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Marketing Techniques in Restaurants

Owning or managing a restaurant involves many responsibilities that can have an impact on whether customers become regular visitors. Managing employees, ensuring the food is up to standard, handling supplies and looking after the administration of the business should not impact a customer’s experience. There are simple marketing techniques to save time and remain cost-effective.

Look after loyal customers.

The cost implications of attracting a new customer to a restaurant are 5-7 times higher than selling to an existing one. Loyal customers will spend 10 times more over their lifetime. Marketing to customers an incentive to earn rewards when visiting your business helps retain the most profitable visitors. It allows resources that may have been wasted on acquiring customers, to be diverted and allocated to more worthy activities.

Own an up-to-date website.

In our digital world it has become essential to have a responsive website that is compatible with mobile devices. Nearly 50 percent of restaurant website traffic occurs on these gadgets. Businesses that offer this up-to-date and user-friendly facility, can realize as much as a 64 percent conversion rate. With top quality DIY websites like Squarespace and Wix, restaurant owners can create their own mobile-friendly sites. Keep website content short and concise. Describe yourself, your restaurant, and menu types under clearly defined headings. A simple, well-designed, functional website that is user-friendly can help boost customer base of a restaurant business.

Boost your number of customer reviews.

The reputation of a restaurant can mean either success or failure. It’s not so much the number of reviews that actually matter but whether they are positive or not. The complimentary opinions of customers are particularly significant for a business in a competitive environment. Likes and dislikes about food, ambience, or customer service are expressed via sites such as Yelp, Urbanspoon and Zagat. In a survey carried out by Dimensional Research, people who had a poor experience were more likely to share it on social media like Yelp. Those who had a more positive outcome do not share as often. Then, stay aware of the reputation of your business, and publicly respond to all positive and negative reviews.

The use of social media.

Customers have choices with regard to social media, but it is better to concentrate on the ones that are more popular. When a Twitter handle and Facebook page is created for your restaurant, focus on the job of collecting more “Likes” and “Tweets”. Urge customers to talk online about their visits. To assist with the management of your social media presence, several social media management tools are available, that include Sprout Social, Buffer, and Hootsuite Media.

Learn more about your customers.

Despite living in the 21st century, there are still some restaurant customers who casually hand over their business cards or give email addresses with their contact information written on paper. There are even some restaurants that do not collect any information about their customers. In a highly competitive digital world of online activity, there is no alternative when it comes to gathering facts and statistics about your customers. To move away from the conventional way of collecting data, offering a digital loyalty program can help to attract more online customers. The results of the accumulated data on customers then enable you to make decisions that will be of benefit to the business.

Use mobile devices for restaurant promotions.

In a world of mobile devices most of us seem lost without our smartphone or tablet. This is an ideal opportunity for a restaurant to use the facility to engage with customers and increasing conversion rates. By partnering with loyalty apps or offering their own app, restaurants are seeing an increase in activity and greater loyalty. Take for example Tropical Smoothie, by offering a special promotion, was able to halve the gap between their customer visits. This was achieved by their loyalty program and emailing customers to pay a visit to win a free smoothie.

An additional perk for customers is being able to book reservations online. A restaurant that does not have this should consider signing up for online reservations like Open Table. A restaurant with its own user-friendly website can have online booking tools included in the site, giving both new and existing customers a quick and easy method to make or change reservations.

Endorse the local fresh produce market.

A restaurant that does not offer locally produced food could be losing out to other food establishments that do provide farm-to-table produce. Providing locally sourced products indicates to customers that you are offering fresh, high-quality ingredients. These would normally command higher prices. Offering fresh local produce indicates that your food is of a much higher quality. Also, by supporting small local farmers, you also help to cultivate goodwill within the local community at the same time.

Provide food options with allergy-free ingredients.

Offer a special selection of food items to cater for diners who are sensitive to certain ingredients. Sourcing allergen-friendly options would enable more families to visit your restaurant and enjoy a meal together. These alternatives are made in-house or obtained from accredited allergen or gluten-free suppliers.