For restaurant owners, marketing seems to be a perennial pain the a**. Part of the reason could be the background of restaurant owners.
Some restaurateurs come from the school of thought believing or even advocating for “they will come if we build it”, or in this case, “they will come and return because it tastes good”. There might be a pinch of truth to this, but if we set it to a realistic backdrop wherein there are hundreds of restaurants with the same thinking, and maybe even new restaurants lining up to open each week in Bali alone, what could be your edge as a restaurant?
Some experts would suggest carving a niche for yourself. In fact, most restaurants we see nowadays are specialty restaurants. The fight to getting that coveted “most visited” restaurant has been elevated to digital. Here are some practical tips from Evan Hayes that you can adopt in order to get more people visiting your store: (source: http://www.fastcasual.com/articles/10-fresh-restaurant-marketing-ideas-for-2016/)
Take loyalty seriously — It costs a business, on the average, 5-7 times more to acquire new customers than selling to an existing one. Loyal customers spend 10 times as much as new customers in their lifetime. This statistic is what you should go after as a restaurant. Build your concept around ideas that foster loyalty. This will prove to be more profitable in the long run.
Build a simple, elegant website — You can’t run a business in 2016 without a website. Almost 50 percent of restaurant website traffic takes place on mobile devices, according to a Gourmet Marketing.com article. Restaurants that offer responsive mobile websites convert up to 64 percent of searchers.
Grow your customer review bank — This is your golden ticket to having a successful word-of-mouth marketing in 2016. Your reputation can make or break your business. The sheer volume of reviews doesn’t really matter. Instead, the number of positive reviews becomes your restaurant’s lifeblood. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, people who had a poor interaction were 50 percent more likely to share it on social media than those who had a good experience, and 52 percent were more likely to share it on an online review site such as Yelp.
Become a social media medium — Aside from your website, customers will look for your business on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It is a necessity to have a social media alter ego for your restaurant. Once you’ve created a Facebook page and Twitter handle for your restaurant, focus on gathering more “Likes” and “Tweets” by driving customers to talk about their visit online. There are also quite a few social media management tools available to help you manage your social media presence, including Sprout Social, Hootsuite and Buffer.
Gather data on your customers — It is not 1995, yet some restaurants continue to have customers drop their business cards in a fishbowl or hand write their email addresses on a piece of paper at the register. Or better yet, some restaurants collect absolutely no information about their customers. Gathering data about your customers is no longer optional in today’s highly competitive, online world. Offering a digital loyalty program brings traditional offline data-gathering methods online by allowing your restaurant to collect actionable data on your customers and make decisions that positively impact your business.
Participate in the on-demand economy — According to Mike Jaconi, contributor for Business Insider, the on-demand economy is defined as “the economic activity created by technology companies that fulfill consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services.” Companies such as Postmates, GrubHub and Caviar are worth considering because of their ability to extend the existing reach of local restaurants and to have a positive impact on labor allocation toward food delivery and on-demand ordering.
Use mobile to gamify customer experience — It’s no secret that we all love our smartphones. As customers, we live in a much more mobile world compared to a decade ago. By embracing the mobile trend, restaurants that partner with loyalty apps or offer their own app are seeing an increase in engagement and activity that can lead to stickiness, deeper connections and greater loyalty. For example, Tropical Smoothie was able to decrease time between customer visits by 50 percent by surprising and delighting their customers. Using their loyalty program, they emailed their customers to visit for a chance to win a free smoothie.
The farm-to-table and local fresh wave is here to stay — By not offering your customers locally sourced food products, you’re missing out on a two-sided advantage on which other restaurants that do offer local are capitalizing. From a food perspective, providing locally sourced ingredients means you’re offering customers fresh, high quality ingredients that generally command higher prices and better margins. From a marketability perspective, offering farm-to-table ingredients means the perception of your food quality is much higher than it otherwise would be. Additionally, you create the perception that you’re building goodwill within the local community by supporting small local farmers. Restaurants that offer farm-to-table options and that source many menu items locally include Farmhouse in Chicago and Redbird in Montana.
Offer online reservations — If you currently don’t offer a way for customers to book reservations online, you should consider signing up for an online reservation like OpenTable. Online reservation tools provide new and existing customers with a fast and easy way to book new reservations, change reservations and share their experiences.
Allergen friendly and gluten-free — The point here is to expand your audience — continue to cater to the majority of us without food allergies — but now find select partners to source allergen-friendly options that make it possible for the family of four who has a child with celiac disease to enjoy food at your restaurant. You offer whole-wheat pasta on your menu, so why not also offer brown rice pasta? Offering allergen-friendly and gluten-free options doesn’t have to be a yes or no, black or white decision. It is possible to safely provide alternatives either made in-house or sourced from certified allergen or gluten-free partners such as Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery or Defloured.
These tips will help you prepare against the influx of competition. For a free assessment on your marketing strategy, you may get in touch with us through the following: firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at +62 813-3955-3381