Successful Managers Recognize the Importance of Restaurant Digital Marketing.
The building blocks of action. The fuel of possibilities.
Unfortunately, marketing ideas don’t typically surface when you’re under intense amounts of pressure.
Given the high-stress environment that comes with a career in hospitality, it’s no surprise digital marketing isn’t usually a top priority for restaurant managers.
Of course, restaurant managers have to focus on the immediate needs right in front of them.
Recovering the angry couple about to leave because there isn’t enough vodka in their Sea Breeze, for example. Or tracking down the line cook who is 2 hours late on a Saturday night.
For most restaurant managers, urgent priorities don’t include updating the restaurant’s Twitter feed every two hours. Likewise, emailing guests about happy hour promos and responding to customer complaints on Facebook don’t rank high on the daily to-do list.
In the face of pressing demands, digital marketing becomes an afterthought for restaurant managers.
Despite the nature of the restaurant business, the truth is successful managers recognize the importance of restaurant digital marketing.
As a restaurant manager, the sooner you realize how many opportunities you’re throwing away by not leveraging digital marketing, the better. Digital marketing isn’t just another perk or value-add for your business model.
Digital marketing is essential to the survival, success, and longevity of your restaurant.
As unrealistic as it may seem, you have to find time in your busy schedule to devote to restaurant digital marketing! If you do, your efforts will be rewarded with greater guest engagement, loyalty and sales growth.
The following tips and suggestions aim to breathe new life into your digital marketing efforts. Enjoy!
Restaurant Digital Marketing Ideas and the Power of ‘What’s Happening’
Gimmicks grab people’s attention, and that’s especially true when they’re combined with food visuals.
Take advantage of the National Day Calendar by putting your own foodie spin on these “fun, and usually forgotten designations.” There are seemingly endless ways to combine these wacky (usually food- oriented) holidays as a chance to promote an item on your menu. Even if it is not a food-related celebration, the National Day Calendar is a great resource when your creativity run low, as it sometimes will.
Restaurant Digital Marketing Ideas: Ask Questions that Demand Interesting Answers
Sometimes using your social media account as a community forum is a great idea to ignite a lighthearted banter.
By nature, people love to add their “two cents” on questions that are unique and non-critical, no matter how trivial the subject. Many times, restaurant digital marketers focus so much on sharing quality images and promotions they forget their audience has a valuable input of their own to share.
Leverage your reach among your digital customers by asking questions that beg interesting answers—you’re sure to engage your audience unlike ever before.
Don’t Ignore Google+ with your Restaurant Digital Marketing
It may seem like a waste of time to some, but thoroughly completing a Google+ account for your restaurant is just as important (if not more important) than any other social platform.
Although most of your customers won’t find your restaurant on Google+, your Google+ profile ensures they will find you in a Google search.
That’s why it’s essential to create a Google+ account. Google pulls its data from the most convenient sources. Since Google+ exists within the Googlestratosphere, completing your restaurant’s profile on Google+ is incredibly important.
Find your Restaurant’s Core Values and Apply them to your Digital Marketing Plan
Think hard about your restaurant.
What are the best qualities of your restaurant? How does it fit into your guests’ lifestyles? Who are your target customers?
Do you champion the importance of cooking with non-GMO ingredients? Your message could hone in on the benefits of organically grown food.
Is your outside patio dog-friendly? Featuring a doggy menu and promoting it on social media shows K9 lovers that your restaurant welcomes their furry family members.
The better you can develop an identity for your restaurant, the more you will be able to reflect your restaurant “personality” through digital marketing.
Make Google Alerts Part of your Digital Strategy
Setting up Google Alerts is a wonderful way to know who is [digitally] mentioning your restaurant around the web (and around the clock).
You can customize alerts based on key words, names, locations and essentially any type of content that pertains to your place of business.
Alerts give you the advantage of filtering through the Internet and collecting the mentions that directly relate back to your restaurant. Whether the source of the alert is a press release, blog mention, user-generated photo on social media, etc., Google Alerts is something every restaurant should consider using.
Restaurant Digital Marketing Ideas: Invite Bloggers and Press in for a Free Meal
Sometimes gaining foot traffic to your restaurant can be difficult. Implementing a blogger outreach strategy can generate buzz and trigger a wave of new hungry patrons to walk through your doors.
It is also an easy and inexpensive tactic for garnering local attention for your restaurant. All it takes is a touch of flattery and admiration to get the attention of a good food writer.
1- Simply visit Google and enter in your query with relevant keywords:
2- Qualify blog for restaurant reviews
3- Find the point of contact, site owner, editor
4- Reach out with a personalized email [Here’s an Example]
Hi [Site Owner],
I absolutely adore your weekly roundups on local [your location] restaurants, and fun and delicious spring recipes. Thanks for all the wonderful free content!
I recently opened a 19th century-inspired Italian restaurant in [location]. We have some unique menu options inspired by my great grandmother that is sure to be a big hit. Come on in for a free lunch or dinner anytime in exchange for an honest review with your loyal readers.