The Best Methods for Marketing Your Restaurant Online in 2021

Written By Tim Scott 

Total Read Time  minutes  


Marketing is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business - you need people to know about your restaurant and what it has to offer.

Marketing your restaurant in this turbulent time, along with ever-increasing technological demands, can seem like a daunting task. The good news is, it’s not so difficult - you just need to know the right methods and strategies for marketing your restaurant online.

Never fear, WOWAPPS is here with an extensive list of methods you can adopt in 2021.

Reservation Links on Your Google Listing

The vital use of having a reservation link in Google should not be understated. Did you know that 20% of online bookings come from reservation links via Google?

Most customers are looking to do things as quickly as possible, therefore when it comes to booking a restaurant, they’re unlikely to take the time to view your website.

Google My Business listings should provide all the information they need. GMB listings take up a large portion of screen space, even more on a mobile device, so the more information they contain, the better.

Email Marketing

The benefits of email marketing should always be addressed in any discussion on boosting your online presence.
The key of course is to make the emails targeted, rather than some general monthly newsletter.
Through the use of customer data, restaurants can create automated emails targeted to specific customers, such as birthday emails, or even anniversaries. Don’t just use the email addresses to send newsletters, provide something more fun like a discount, or recipe. 

Live Chat

Yes, we’re talking about that little chat icon that pops up on certain websites - the one where you can live chat to someone from that company or business.

This is a great feature for businesses to have on their website and can be tasked to your host stand, or reservation staff for direct communication. Google provides a free live chat option which you can take advantage of right away.

Keep Your Website Up to Date

The benefits of having an up-to-date website cannot be understated - your website reflects your restaurant.

Ensure that your website is mobile friendly as it’s often how customers are going to view your site. If the website has not been designed to work optimally on a mobile device, it’s likely to deter customers, prompting them to pick another eatery.

Ensure your menu is easy to read on a mobile device, it will make the world of difference to potential customers. Your website is the only online platform which you can fully customise everything to be the way you want it to be, so make use of it!

Instagram-worthy Dishes

A no-brainer really - you need people to find your Instagram page worthy of following and engaging with the posts. This means preparing dishes and desserts which look great on camera.

Once you’ve got that perfect pic, get to work with the hashtags - hashtags are your friend. You need to know the right words and phrases to use as your hashtags for each post, this will get your images maximum exposure.

Blogger taking photos of food, shooting Breakfast in bed at hotel on mobile phone, tray with juice

Loyalty is Key

Loyalty is everything, it’s the most important thing in the hospitality industry and is the main indicator of whether a business will succeed or fail.

Loyal customers cost the least in terms of marketing and are likely to bring in more business, through word-of-mouth advertising. Increasing the number of loyal customers by 5% can affect your sales growth up to a staggering 75%!

While loyalty usually comes from a great dining experience and service, there are many ways to encourage loyalty; incuding loyalty programs and apps to encourage customers to return in the near future for a free item, discount, or another hole in their punch card.

Making Use Of Data

The key to a good marketing campaign, or strategy involves retaining your customer data. This way, you know more about your customers and how to better target your advertisements to them.

Data provides information such as how often a customer visits, birthdays, favourite dishes and drinks, which makes the process of personalising your marketing campaigns much easier.

SEO and Local Discovery

Yes, we’re talking about that little chat icon that pops up on certain websites - the one where you can live chat to someone from that company or business.

This is a great feature for businesses to have on their website and can be tasked to your host stand, or reservation staff for direct communication. Google provides a free live chat option which you can take advantage of right away.


A blog provides a space where you share stories, recipes, or upcoming events at the restaurant.

A major benefit of having a blog is that it will help your online presence too by making you more visible. Include words and phrases which not only will appeal to a general customer base, but also for local search results.

You can shake things up by adding cooking videos, which can be previewed via social media.

Responding To Online Reviews

The good, the bad and the ugly, reviews should all be responded to in due course.

If you’re receiving negative feedback on your Google reviews, it’s always best to craft a response which offers everything to rectify the situation rather than ignore it. If you approach negative reviews with a positive attitude, you’re flipping the script and this shows anyone viewing the review that great service is important to you.

Good reviews are another story of course, but try to respond showing how much you appreciate the customer for taking the time to write about their experience. This can lead to repeat business and ultimately all good reviews are free marketing for your restaurant.

Local Online Advertisements and Social Media Advertising

Digital ads are a great way to promote your business and they are incredibly easy to create.

Facebook, Instagram and Google all offer customisable ad campaigns which allow you to pick the location, age and even gender of those you want to target. You can add pictures, videos and short write ups.

Further to this, Google offers the ability to freely add posts on your GMB listing, which will appear when customers search for your business, or a local restaurant.

Coupon and Discount Campaigns

Campaigns which offer some form of a discount are always a sure-fire way to bring in business, everybody loves getting a good deal.

Ultimately, it’s up to you on how you want to customise your campaign, but it could include a free dish offer, 10% off, or buy one get one free. Data suggests the buy one get one free offer always performs better than providing a discount.

Small business owner using digital tablet at entrance

Engaging Customers via Social Media

We’ve discussed having Instagram-worthy pics, but what about your stories?

Instagram and Facebook provide a great platform to share small snippets of the everyday operations of your restaurant. Customers are going to feel much more connected to your brand if you’re posting short videos of behind the scenes in the kitchen, or perhaps brief interviews introducing some of your amazing staff.

With all these strategies in mind, you should be able to dominate the competition in 2021!


WOWAPPS is an all-Australian tech company, dedicated to anticipating the ever-evolving needs of restaurants and their diners. We are committed to helping Australian Restaurants reap the rewards of additional revenue and brand advocacy, providing seamless customer experiences that are more delightful and convenient.

The Latest From the Blog

Get access to all our posts on restaurant management and marketing.