Small business restaurants often face unique challenges in today’s competitive marketplace. To stand out and attract more customers, it is critical to implement effective marketing strategies. Here is a list of specific marketing strategies for small business restaurants designed to improve your online presence and attract customers.
1. Optimize Your Website
Your restaurant’s website is your online calling card. Optimize your site to make it fast, attractive, and easy to navigate. Make sure it is responsive for mobile devices and includes high-quality photos of your dishes. Use relevant keywords in your content to improve your search engine rankings and attract more traffic.
Here are some simple steps you can take right now:
- Type in Google how you think people search for a restaurant in your category and let Google’s autocomplete give you hints. Use the same words on your website.
- Make sure your images are under 100 kb.
- Check the loading speed on Google’s Page Speed and see what suggestions you can apply, some are easy, others will require a developer.
- Do a general review of your site by clicking on each option, button, and article from both your computer and your mobile phone.
If you want to go deeper and do something much more detailed you will need to hire our SEO optimization service.
2. Take care of your social networks
Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with your customers. Maintain active profiles on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Post regular content that showcases your delicious dishes and creates interaction with your audience. Don’t forget to respond to your followers’ comments and messages to strengthen your relationship with them.
As for the format, don’t forget about video marketing, which helps to grow quickly on social networks and has a greater reach.
3. Optimize your Google My Business Listing
The Google My Business listing is essential for local marketing, and it is vital for restaurants. Here are some actions that are often neglected:
- Update your restaurant information, including hours, address, and phone number.
- Add attractive photos and ask for reviews from satisfied customers.
- Take advantage of additional options such as menu, delivery, ordering, and more.
- Make sure the address matches the one you use on your social media, website, and other registration platforms.
A well-optimized GMB listing will help your restaurant show up in local searches.
4. Get reviews on top places
Customer reviews influence other diners’ decisions. Encourage your satisfied customers to leave reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Zomato. Be sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews in a professional and friendly manner. Good reviews build trust and credibility, and replies reinforce them.
5. Have a compelling digital menu
Your digital menu is an important sales tool. Create an attractive, well-organized online menu with appetizing descriptions of your dishes and clear pricing. Include high-quality images to whet your visitors’ appetites.
Add a button to order or make a reservation from the menu itself. If possible, make it easy for customers to order online.
6. Use WiFi marketing
Use your WiFi network to collect customer information, such as email addresses or phone numbers. Then use this information to send exclusive offers and promotions to your customers.
WiFi marketing will not only provide you with customer information, get you more reviews and generate more followers, but it will also increase the amount of time your customers spend on your site. This can translate into more loyalty and additional requests to the server.
→ Read our post on Wifi Marketing for Restaurants.
7. Capture emails and do email marketing
Building an email list is a powerful marketing strategy. Capture your customers’ email addresses through your website or at the restaurant. Then use email to keep your customers informed about special offers, events, and menu updates.
This strategy makes your online advertising efforts more effective and less expensive. Include important information in your emails and things your audience will find interesting.
→ If you are not sure what to write to your customers in your emails, check out our post on content ideas for your restaurant’s email marketing.
8. Apply Local SEO
Local SEO is essential to ensure that your restaurant appears in searches by people in your area. To do this, you should optimize your website for local keywords, such as the name of your city, state, or neighborhood. Also, make sure your address and phone number are clearly visible on your website.
9. Promote with ads
Online advertising campaigns, such as Google Ads and Meta Ads, are a great way to attract new customers. You can target your ads to your audience based on location, interests, and more. Create eye-catching ads that highlight your most popular dishes and special offers.
Don’t just promote what you always do. Create an interesting offer or event for new customers, and back it up with good design and compelling copy to increase ROI.
10. Use micro-influencers
As we have mentioned elsewhere, influencer marketing for restaurants is one of the highest ROI strategies today. So it’s a job that’s vital for small restaurants.
But big influencers are too expensive for small restaurants. So work with local micro-influencers who have followers interested in food.
These influencers can promote your restaurant through authentic reviews and posts on their social networks. Their recommendations can reach an engaged audience that is genuinely interested in food, generating new customers and referrals across multiple media.
11. Publish the life of your restaurant
Share stories and behind-the-scenes information about your restaurant. This can include interviews with your chefs, stories about your ingredients, or unique restaurant traditions.
Showcasing your restaurant’s personality can connect with your customers on a deeper level and give your brand a more human and relatable face. Some will view your content out of curiosity, while others will genuinely want to know more about the people who serve the food they love.
12. Create momentum on social networks
Create interactive content on your social networks, such as polls, contests or sweepstakes. This can increase participation and visibility for your publications. In addition, you will increase the loyalty of your followers, generate interest in your restaurant, and increase the reach of your social networks.
Some ideas include
- Create food challenges with prizes.
- Create quizzes that ask people about your dishes.
- Give away special coupons.
- Create puzzles to discover special events.
- Create content that encourages people to participate.
Create the dynamic that works best for you, respects your brand essence, and is interesting to your followers and audience.
13. National Day Creativity
Take advantage of national food days to create special promotions. For example, National Pizza Day or National Hamburger Day can be opportunities to offer discounts or themed meals that attract more diners.
Just be sure to promote the day well in advance so your customers know about it and can plan to visit your restaurant on that day.
14. Promote your community content
Highlight your work with local vendors and show your support for the community. Share content related to local events, charitable projects, or products from local vendors on your social networks. This can increase your restaurant’s visibility in the community and get them to reciprocate the gesture, increasing your reach and reputation.
You can also take advantage of your customers’ reviews. Review your reviews and try to create content from them or simply repost them.
15. Use web applications
Explore restaurant-specific web applications that can enhance your customers’ experience. These applications can include online reservation systems, pre-order options, or loyalty programs.
There’s a lot you can do!
In the competitive world of small business restaurants, implementing these marketing strategies can make all the difference. As you continue to adapt and optimize your marketing strategies, you will see an increase in online visibility and diner traffic to your restaurant.
Take advantage of these strategies and take your small restaurant to the next level!