Online Restaurant Marketing Strategies
Many understand that good marketing for restaurants can be the make it or breaking solution to their lack of customers, and they all really want to find a solution to their problems; but then, when I offer them solutions that really work, even when I provide them with a specific plan and guidelines to improve their business, they do absolutely nothing about it.
Many restaurant owners and managers prefer to pay thousands to sales people and expend their marketing budget doing traditional advertising that doesn't work such as:
I personally suffer this when I am consulting with many restaurant owners. I teach them the techniques, they acknowledge them and recognize that they make sense and should work, and then... nothing happens. They are so busy running their daily operations (even if the restaurant is half-empty), and complaining about the economy that they don't have any time or energy left to take any action and improve their business. Successful marketing means connecting with customers and understanding their feedback, companies like Medallia text analytics can analyze surveys to help meet customer needs and wants.
The latest Internet Usage Statistics (as of June 2008 according to Nielsen//NetRatings) tell us that there are in the US more than 220 million Internet users. This represents a 72.5% of the USA population and means that most of your customers access, or have access to, the Internet.
And yet, most of the restaurateurs are doing next to nothing to promote their business online.
Please watch this video, and then keep on reading...
The Web not only provides them with information regarding the offers around them, but also gives them a map with the location, photos of the place, directions to get there, and the most important: opinions from other people about the restaurants.
You can spend fortunes in marketing printing ads in newspapers and magazines, buying half pages (or whole pages) in the Yellow Pages, advertising on the radio, etc. but nobody really cares.
Your customers are not looking for your restaurants where you advertise, they are looking online. They use the Web to search for the best places to eat.
So what can you do to attract them to your restaurant? Simple; have a great website with lots of useful information, promote your business online, where your customers are, and the most important of all, have great reviews from anybody who goes to eat at your place.
And how do you do that? The answer is simple in words and difficult in execution: Make everybody who goes to eat at your place very happy. Exceed their expectations. Deal with any potential issue generously and never, ever argue with a client, even if they are wrong. You will regret it later on because they will let the whole world how bad your place is.
And guess what all people who are looking for restaurants online will read? Exactly, how bad your place is.
Don't make that mistake. Think about any complementary food that you need to give away as a marketing expense. Just make everybody happy and don't give them any room for complains. This is the only way to have great online reviews, this is your advertising, and all your marketing should revolve around this idea.
As a well-informed restaurateur, you need to take advantage of any available tool to promote your business!
There are so many restaurant online marketing tools available to restaurateurs that I would think that these restaurant marketing tools: free or very inexpensive to implement, and extremely effective, would be the main focus of their restaurant marketing right?
Well, not really...
The sad reality is that restaurateurs still prefer to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars in very ineffective marketing just because everybody else does it.
Most of your customers are looking for restaurants online. In fact, they don't care about how big your Yellow pages ads are (by the way, did you know that the percentage of U.S. households that have a cell phone but no landline has grown dramatically and now stands at around 17 percent nationally?) and they don't care about flashy ads in newspapers, radio, or magazines. They just Google "Italian Restaurant" or "Thai Restaurant" and read the reviews.
Please read the following free (and eye-opening) article that I wrote about this topic:
Also, are you maximizing the Social Networks such as Twitter or Facebook to promote your restaurant? If not, you should. The only investment that you have to make is your time, and they can have a tremendous impact in your business.
It is very important to have an online restaurant marketing mix of activities. Now, you can approach your restaurant online marketing in two different ways, both of them are valid so just pick the one that it is right for you and your business:
There are several online restaurant directories and I will tell you which ones you should use and why your restaurant should have a presence there. You don't even need to have a restaurant website to give your restaurant an online presence.
In this page you'll find information about your restaurant's web site and why you should have one. I will cover restaurant web hosting, restaurant autoresponders, restaurant site building software (for PC and Mac), outsourcing your restaurant site design, etc.
Is your restaurant in Facebook, Twitter, and/or MySpace? If not, it should. I will cover the best ways to market your restaurant using social media.
And last but not least, you should do email marketing to promote your restaurant. I will tell you how to capture your customers information and what autoresponders are best for your business. I will also cover your restaurant online newsletter here.
The good news is that there are always solutions to all the problems (well, almost all, but there is a solution for this particular one). Your solution is called DELEGATION.
Delegation is perhaps one of the most underused and underestimated techniques. If there are people who can do things better than you, you shouldn't waste your time struggling with those tasks. Focus on your strengths and delegate any challenging or boring (for you) restaurant tasks to somebody else. Not only you'll be happier by focusing on your strengths, but you will also maximize your time and increase your results by leaving these tasks that you don't like, or don't know how to do, to an expert.
The Online Restaurant Marketing Consulting is a comprehensive set of online restaurant marketing services. It is a package built with several modules (you can select the complete package or individual modules based on your needs and preferences) that will take from you any burden to develop a killer online web presence for your restaurant. You can find more information about this very affordable restaurant consulting service by clicking on the graphic or link below.