Whether you’re marketing a restaurant chain or just trying to increase the visibility of your own local family restaurant, here are seven professional restaurant marketing tips that will give your food service establishment a much-needed boost. .
Accurate representation of brand personality
Branding is everything, and that’s true in every field. You might not think this is so important for restaurants, but stop and think about some brands in particular.
The Carl’s Jr. fast food chain has a simple and easily identifiable brand, including a mascot, which gives it a family vibe. But the advertising and marketing also sells a sarcastic sense of humor, elevating the brand’s simplistic design to create a funky, unique personality that appeals to the target market.
The Red Robin sit-down restaurant, meanwhile, is another example of how brand image and brand personality should influence everything about a restaurant, not just logo design. It’s marketed for families, with a mascot that not only defines the logo, but even shows up in person to walk around the restaurant. Aside from the fact that the giant character costumes can sometimes make small children cry in fear, overall it’s a fun way to appeal to family demographics and make the brand personality even clearer. .
What I’m saying here is that it’s worth the time and effort to clearly describe in detail the personality behind a restaurant. Whether it’s a family dinner or a full five-star dining experience, there’s a personality behind it, and that should be reflected in every piece of marketing you do.
The choice of colors matters
One of the most specific and important details of visual marketing is the choice of color. This is true for any type of business, but especially for restaurants.
Why? Because restaurants often thrive and grow based on their ability to appeal to the immediate appetite of the potential consumer. And the choice of colors can have a direct impact on that appeal – and even motivate the consumer to step in and order. The psychology of color gives us insight into how this works. We tend to react to colors in certain ways, and different colors evoke different moods.
Bright, eye-catching colors, especially red, can actually spur a person into action – in this case, motivating them to get off the road and into that restaurant with the giant red “Eat Here!” sign.
There’s a reason why restaurant branding so often uses bright colors, especially fast food brand logos – bright colors work.
Aside from the logo design for now, however, another aspect of using color for marketing your restaurant is the decor of the building itself. The color creates a mood and should reflect not only the personality of the brand but also the atmosphere of the establishment. Experts suggest fresh, soothing vegetables for a restaurant that focuses on a healthy menu, for example. Darker, richer colors work well for an upscale dining establishment, and bright, cheerful colors are ideal for a family restaurant.
Whatever the ultimate choice of color palette for your marketing and the building itself, make sure the tones work well together.
Manage social media
More and more consumers are looking to interact with brands on social media platforms. This is a great marketing opportunity because it gives you the ability to connect on a more meaningful level and retain your diners.
But just as important as creating your own social media account is claiming and managing the restaurant’s pages on Yelp, Google, and other similar sites. These are usually the first results that appear when a company is searched for, so it is essential that the information is correct. This means making sure there are links to the website and menu, and making sure phone numbers and address information are all up to date.
It is also a good idea to follow the reviews posted on these public sites. About 33% of diners read reviews from other restaurant patrons before deciding to try a new place. You can’t control what reviews say, but you can control how you respond. Leave polite, friendly responses to reviews, good or bad – address any concerns, and you just might be able to convince potential customers to try the restaurant, regardless of a previous bad experience.
Keep your online menu up to date
Speaking of the menu, this is one of my pet peeves: Googling a restaurant and finding a completely outdated menu. There’s nothing more frustrating than being excited to try something new only to find they haven’t offered that menu item in a while.
“Don’t frustrate your customers” might seem like obvious advice, but it’s especially relevant when it comes to accurate and effective marketing. Make sure your menu is up to date and easy to find.
Start a food blog
Blogging can be hit and miss, but it’s proven to be a very effective way to market a business when done right. Research key search terms to ensure SEO opportunities are used and add lots of images! Menu items with attached photos are often ordered more than those with a simple description, and the same can be said for including photos of dishes in blog posts.
It’s not advice that has been followed by many restaurant chains, so it’s a great way to really set a business apart from the rest, while offering a plethora of opportunities to establish brand personality, build loyalty and fully market what the best of what the restaurant offers.
Start a loyalty program
Everyone talks about retaining customers, but launching a loyalty program for diners allows the restaurant to show loyalty in return. Loyalty programs work bilaterally for both parties – they help retain customers and reward them for returning.
Generally speaking, customers are more likely to try – and return – to establishments where they feel valued. Loyalty programs are a great marketing tool that can attract new customers and keep them coming back again and again.
Make your promotions really special
Each time we sit down in the restaurant, the waiter lists the daily specials. I’ll be honest, I’ve never ordered a “special” that was charged to me on these occasions.
On the other hand, I went to a new place and ordered a certain menu item because I heard about it from others and because the establishment is “known” for it. That’s why my final piece of advice is to elevate your promotions.
Elevating your specialty items isn’t just about having your staff tell customers about them. It’s about incorporating marketing techniques that can make them go viral, spreading word of mouth, and including special features in your print and online marketing. Restaurants are built on the reputation of their food, and the more you can highlight these individual elements, the more the restaurant will shine.