mailers can complement other traditional and digital marketing campaigns, they can also be an effective way to target certain customers – like churches, schools or businesses that may be looking for catering options for students, staff, special events, etc.
Participate in and/or Sponsor Local Events.
Engaging with your local community is another powerful way to promote your restaurant, build a good reputation and get more people interested in patronizing your restaurant. Some great ways to participate in local events include by:
- Taking part in local restaurant weeks
- Setting up a stand or booth at regular community events like street fairs, farmers’ markets and/or swap meets
- Sponsoring or participating in conventions and trade shows, especially restaurant trade shows
- Sponsoring local sports teams, like a children’s soccer or baseball team
- Hosting, participating in or sponsoring charity events.
Leverage Receipts to Create Returning Customers.
In addition to new customers, repeat customers can be a great source of business for restaurants. One great way to turn new customers into repeat, loyal customers is to print discounts or special offers at the bottom of receipts. For example, your receipts can offer a 10 percent discount, a free beverage or appetizer or a free dessert to those who return within 30 days (and spend a certain amount of money).
Let Experienced Marketing Professionals Handle Your Restaurant’s Marketing Needs.
Ultimately, this can be the single best way to attract new customers, turn them into loyal customers and grow your restaurant’s profits. That’s because
experienced professionals can do everything from develop and rollout amazing restaurant marketing campaigns to analyze their performance, strategize to improve each campaign’s success and work towards maximizing the return on your marketing investment.
In fact, by partnering with experienced restaurant marketing professionals – like those at GTG Elite, you can free up time to focus on what matters most – providing the best possible food and service at your restaurant.
Invest in Your Success with the Best Restaurant Marketing Solutions from GTG Elite
GTG Elite is proud to offer exceptional, industry-leading marketing solutions to all types of restaurants. As a full-service marketing firm, GTG Elite has proven expertise in successfully partnering with restaurants to advance their success and maximize their profits.
We cater to high-end clients who are ready to commit to a 6-month minimum contract, depending on current brand status. This minimum commitment is integral to properly evaluating and effectively transforming brands – and to delivering outstanding results.
GTG Elite’s record of excellence, professionalism and highly responsive service has earned us impressive testimonials and 5-star ratings on Google and Yelp.
GTG Elite’s Money-Back Guarantee
GTG Elite is so confident in our marketing services that we offer all clients a money-back guarantee. If we don’t deliver great results, we will fully refund your money. This means you have nothing to lose and A LOT to gain by partnering with us for your website needs.