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Digital Marketing For Restaurants & Cafes: The strategic guide to attract customers!

Congratulations for your new restaurant! It feels really good to see people coming down and enjoy your servings and we know how much eager you are to see this footfall increase. Let’s assume you are already going good with traditional marketing activities like outdoor or newspaper ads, brochures/flyers etc but being a UBER rider you already know technology has changed the way you or we used to behave. We have also seen MacD or KFC’s advertisements, what is really amazing is that to become successful locally you don’t need to have a tremendously large budget. Thank you to “Online Marketing”! To flaunt your existence in 2018 you need to stand strong with an equally efficient Digital Marketing Planning. I’m sure you are aware of the term “Digital Marketing” or “Social Media” but as you search for different blogs and videos offering digital marketing techniques, it is more likely to confuse you. So here in today’s digital marketing for restaurants blog, we have decided to help you in building your digital marketing route map for your restaurants or cafe (Since this guide was for beginners we have decided to add many basic discussions, for a non-beginner that may feel boring). So here you go: 

digital marketing for restaurants

  1. A Website

Studies show that 75% of people judge the credibility of a business based on its website, so if you are not having a website you are missing all the opportunities that can be used to beat your competitors. Of Course, when we say “Digital Marketing” it starts with your website. Based on the average user’s behavior, we can draw the sale flowchart very easily- Website Visitors > Engagement > Call to action > Conversion > Loyalty… Now if you think all these happen very spontaneously you are wrong. It starts when a visitor lands on your website and in each step it needs some extra energy to push your visitor to the next level. Keep few things in mind while planning for your restaurant’s website:

  1. The Overall Theme: We don’t go to PizzaHut to have burger or Subway to have ChickenTikka…!! This is because we know what they are specialized for. Your website must carry the feel of what you serve and how you serve. A user-friendly theme with an appropriate description for your cuisine, specialty, hours of operation, menu and address. Talk with your web designer and choose a theme that ultimately adds value to your online presence.

 2. Call To Action: You have already read about “Call To Action” above, these are the sections or buttons that leads the visitor to take the purchase decision. Divide your website’s homepage to smaller sections and add different types of call-to-action buttons such as: “Order Online”, “Book A Table”, “Post A Review”,“Social Follow” etc. The proper use of these buttons will add all the necessary info on your website without making it look cluttered.

  1. The Oomph Factor: According to Digital Marketing Guru Neil Patel “A first-time visitor will form an impression of your website within 50 milliseconds. Within this short period, web users decide if they stay on or leave your website. And, another study found that 94% of first impressions are design related”. That means you need to offer something extra in order to impress your visitor. Add More sections and put videos like the glimpse of your kitchen, how your customers celebrate their anniversary, video testimonials, if ever you got featured on any magazine or paper flaunt those. Better quality images and consistent color themes will definitely become memorable experiences for your visitor.
  1. Include A Blog Option:

Blogging is a good option that boosts SEO and increases visibility. Definitely ask your developer to include a blog page into your website. Write a good 500-word article weekly and share on social media. 

  1. Google Local Listing

For kick-starting digital marketing for restaurants it is required to slowly build an identity. The best thing about google local listing is that it comes totally free. You only need to have a Gmail id. Search on your browser and click Google My Business Listings Website. Then sign to your Gmail, put your Restaurant’s Name, then write down your location, hit the next button, Now you will be asked to manually pin the location on Google Maps, if you are fine you do it yourself or you can ask any of your friends to help you out. For reference open our mobile’s google map. Next, add contact number and website address, finish and you will be asked to verify your business. Google verification is done through mail and you have to wait for a couple of days( Mostly within 2 weeks) and the mail with a verification code will arrive. You need to sign again to your Google My Business account in order to put that code and verify your business.

Now when your Google Listing is live and make good use of it!

1. Approach Customers For Reviews: If someone wants to review your food the easiest option for them would be reviewing in Google My Business. Ask every customer to review your restaurant on Google and also encourage them to post the photos they take.

According to Moz:

So you can understand why more reviews and better ratings can automatically bring a lot of potential customers to you.

2. Add Images

A drool-worthy double cheeseburger or a lip-smacking bbq pork ribs, these images can instantly make anyone feel hungry. Add high-quality food images to your Google my business page. Also put images of your interiors, take videos and 360-degree images.

3. Post Links/Blogs

Google Posts are almost like “mini-ads” or “social media posts” that show up in Google search in your Google My Business listing (in the Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps). You can have fun with your Google My Business Posts by adding an image, a call-to-action (CTA), and even including a link to another page or website.

  1. Social Media Accounts

We in the digital marketing industry say: “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it!” Social media is a vast sphere but if you plan calculatively you can earn a large number of loyal followers.

  1. Choose your platform: Facebook, Twitter & Instagram- flood your followers timeline with interesting posts, relevant hashtags, videos because it’s all about what attracting user’s attention. Go for a youtube channel to post all your restaurant videos. Briefly describe evrery post or info you share.

2. Plan your posts: Try to think like your customer, plan your social media activity and act accordingly. Discounts, offers, new addition to menus, coupons and post reviews that make a good impression. Video contents are must as they create better engagement. For doing digital marketing for restaurants, it’s better if you have a creative team with you so that you don’t run short of new ideas.

3. Stay Consistent: Venturing into social media is easy but then losing the track is also common. Decide a target: Monthly page likes to increase: 500,post likes: 50. Join communities and groups and patiently share your posts or engage in discussions. Find out which posts are doing better and sponsor them, in social media the budget for pid ads are really cheap.

  1. Local Listing/Food Apps:

Whether you want to sell online or not, having listed to online food delivery/ rating apps always helps. The benefits are manifold, it gives you better exposure, if someone is searching for specific menu/dish there are higher chances of you to be discovered, people can look up to your restaurant’s images, menu and other facilities and you can flaunt good reviews there as well. Most of the hungry millennials prefer booking foods online, so definitely give a thought!

  1. Micro-Influencers

It’s good to promote your restaurant through food bloggers but if you don’t have the budget no need to feel worried! You can find a lot of micro-influencers in your area. Any customer with hundreds of instagram/fb or twitter followers can promote your service in a more trustworthy manner. If you have a friend ask him, if you know any customer request him review your foods on social media. Many restaurants these days create a photo-corners for social media frenzies. This will bring immediate attraction of other users to your restaurant. Remember this is a “chain-reaction”, one action can arise thousands of reactions if you know how to do it! 

  1. Loyalty Program

The last step of the cycle as already shared earlier is “Loyalty”, how to make a customer visit you again? It’s about always reminding them about that experience in your restaurant and making a bond. Loyalty programs can be some discounts on their second visit, some coupons/gifts when they refer a friend. It encourages them for second purchase and obviously, increases the chances of word-of-mouth referral.

  1. Newsletter Connect

Ask for customer’s email id everytime you rise a bill and make a list of them. Now ask your designer or the marketing team to design attractive newsletters; an awesome food image, some texts about your upcoming offers and coupon codes if you want. Send weekly or quarterly to all your customers. For beginners I will recommend MailChimp, it has very easy-to-use design features. You can upload the lists there and send all the emails in just one click.

 Hope, this blog has helped you understand how to start digital marketing for restaurants, let us know if anything else we need to include or how you liked reading it. Also, follow us and subscribe for more updates! Thank you.

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