The majority of restaurants have now reopened under new guidelines. While this is great news for restauranteurs, it comes with a new challenge: a surge in competition. Because of this, it has never been more critical to stay top-of-mind and relevant to your customers.
The easiest way to achieve this is through effective restaurant advertising. Many restaurant owners are still stuck in the past, using traditional advertising methods that are designed to reach a wide audience of pre-COVID diners. While this may have worked in the past, the game has changed. It’s critical to advance and adapt as the market continues to change.
The main issue with traditional advertising models? They aren’t based on data, which means they aren’t quite as effective. In this technology-driven world, customer data will continue to play a crucial role in building long-term, positive relationships with customers that keep them coming back. Here’s how to step up your restaurant marketing game:
Take Control of Your Marketing Messages
The first step to a successful restaurant advertising strategy is to understand how to reach your customers and what types of messaging are most effective. Not all customers are receptive to emails, and only certain demographics are likely to follow your business on social media. It’s important to learn how your customers would prefer to stay connected with you. When you meet your customers exactly where they want to communicate with you, you automatically increase the chances of repeat orders.
This means no more guesswork or trial-and-error with advertising. Instead of spending all your money on tactics that don’t work, a restaurant management system offers customer insights that are based on the facts, giving you a strategy sure to generate a valuable ROI.
Your website is another major component of effective restaurant advertising. Most customers will visit your website for information for business hours, menus, reservations, and the types of safety regulations they can expect. Think of your website as your information hub—it will have eyes on it at all times, so it’s important that you stay on top of updates and make them whenever needed. Not only does this help expand your market to new customers, but it also reminds loyal customers that you’re open for business whether they want to dine in or take out.
By utilizing modern technology solutions like a restaurant management system, you own all your customer data, which allows you to gain full control over it and use that data to your advantage. While owning your data may not seem like much, there’s much more power behind it than you may initially think. It gives you specific insights into your customer base, which you can use to segment and reach all types of guests from different markets.
Adapt with Customer Behavioral Changes
Customers are paying attention to who has their best interests in mind. They are concerned with whether or not a restaurant and its employees are following CDC guidelines and communicating policies and procedures to guests.
Recently, new online rating systems have been developed that allow guests to rate how safe and sanitary the restaurant they dined at was. As hygiene continues to remain a top priority for customers during the pandemic and beyond, these ratings can lead to more effective restaurant advertising.
If your restaurant receives a good rating, you can promote it via social and on your website to share your success. If you want more customers to give you ratings, send promotional messaging reminding customers to rate their experiences. Use social media, email marketing, and other avenues to show how you’re actively staying on top of regulations to keep customers safe.
Beyond safety, another top priority for customers is convenience. Restaurants can no longer afford to open their doors for a dine-in only experience. Customers have been exposed to so many new options, and they’ve now come to expect services like take-out, delivery, curbside pickup, as well as new offerings like meal kits and experiential dining. In order to best reach your audience, restaurants must continue to market these conveniences so that customers can see that you’re adapting to their behavioral changes. This places your business as a top choice for customers deciding on where to get their next meal.
Restaurant Promotion Tactics
The best way forward is to use a variety of effective restaurant advertising methods to achieve the results you want. These include keeping your website up-to-date with essential information on online ordering, takeout, delivery, curbside pickup, and dine-in options for customers. In addition, you need to make sure your restaurant is active on social media so you can connect with your guests on a daily basis to keep your business top-of-mind.
According to a study from Statista, 43.1% of social media users surveyed believe usage will increase on Instagram, and 62.3% believe it will increase on Facebook, especially during the ongoing pandemic. Integrating both organic and paid social media marketing will reach new and existing customers exactly where they are: scrolling on their phones at work and home.
An integrated restaurant management system gives you the ability to see specific insights on all your customers, so you can personalize segmented messages and bring repeat business. This can be done through a variety of avenues:
With customer data, you can customize offers that trigger customers to enroll in your loyalty program quickly and easily. Users can engage via mobile, online, and in-store. Secure single-use reward codes can track insights in real time, helping you to better understand customer preferences.
Example: leverage promotions like BOGOs. Rather than offering free items one time, you can offer a BOGO deal after every 5th purchase. This will encourage customers to enjoy their experiences with a friend, sparking new potential customers to become loyal supporters.
Whether you’re offering a discount on delivery or looking to step up in-person traffic, a restaurant management system can help track user data insights to know what your customers want so that you can promote via mobile app.
Example: younger demographics like late Millennials and Gen Z love to make a purchase with a purpose. Partner with an organization you feel strongly about and promote on your app that for a limited time, 10% of all purchases will be donated to that specific cause.
Instead of sending mass emails weekly in hopes that everyone will respond the same, target specific customers using information from your restaurant management system that are based on past ordering options.
Example: entice repeat orders for loyal customers. Craft a coupon to share via email that delights your customers with a discount on their favorite desserts when they come back for a next order.
Optimize an Effective Restaurant Advertising Strategy with HungerRush
Owning your own data is key to effective restaurant advertising. Optimize your advertising budget by checking your restaurant management system insights to make informed decisions that maximize your ROI and help you reach more customers. Organize your advertising during the pandemic and beyond with an all-in-one restaurant management system from HungerRush. Our solution includes everything you need to keep your restaurant thriving as we navigate continuous changes in a global pandemic-centered space. Request a demo to learn how you can create an effective restaurant advertising strategy with our next-level solution.