Competition among restaurants must be at an all-time high. Customers want more. They want new choices, more options, and better value for money than ever before.
Demanding little things aren’t they?
Yes, and restaurant owners need to keep up with that demand.
But you want more too, don’t you?
When it comes to promoting your business not all marketing concepts will cost you your first born child. There are ways to combine great ideas with new technology, while keeping both customers and your bottom line happy.
You may already know the food industry is not all rainbows and lollipops, but armed with some knowledge and creativity, you can be at the top of the food chain (sorry).
Hold on tight, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.
The Importance Of Being
Having an online presence in the competitor-fierce food industry is just as important as the food itself. If non-one knows about you, you are not giving your business the chance it deserves to be seen.
Your restaurant’s website design is a visual invitation for hungry consumers to come and dine with you.
It’s all about the experience. Tempt and stimulate the appetites of your would-be customers with outstanding photographic evidence of the encounter they too can have.
Technology is an enticing way to bring attention to your restaurant but don’t get caught up in the excitement of it all. There is some housekeeping to do.
As the administrator, be present and be aware of what your site looks like to an outsider, and make regular changes if you feel they are needed. Ensure any changes in location or menu items are executed immediately.
Technology is only beneficial if it’s current.
Walk This Way
Speaking of current, for the uninitiated I have two words.
Ever notice how certain a growing number of people have mysteriously grown a permanent screened accessory at the end of their fingers?
Mobile devices are the new black. They are with us ninety per cent of our day, and hold our lives precariously within them.
This sign of the times can no longer be overlooked by any business wanting to ensure visibility or to remain contemporary.
Mobile friendly restaurant websites are more likely to turn traffic into bookings simply because they understand what the visitor is trying to do. Fill their hungry belly, quickly.
What we want is for people to make a decision as soon as possible, not have to browse through a number of pages before they get to the good stuff. Believe me, you will lose them along the way.
Mobile friendly restaurant websites that do not generate a good impression from the get-go will be rendered to the back button Never-Neverland, until their owners realize the importance of attracting those on-the-go, time poor and impatient beings that dwell among us.
To Like Or Not To Like
Social media. For some, these are two of the dirtiest words in the English language, but love it or hate it, this fast growing time consuming, mind controller is here to stay.
The trick is to wield your social media sword to your advantage.
Firstly, you must always choose your weapons carefully.
Social media can be a slippery slope for the unsuspecting. Don’t think just because you use all the media available to you that you are safe. Over saturation can be just as bad as not having any presence on social media.
Secondly, have patience, Grasshopper. Building relationships and targeting markets is not as easy as you might think.
Don’t forget you are a consumer too. Think about what annoys you about social marketing you receive from other business and the chances are your customers feel the same way.
Last but not least, it’s your business. Make sure it’s perfect for you.
Emoji or bust!
Sure, we use technology to our advantage, and so we should. The food industry, and its tools of trade have changed enormously for the restaurateur over the years. It is natural that owners strive to remain the top rung of competition ladder and technology can be a driving force, but don’t be afraid to go offline with some marketing ideas.
The marketing methods for the food business are changing rapidly as the environment itself is demanding the change. If your restaurant or cafe is not being seen or attracted by customers you can hire food trucks for corporate events and deliver your food where the events are, making sure that a great experience with food will bring more and more people to your restaurant. Another way to market your food business is guerilla marketing, which costs less, but brings huge results when done right. After all, everyone remembers the french fries McDonald’s has created as road passing lines.
The guy on the street in the chicken suit advertising pizza deals might get a few smiles and more than a few unpleasant comments, but before that happens, people are actually reading that 30 pound board strapped to his body.
When was the last time you read an advertisement?
What Mr. Chicken suit has done is capture an audience. Its novel, old school, and some might say clichéd, but it does work.
The point to remember is not to discount any ideas or things that have been successful in the past for fear of not being cutting edge, or expense driven.
Look at all avenues. It can be difficult but you need to walk a fine line between what is trendy and what will work best for your business.
What’s that saying? I’m sure it was something about everything old being new again.
The thought of networking can send shivers down the spine of even the most confident business owner. That’s not necessarily all their own fault. Sometimes it can be that your restaurant has been your baby for so long, the thought involving other people or businesses was never an option.
You against the world, right?
It doesn’t have to be like that anymore. There are many business partnership out there that could be a very useful to visibility, and your bottom line.
Annual fairs, parades, and events generate a great deal of interest and bring travelers to your town simply for entertainment. Sporting associations and teams need sponsors just as much you need customers.
All these types of marketing vehicles have their own advertising campaigns that create an opportunity to have a restaurant seen in its best light. Supporting your town or community has its rewards, both professionally and personally.
It just makes good sense to jump on that hay ride every chance you get and avoid the tendency to want to go it alone.
It might just be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Being realistic with your marketing dollar does not spell doom for your business. If budget is a concern, clearly there are still ways to market your restaurant a visible, and current enterprise.
Be a little more creative with your thinking. Combine different approaches and mix it up to form the best marketing strategies you can afford.
It takes time, a little help from marketing concepts, and a belief in your restaurant to get you where you want to be.
If you are new to the restaurant game, you’re in for a rough ride sometimes, but the initial growing pains will be worth it in the end.