Running a small business is difficult, and the restaurant industry is one of the most difficult in which to succeed. It takes much more than great food to build a prosperous eatery—you have to learn how to think like an entrepreneur to grow your customer base and generate revenue.
Around half of all small restaurants go out of business within their first year. However, with the right strategy and marketing approach, you can your restaurant’s full profit potential. Continue reading to get some tips to boost your marketing efforts and increase brand awareness for your restaurant.
Provide an eCommerce infrastructure for customers.
Because of food delivery mobile apps like DoorDash and Grubhub, online ordering from restaurants has grown popular in recent years. COVID-19 has made online ordering platforms an essential feature for restaurants. In fact, many restaurants have switched strictly to online curbside pickup and delivery orders.
The best way to drive traffic to your restaurants online ordering system is to create special promotions for online orders. By making it more convenient and cheaper for customers to order online, you can greatly increase your sales. You should also streamline the online ordering process by getting a POS system that integrates all the mobile apps customers use to order—Doordash, Uber Eats, ChowNow, Seamless, and all the rest.
Use social media to build online visibility.
Small restaurants often struggle to build marketing campaigns capable of reaching the masses—or even their entire local market. However, social media marketing is an affordable and effective way for small businesses to reach and grow their target audience.
Photos of gourmet food are among people’s favorite things to share on Instagram, Facebook, and other social networking platforms. Posting rich media like photos and short videos of people enjoying their experience in your restaurant is one of the best ways to increase your online visibility and brand awareness and drive customers to your restaurant website.
Institute a customer loyalty program.
Over the past couple of decades, merchants and restaurateurs have learned the best way to grow their bottom line is to increase sales among current customers rather than chasing new customers. Growing your customer base is important, but taking care of your loyal customers is even more critical to your small business’s success.
Customer loyalty programs are a great way to engender loyalty among your current customers. Customer loyalty promotions work by giving patrons loyalty points with their purchases and allowing them to use those points for future purchases. You can also offer your customers coupons for the items they order the most.
Always be cooking.
One of the key secrets to success in the restaurant is to follow the ABCs of the restaurant industry: always be cooking—both literally and figuratively. In the figurative sense, cooking refers to marketing. You have to be in a constant state of evangelizing for your restaurant to reach as many potential customers as possible.
Smart entrepreneurs are always ready to spread the word about their business and even deliver an elevator pitch at a moment’s notice. You should never be caught anywhere without a menu or customized business cards to hand to passersby and people you encounter when out and about. When you have great food, everyone is a potential customer, and you should always be prepared to make a great first impression.
Use special events as a way to attract new customers.
If your restaurant is struggling to attract new customers, you should consider planning special events to bring in some new business. Paint ‘N Sip nights have become increasingly popular and are a great way to create excitement for your restaurant. You could also plan Singles’ Nights, rent out your venue for corporate events, and cater special events to increase brand awareness and revenue.
Marketing is one of the things small restaurants struggle with the most. However, by combining digital and traditional marketing methods, you can increase your online presence and brand awareness.
By utilizing an online ordering system, reaching your target audience through social media, and using promotions to generate customer loyalty, your restaurant can become a stalwart of the local scene. Exceptional marketing is the secret sauce for a successful eatery, and now you know the necessary ingredients.