Many restaurants struggle with ways to increase customer traffic and profits. The right restaurant marketing strategy can increase awareness, bring in more customers, and improve the dining experience.

One major marketing trend for restaurant executives this year is the increasing adoption of a comprehensive mobile experience. Nearly 50% of restaurant executives worldwide say they use this tactic to reach more customers and make their experience more satisfying.

Additionally, social media optimization and email marketing help to drive new and loyal customers back to a restaurant.

Let’s take a look at how these three restaurant marketing tactics can help you engage customers and boost business:

 

Improve the Mobile Experience

The restaurant industry has an opportunity to improve business through mobile marketing, and as a result, many restaurant executives have started to focus on advancing the customers’ mobile experience.

One in four customers have at least one restaurant mobile app on their smartphone, and they regularly search on mobile about locations and menus before coming into a restaurant.

One place to start with mobile optimization is with your website. A responsive web design allows mobile users to have the same experience as desktop browsers.

Services like Table Hero or Let’s Eat offer mobile-friendly designs, making mobile friendly design easy. Already have a site? If you’re using WordPress for your current site, you can change your template to be more mobile-responsive with the guide here.

You might also consider integrating comprehensive restaurant software that allows you to take online orders, design mobile deals, and adjust menu options with ease.

 

Optimize Review Sites and Social Channels

Customer reviews are important. With the rising popularity of social media, it has become commonplace for people to share comments and give feedback on restaurant social media accounts.

Here are a couple points to keep in mind when setting up or improving your restaurant’s review site pages and social accounts:

Add High-Quality Photos

Let’s admit it, who doesn’t love eye-catching, mouth-watering food photos? Before customers even check out your menu or opening hours, the first thing they’ll see on social accounts are the photos.

Poynt, a contemporary seafood and pizza bar in Newburyport, MA, has an outstanding Instagram presence. They show off new dishes with high-quality photos and have great customer reviews online.

It can be beneficial to hire a professional photographer to take photographs of your popular or signature dishes to use on social media channels and review sites.

On review sites specifically, it’s important to note that you can’t rearrange uploaded photos. To keep the page fresh, restaurant owners can strategically upload new photos so customers always see the best pictures when browsing your review page.

Manage Feedback

Unfortunately, not every dining experience will be perfect. That’s why it’s important to monitor and mediate negative feedback and address upset customers on review sites and social media. Here are a few tips for replying to customers on social media:

  • Always reply to positive comments genuinely and encourage them to come back.
  • Admit to negative comments but try and take the conversation offline.
  • Apologize to customers that are really unsatisfied and offer them your email to further address it.

 

Build an Email Marketing Strategy

You know it can really hard to get customers to come back to your restaurant. Chances are you do everything you can to serve the best food and ambiance in an attempt to impress those first-time customers and hope they return again.

But this may not be enough. Keep your customers in the loop with what’s happening and what can be expected in the future with an email marketing strategy. This tactic can be a great way to turn a new customer into a loyal one.

There are many email marketing tools out there, but we recommend a few easy-to-use tools and best practices to help achieve your restaurant business goals:

Email Marketing Tools:

  1. Mailchimp

This tool has a simple email designer and email template features that let you play around with and build an email campaign quickly.

Mail Chimp Email Marketing

 

  1.  GetResponse

GetResponse’s drag-and-drop email editor allows you to easily set up a newsletter. If you are experienced with HTML, you can also use their HTML source editor to create more personalized emails.

Get Response Email Marketing

  1.  Litmus

If you want to have email creation, testing and analytics all in once, Litmus may be your choice. This tool may be especially useful for restaurants that have multiple locations and intend to target different customers with corresponding emails.

Litmus Email Marketing

Email Marketing Best Practices:

Here are a few best practices for incorporating a strategic restaurant email marketing plan:

 

Final Thoughts

People consume tons of information and content online every day, so getting their attention is harder than ever. For restaurants, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive marketing plan in place to further engage customers and drive more business.

The above three marketing tactics could be a good starting point to help your business in driving operations and traffic, but keep in mind, your marketing strategy should fit your audience.