It can be a very time-consuming and expensive proposition to open up a new restaurant business and to keep it going. For many restaurant owners and managers, that means the last thing they want to do is become embroiled with all the details of marketing and advertising in order to bring patrons in. However, no matter how much hard work and effort you put into all the behind-the-scenes details of managing a restaurant and preparing great food and drink, it can all go for naught if you haven’t properly promoted the restaurant, to raise awareness for potential patrons.
If you are a manager who prefers to avoid the advertising and marketing aspect of the restaurant business, at least make sure that you have delegated the task to someone you can rely on, to do an effective job of promoting your restaurant business. Here are some of the ways that promoting your restaurant can bring huge benefits, in terms of patronage and a favorable impression of your establishment throughout the community.
Setup a Loyalty Program
Once you’ve got a customer in the doors, you want to make sure that they keep coming back, and one of the best ways to do this is to establish a loyalty program which rewards patrons for return visits. You can do this in a number of ways, by rewarding the number of times they visit your restaurant for instance, or by rewarding them for the amount spent on each visit.
The kinds of incentives that you use for this can be in the form of free menu items, discounts off the total bill, or possibly promotional giveaways like a free T-shirt. If you can set up an effective loyalty program, it will automatically provide motivation for your patrons to keep coming back, it can help you build up the database of your valued patrons, and it can go a long way toward improving relationships with all your customers.
Build an Appealing Website for your Restaurant Business
When restaurant-goers are looking for a place to go for a fine meal, one of the first places they check is online, very often doing a search for ‘restaurants near me’. This makes it highly advantageous for you to have an attractive website built, especially one which features some very visually appealing samples of your food and beverages.
Make it very obvious what your restaurant address is, and provide directions for patrons so that it’s very easy for them to find your establishment. Some of the additional advantages of having your own website are that it will help to build your brand image, it can be used to take online reservations, it can divert more traffic to your restaurant, and it can provide your patrons with an idea of what to expect before they arrive.
Make Sure Your Website is Highly Ranked
As a sidebar to building an attractive website, it’s very important that you get your website highly ranked in Google, especially in local search results, because if you’re not on the first page of results returned to Internet searchers, your website probably won’t be seen. If necessary, engage the services of a professional, so that you can achieve the high ranking you need in order to achieve maximum visibility with patrons.
Social Media Promotion
Take advantage of using the social media at every opportunity, because it’s a great way to connect with customers and to feature whatever it is about your restaurant that makes it distinctive from all the others. The really important point about social media is that they are used by literally billions of people around the world, and if you can reach just a small percentage of some of these people, you have the potential to start a domino effect that will reach more people with your message and your brand. In effect, you will be turning your customers into spokesmen for your restaurant business, and you will have all the free advertising and marketing that you could ever hope for.
Grocery Store Advertising
If you have never considered this, it’s really worth taking some time to think about, and possibly putting it into action. For a very small fee, you can have your restaurant business name and address, or other information printed on the back of customer receipts, so that everyone who goes to the local grocery store will have in hand the information they need to get your restaurant. This is a great way of connecting with a large number of people, and for establishing a relationship with a number of the local citizenry who are all potential patrons.
Host Some Special Events
A great way of promoting your restaurant business is to host some special events once a week or once a month, because they can be a lot of fun for everyone involved, and because they can create some tremendous buzz in the community about your business. Such events as happy hours, open mic nights, DJ night, and possibly even karaoke nights, will all be fun times which are very likely to be well received by patrons, and which can create a highly favorable impression of your business locally.
These will also be great opportunities for you to giveaway promotion items, free food, and drinks to patrons, or discount coupons which can be used at the restaurant in the future. There is any number of these special events which might be organized to provide some entertainment for your patrons and to create strong word-of-mouth to promote your business.