8 Ways To Market Your Restaurant
After the challenges, numerous lockdowns and even more uncertainty ahead with Covid Passports, the gastronomy industry has certainly had to be resilient. We’ve seen many good brands over the last 18 months and we at TEA don’t want to see that happen again! As many brands start to recover it’s time to nail the marketing plan so you can truly not only survive but thrive. Looking firmly to the future, now is the time to let the world know you’re back! Here we share some of our top tips on how to grow your restaurant’s brand and customer base through social media.
The famous expression ‘eyes bigger than your belly’ has never rung truer than in the age of social media. The world LOVES a great-looking plate, and this is exactly why high quality food photography is so important. It ignites the senses and whets the appetite before someone even sets foot in your restaurant. Diners regularly scour Instagram for new bars and eateries to try, and to check out the drinks and dishes in advance. So it’s key that your food posts look – literally – good enough to eat.
Try focused close-ups, behind-the-scenes action shots from the chef or your pictures of your bartenders mixing up some tropical creations. Shots that capture the ambience, happy guests and entertainment such as live music will also help you to attract customers. Think of all those little details that make your place unlike any other! Restaurant and food photography needs to be carefully vetted and expertly put together, though. The lighting, filters used and making sure that the plates are beautifully presented are all key factors.
Check out @quay_restaurant or @casajaguar_tulum for beautiful examples of how it’s one well!
Book now – Call – Directions
Making sure your social media profiles have clear information on your opening hours and how to reserve a table is vital. You want to make the booking process as easy as possible, for example by directing guests to reserve via direct message. A clear “‘book now” call-to-action that links directly to your inbox is key to giving your customers a smooth experience before they’ve even sat down. Set up easy to find – and easy to follow – “book now”, “directions” and “call us” links on all your socials. Don’t forget to make sure the information is consistent across all of your channels, and your restaurant may rank higher on Google Maps for local searches!
Using targeted ads allows you to stay visible to your audience. We are bombarded by marketing messages these days so cutting through the noise is harder than ever. It could take up 5 or more times of seeing your restaurant brand before they decide to book or engage with your brand. Spend some time thinking about who it is you want to target and map out your target groups. Tailoring your ads to this ‘ideal customer’ considering factors such as age, location, and interests means that they are more likely to convert into bookings.
Influencers can not only help you to reach new audiences, but their kudos and reach will grow your restaurant’s own social media presence and help you gain credibility with potential customers. Most influencers have a super-engaged audience, so the chances of their followers converting into new guests are pretty high! Compare prices and engagement levels carefully to make sure the investment is worth it. If you are on a smaller budget, it is also worth checking out some ‘micro influencers’. The term describes accounts with a following of 1,000 up to 10,000 followers, which, these days, is considered relatively small. However, these content creators are usually very connected to their followers, making personal recommendations and holding high credibility amongst their audience, which means that they have a great conversion rate.
Don’t underestimate the power of the humble hashtag! It allows you to find a target audience, and makes you easier to find in turn! Hashtags are especially popular with foodies, and you can use up to 30 on a post. Make sure you add a mix of ‘high volume’ and ‘smaller’ tags for best results. You should also start a unique hashtag for your restaurant to help consolidate customer-generated content! Remember to capitalise the start of each new word within the tag to make it easier to read #AllThisTalkOfFoodHasMadeMeHungry
Collaborate with other restaurants & bars
Partnering with other restaurants and bars can help you grow your business and social media presence. It shows you have a sense of community, and also offers an opportunity to reach new customers. If you’re a Pan-Asian restaurant, for example, you could try partnering with a nearby cocktail bar so that there’s no direct competition. You could even think outside the box and team up with a local florist for Valentine’s Day, helping customers to sort the flowers and romantic dinner in one fell swoop. Check out @TheChocolateSmiths on Instagram for their collaboration strategy!
Reshare customer content
The proof is in the pudding! And what better way to show the world how great your restaurant really is than by sharing ‘real life’ customer snaps. It drives engagement, brand awareness and gives you a portfolio of content that you didn’t have to create. User-generated content is one of the most powerful ways to get new customers through your door!
Promotions, incentives and competitions
Got a fantastic ‘happy hour’ deal? Are you hosting weekly ‘taco Tuesdays’ or other fun, themed events? Then you need to shout about it! Use both Instagram Stories and Mainboard posts to share your offers, promotions and other happenings. You could increase your engagement and reach by offering guests something complimentary for sharing your post, for example, a free class of bubbly ahead of their meal. Competitions are also a great way to gain more exposure. For the chance to win a free meal, simply ask your followers to tag their favourite dinner date in the comments, ask each of them to follow you and share the post on Stories for an extra entry into the draw.
Social media is a great marketing and advertising tool to grow your restaurant business. Just be sure you’re using it to its fullest potential, and are working with other businesses and collaborators who add value to your brand. We hope this handy starter guide helps… and last but not least, if there are any leftovers from your foodie snaps, you know where we are!