The restaurant industry is an extremely competitive space. A quick scroll through a Swiggy or a Zomato tells you exactly what you’re dealing with. With so many restaurants to compete with, your promotion game must be on point at all times.
In this article, we’re going to cover 5 foolproof ways that you can adopt to promote your restaurant in 2021.
Let’s dive in!
With hectic schedules and the stresses of work, millennials today look forward to unwinding over the weekends while catching up with friends at brunch or over a couple of drinks. One way to take these experiences up a notch is to host events in your restaurant every now and then. The options are endless: calling a Jazz singer on a Friday, Sufi night on a Saturday, a local band on Sunday are just some ways you can go about this. You could also look into getting a karaoke system, organizing slam poetry events, stand-up comedy, or even movie screenings!
But the events don’t always have to be entertainment-centric. It is also a good idea to promote chef’s specials on certain days of the week such as authentic Amritsari Fish curry every Sunday. A great way to decide which specials you’d like to promote is to talk to your chefs and kitchen staff, identify which dishes have the potential to create the most hype, and go with those. Use your social media to spread the word about these events and make sure your customers have something to truly look forward to. You could also livestream these events, to take up online engagement.
Discounts and Deals
Offering discounts and special deals are age-old ways of attracting new customers. You could offer percentage-based discounts to your loyal customers such as 20% off of their next order or a time-based discount such as 15% off from 7-9 PM every day. Promoting these discounts by SMS or email marketing just a little before meal times is a good idea to convince customers to place orders or drop in for a quick bite.
You could also offer deals such as ‘buy one get one’ or happy hour specials on certain days of the week to increase footfall. When deciding how to time these offers, use the data collected by your POS to make decisions that create the most impact.
Social Media Promotions
It’s no secret today that content is king. And the best way to make your content reach customers is to use social media. But where do you even start? Let’s take it one at a time.
To begin with, post high-quality photos on your Instagram and Twitter handles of your signature dishes. Just one appetizing photo of scrumptious food or an ice-cold coffee on a hot summer day can convince a customer to place an order immediately. While these mouth-watering images can tip the scales in your favor, don’t just stop there. Try to collaborate with food bloggers and lifestyle influencers who can help your social media profiles get a much wider reach.
Next, it’s important to use hashtags in all your posts as well. #foodstagram, #vegan, #food blogger are just some of the most widely looked up hashtags on Instagram. You could also use hashtags such as #happyholi, #nationaldonutday, and so on, depending on upcoming holidays and events.
Loyalty programs have been around for a while but their role has really taken off in the restaurant industry over the last couple of years. Today, all restaurants, big or small, rely on loyalty programs to retain customers and promote their business. There are a ton of options to introduce these programs if you don’t already have one in place. For instance, if you run a café, you could offer a free coffee to a customer once every month. You could also look into offering personalized discount offers to customers, that are inspired by their past orders- for example, giving a 10% discount to a customer to repeat the last order they’d made. Loyalty programs increase recognition for your brand, but they also make your customers feel looked after. When done right, these programs lead to repeat sales quickly. Who doesn’t want to earn points and get a free coffee from time to time? All in all, they can help immensely in leveling up a customer’s experience with your brand.
In recent times, user-generated content has become a huge part of the digital marketing world. Brands across all industries are slowly beginning to incorporate this kind of content created by customers into their marketing strategy. And you’d be surprised at how well your customers can promote your brand, often in truly unconventional ways. The premise is fairly simple- you host online contests or challenges and get as many users as you can to participate.
There are many ways to go about this-hosting a photo contest where people post aesthetic pictures of their favorite menu item from your restaurant. Or, you could ask your fans to submit ideas for future menu items. Maybe you could feature blog entries from your followers. The idea is to get maximum interaction with your followers and get the conversation going about your brand. Chipotle’s #GuacDance challenge on TikTok is a fine example of UGC done right. Similarly, Coca-Cola’s “share a coke” campaign was the talk of the town when it came about. Make sure you explore UGC options on all social media platforms, spanning all the way from Instagram to Reddit.
As the restaurant industry grows every day, the best ways to promote your restaurant change as well. The ideas we’ve given you are among the most effective ways of restaurant promotion today and can go a long way in bringing in new customers to your restaurant. The right kind of marketing strategy can increase your ROI by leaps and bounds, so it’s important to make these decisions wisely. It might take a little trial and error at first, but soon you’ll be able to figure out what works best for your restaurant and your customers.