A constant stream of customers, old and new, are essential for a business to be successful. You might have amazing food, drinks and service, but none of that matters if you don’t market your restaurant properly.
If you want to know how to keep customers coming back to your restaurant and bringing in new ones, then keep reading.
Here are five sure fire ways to attract customers to your restaurant:
1 - Engage via Social Media
One of the most important tools at your disposal is social media. Social media provides you the option to advertise your business at no cost, with a personal touch you won’t receive through conventional advertising.
Facebook and Instagram allow you to communicate directly with customers and vice versa, where they can send through any queries. Putting in the effort is an essential component here - this means constantly updating your social media accounts with fresh content, which will entice customers and keep you in their newsfeed!
Think about all the times a friend’s new post on social media made you order from a specific place, or an advertisement on TV made you purchase a product? This is what social media pages are doing but at no cost, with far greater reach.
Likes and shares will further your online grasp, making your posts appear on a newsfeed, or be tagged in other people’s posts. You can take full advantage of this by posting high resolution images of meals, listing specials, discounts, or competitions.
For Instagram, hashtags are your number one ally. This means, ensuring you use the right keywords and phrases for your hashtags for each post, as this will result in your images gaining maximum exposure.
Further to this, you could start to create your own words, or phrases within your hashtags, which Instagram users would see when they click on your image. This creates a brand awareness, a link to your business and the wider social media community. It’s best to use a mixture of common and uncommon hashtags to prevent your post from getting lost in the vast mix of posts which saturate the platform.
Also look for content which customers have posted about your restaurant and share it. User-generated content will attract more customers than branded content, as people will see it as genuine feedback.
You should monitor your online presence to ensure your restaurant isn’t getting tagged in anything unrelated, spam/inappropriate comments, or dealing with negative comments.
2 - Reward the Loyal
You might already know this but it’s important to remember repeat customers tend to spend more than new customers, which reduces your marketing costs. If your business isn’t currently rewarding regulars, it’s time to change that.
This means ensuring there are certain strategies in place to retain customers. Strategies should include a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system which sends out birthday emails for instance.
This can also lead to implementing loyalty programs, an app designed to entice customers into returning again and again, or motivate them to order more. An app with discounts and punch cards is a sure way to attract customers to your restaurant.
3 - A Website that is Up to Date
Your website is the ultimate reflection of your restaurant and really, it’s the main online platform you want your customers to go to because you have full reign over how it looks and functions.
Always ensure your website is mobile friendly and translates to phones properly, as it’s more often than not the way 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 some potential customers. It’s just another deterrent if they have to zoom in on some pixelated photo of a menu.
4 - Google My Business Listing
Another great tool is a Google My Business listing, available for any business, just another feature that Google offers free of charge.
GMB provides anyone who searches your business with a full listing and customisable (by you!) profile which can include pictures, ratings, phone numbers and a brief overview of the restaurant. Much like social media, there is also a message option for customers to get in touch.
A great addition to GMB is that it provides analytics such as the number of clicks, calls and bookings. The GMB listing is also linked to the maps page, giving an accurate location of your restaurant; you can also apply the Google reservation button, allowing customers to book a table, or order takeaway directly from your listing.
5 - Blogs and Google Posts
If you’re not already doing it, consider adding a blog to your website, otherwise you’re really missing out on the benefits. Blogs can provide a space where you share stories, recipes, or upcoming events at your restaurant.
A major benefit of having a blog is that it will help your online presence too, by making you more visible. Blogs don’t just have to be write ups either, think about adding some spice to your blog sections by adding cooking videos which could also be previewed via social media.
Similar to blogs but visible on the main Google page, next to your GMB listing are Google Posts - a great way to bring in new customers and acquire reservations. Google Posts allow businesses to share small enticing posts, pictures, videos, or gifs to anyone searching for their restaurant, or café. Ultimately, it’s a great way to market your business at no cost and engage with customers at a different level.
While there are many other ways to attract customers to your restaurant, the above mentioned are tried and true. Implement these as best you can and you’ll see the benefits these methods can provide. It doesn’t have to be a chore making blogs and other posts, have fun with it and show the best side of your restaurant.