Starting a restaurant is the dream job of a lot of food entrepreneurs who want to become the next ‘Jamie Oliver’, or ‘Manu Feildel’. However, serving succulent cuisine in a relaxing ambience with ultimate customer service is not going to get customers to your doorstep.
You need to attract them by stepping into the domain of marketing, which goes beyond the usual word of mouth promotions. To begin with, you need a solid marketing plan with strategies and innovative ideas to make your target audience take notice of the new entrant.
With Australia being every food connoisseur’s dream destination, there is no shortage of restaurants and eateries in the country. From hole in the wall cafes to luxurious fine dining restaurants, a lot is being served here every day.
Thus to make your mark in this highly competitive marketplace, you need to be equipped with a marketing plan. Our SEO specialists have created the ultimate guide to restaurant marketing that includes the best ideas, strategies and plans. Let us take a look.
When you begin operating in a geographical territory, you need to determine the demographics and psychographics of the population, which you will be targeting. A thorough analysis of the target audience will give you information about the average age group, gender, financial status, family size, lifestyle, occupation, dining out behaviour, cuisine preferences, disposable income, etc.
Thus you need to prepare your marketing plan according to your customers. If you are located in an area with a lot of young and teenage kids, then including a ‘cool’ vibe for the uni kids will be a great idea.
Affordable meals and drinks, fast food and ice creams, upbeat pop music, fancy decor and group discounts can bring the young crowd by the dozens.
Dedicated And SEO Optimised Website
If you don’t have a business website, then you become oblivious to your customers who are spending most of their time online. People search for restaurants on their smartphones, and if they are not able to find a decent looking website, then they may not be visiting. T
To appear in the top search rankings for restaurants, you need to ensure your website is SEO optimised which means that you need to introduce on-page SEO and off-page SEO to get higher visibility and brand awareness.
You can contact professional SEO consultant services to get your site optimised and keyword enriched. It will enhance the credibility of your business as you will appear in the top search engine rankings and will bring you highly targeted traffic.
Create Your Google My Business Page
Google is the most popular search engine with over 40,000 search queries being processed every second. So it is highly likely that people searching for a good restaurant in your local area will take help from the search engine giant.
Creating a Google My Business listing will bring your restaurant’s name up in Google Maps and Google search queries. It displays the pictures of the restaurant, address, directions, contact number and helps in bringing more traffic and customers.
Get Some Stars From Food Delivery Sites
When searching for the best restaurants, people often go to the food ordering portals, which have become all the rage in recent years. The food delivery apps like Zomato, UberEats, Yelp, Foodora, Menulog, etc., are visited by customers to determine the quality of food, value for money and ambience of the eatery.
Thus you must get listed on these sites for positive customer reviews and ratings to be voted as an ideal place for dine-out and food delivery service in your area.
Indulge In Social Media Marketing
Everybody is on the social network which makes it a significant touch point to contact customers. After profiling your customers, you can decide the social media platforms that you need to utilise to communicate with your target audience.
Keep posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, as well as create a YouTube channel to share videos. From the artistic presentation of scrumptious foods to chefs whipping up a delight and guests relishing the food, you can click and share everything that gets people interested and talking.
Pay For Online Advertising
When it comes to online advertising, Google AdWords can take your brand to the next level. Since Google is the most widely used search engine, it has the advantage of showing your ad to the right audience at the right time.
However, you need to hire an expert digital marketing company to ensure that your Google campaigns are meeting international standard. Otherwise, your money will be getting wasted.
Customer Loyalty Programs
While you are searching for new customers, you need to retain the existing ones too. The successful method of making them find a way back to your restaurant is to offer them rewards using loyalty memberships.
Give them discounts on their special days like birthdays and anniversaries as well as any other celebrations. Offer a complimentary drink or dessert to thank them on different occasions.
Offers, Promotions And Food Festivals
Celebrating happy hours and festivals like New Year, Easter and Christmas are a good idea when you can offer discounts and freebies. You can arrange for little goodie bags to make the customers feel special.
You can also organise food festivals annually offering an eclectic mix of cuisines and cocktails that will bring considerable foot traffic from the surrounding areas.
Network With Influential Food Bloggers
Social media influencers are gaining popularity with their detailed food blogs which are followed by thousands of people. The opinions of these food bloggers help in swaying customer behaviour through their recommendations.
So you must find the best ones around you and connect with them to get your restaurant reviewed.
Make A Viral Campaign
Making something viral online is the key to instant success. Many online challenges have struck a chord with people like the recent ‘bottle cap challenge’. Many restaurants set up the challenge of finishing an enormous dish and the videos of challengers are then shared online.
The winner can get a lifetime loyalty membership for free dinners or some similar incentive. It is a smart way to get your restaurant noticed.
Come Up With A Unique Concoction
Most eateries which have become supremely famous had something rare to offer. Thus you must focus on creating an imaginative dish which tastes good and looks irresistible.
Make use of the trending Instagram hashtags like ‘Foodgrammer’ and ‘Foodporn’ to get the beautifully presented delicacy to become a hot topic of discussion in the online food lover’s communities.
Dining out is all about the experience. You can create unique theme based experiences for your target audience. For example, a ‘Game of Thrones’ inspired menu, staff uniforms and decor to entice the fans of the series, or a ‘Lion King’ themed interior for the kid’s section to tempt the little ones. You can also host birthdays and other events based on such themes.
Identify Your Objectives
Now that you have the strategies and ideas in place, you have to create a road map to achieve success. Your marketing plan needs to have concrete goals which will help you set monthly, quarterly and annual targets.
For example, one of your goals could be to double the number of customers by the next quarter through food delivery apps.
Prepare A Marketing Calendar
You will have to create a content calendar to keep track of all the social media posts, blogs, pictures, videos being shared through various platforms.
To keep things organised, streamlined and in line with the long term objectives, you need to clearly describe the activities planned for each month with their budget and timelines. You can use online software to prepare the marketing calendar.
Measure Your Marketing Efforts
You must keep track of the increase in likes, shares, followers, click-through rates, etc. for each campaign to measure its success. This should be done on both the website and the social media platforms.
Calculate The Return On Investment
After you assess the results of your campaign, you need to determine their profitability to understand their value. The ROI can be calculated by dividing the net profit by total investment and multiplying it by 100.
When you are making decent returns, you can continue with the campaign or work on improving it. On the other hand, if you are losing money, then it makes sense to stop it right away.
Achieving success as an entrepreneur is not easy. It requires a lot of hard work, especially when you are operating in a cut-throat environment. A well laid out marketing plan filled with the right digital marketing ideas can help you in generating a buzz around your brand and accomplishing your goals.