5 Effective Online Marketing Strategies for Restaurants

Online Marketing has become essential for restaurants in 2021, with hundreds of trends popping up every day and millions of customers using and depending on social media to make their purchasing decisions.

Still, online marketing is not all about social media and, there many other channels that can help you get free targeted traffic for your restaurant. And with some optimizations you will be able to convert your visitors into satisfying customers. So to make use of those online marketing channels, here is what you need to do.

1- Create A Website for Your Restaurant

Having a website for your restaurant is not part of online marketing per se, however, it is the base on which the whole process stands.

In order to start your endeavor in restaurant marketing, you have to have a digital presence first, that is why having a website is a must. A smooth professional website reflects your brand to your online audience and gives your restaurant authority in your industry.

Your website will need to be backed up by an efficient online ordering system to provide a hassle-free ordering experience for your customers.

Taker provides restaurant with an online ordering system that is tailored and customized to increase the efficiency of your restaurant operations and provide you with several marketing tools to enhance your online presence. In addition to your own restaurant website, Takers gives you the option to have an app for your restaurant, which will help you reach your customers easily and send customized notifications based on their preferences.

Those features among others help you create your own online tribe and increase your customer satisfaction.

2- Use Local SEO Practices

Local SEO is used to make your restaurant website rank for searches related to the city or district where your restaurant is located; e.g. “Where to Eat in Jeddah”  “Burger restaurants in Riyadh”. There are many practices used to improve your local search ranking including; keyword research, titles and content optimization … etc.  You can easily find a checklist of the best practices to rank locally and apply them to your website to increase your website’s relevancy and get the targeted traffic.

3- Build Your Social Presence

You can’t compete successfully with other restaurants without having a strong social media presence. There are several social media platforms and you have to choose the platform that works best for your restaurant and country. In some countries Facebook is more popular than other social media platforms. In others, Instagram and Twitter take the lead. It is important to understand your audience and reach to them through a strong social media plan on a related social media platform.

4- Start your Restaurant Blog

Blogging is a powerful strategy to generate leads and drive sales. In fact, many studies show that blogging continuously can increase lead generation by 89%.

Creating food related sharable content will aid your customers in making purchase decisions and will also support your local SEO efforts. Creating a blog for your restaurant requires patience and commitment, but is always rewarding on the long run.

Here are some tips to help you start your restaurant blog;

Be Unique: your audience will love if your blog posts are creative and original. Share new recipes and information about your restaurant and engage them in the food making process.

Be Relevant: Know your audience interests and create content that appeals and adds value to them. Answer their questions and respond to their comments in an easy creative way. This will help you clear any misunderstanding and will show that you apply transparency policy at your restaurant.

Be Versatile: be versatile in your content and how it is presented. Blog about different topics and hop on food trends to engage your customers. You should also present your content in diverse ways including; videos, text, images, infographics… etc.

Go Beyond Publishing: Share. Share and Share. Share your content on you social media platforms. Share it to related website, contact influencers to share it on their social media pages,  do whatever you can to spread your content and make it go viral.

Keep it Open: You don’t have to do all the work by yourself,  get other food bloggers to write on your blog and create your own food blogging community.

5- Use Email Marketing

Restaurant owners can easily take advantage of email marketing to collect data about their customers and use it to provide a more personalized ordering experience.  Building a targeted email list will allow you to know more about your customers and cater to their needs and preferences.

Here are some effective ways to build your email marketing data base:

  1. Offer voucher or discount for customers who provide their email and/or phone number.
  2. Ask your customers to provide their emails and signup for your newsletter to get the latest offers and discounts.
  3. Offer a free drink for customers who provide their email while ordering on premises or takeaway.
  4. Offer special discounts for customers ordering via newsletter.

There are many other ways to collect customers’ emails and understanding your customers’ behavior would help greatly in finding and applying the right way.