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How to Market a New Restaurant: The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Marketing

restaurant marketing

Starting a new restaurant is hard work. You need to find a way to keep your regulars satisfied while acquiring new customers on a daily basis.

For those who need help marketing their new restaurant business, we’re here to help you with an essential guide full of marketing ideas, strategies, and tips.

On the other hand, if you want our team of marketing strategists to do your marketing for you, head here.

1. Take Social Media Seriously

Social media apps like Instagram and Facebook are littered with millions of pictures of food. In fact, there is even a community dedicated to “food porn”… 

And this community is huge!

But why does it exist?

People love to share beautiful pictures of food just because of how satisfying it can be to look at. Visual content like this is great for restaurants too because people are effectively getting their friends and connections to become customers too. 

For new restaurants, you should seriously be considering getting a social media expert to take professional photographs or DIY style images for your social media accounts. 

After all, it can actually be a lot more difficult than it looks to take those high quality lighting photos of your favorite burger!

2. Focus on your Yelp

For the restaurant industry, Yelp is one of the strongest influences on your store’s overall impact.

Getting a lot of positive Yelp reviews is incredibly important for your business

In fact, even if you don’t have a Yelp account yet, people will still make reviews for your restaurant. 

Because of this, it is very important for you to set up your Yelp account as soon as possible and decorate it in a way that encourages positive interactions. Additionally, people are generally inclined to post a negative review after a poor experience more than they are inclined to post a positive review after a satisfying meal. You should always make sure to monitor all the activity that happens on your Yelp account for this reason. For the negative reviews, always respond in a professional, polite manner. Another good idea is to ask them for more information about their experience. 

If you want to know more about how to optimize your Yelp account, head to this article here

3. Set up your "Google My Business"

Nowadays, a vast majority of people are discovering new businesses online through search engines.

Setting up your business to show up as a standalone segment on Google is vastly important for that reason. 

google my business

It makes it easy for customers to review your food, share it with their friends, and see your hours of service. 

It also gives them all the information they need to schedule ahead and find your restaurant before you even meet them.

4. Use Social Ads with Location Targeting

Sharing your new restaurant will only work if you target a specific location.

Typically, this means sending ads to people who live in the local area. 

Most people don’t want to travel far to get a good meal and you don’t want to waste your money advertising to someone who is too far to make the drive. 

This is why you need to use Geo-targeting ads. 

Advertising services such as Google Adwords and Facebook for Business are great for this. When you are creating your ads, they allow you to make use of location targeting features that get your best ads in front of your local customers. 

Setting it up can be tricky if you don’t have any experience in marketing. If you need support with optimizing your ads to get the most amount of customers with the lowest initial investment, check this out

5. Create a Business Website

Unless you want people to only see your offering through Google and Yelp, you need to create a website for your business. 

A website is essential because:

  1. You can collect emails for a newsletter.
  2. You can get pre-orders.
  3. You can set up reservations easily.
  4. You can get more customers through SEO traffic.
  5. You can start a loyalty program.
happy customer

Creating a website is an essential for almost every type of business. Restaurants are no different.

If you create a website, you can funnel customers right to your doorstep by making impactful ads that lead to a stunning landing page. We can help with that here

6. Send an Email Newsletter

Once you have a website that can effectively collect emails, you can send out a newsletter that people actually want to read. 

In fact, you don’t even have to send emails on a daily or weekly basis. 

Sometimes, people will be pleasantly reminded of your great food from a monthly email sent to their inbox. 

Email marketing is another service that a digital marketing agency for restaurants would offer. 

7. Start a Loyalty Program

A lot of Boba stores offer a program where you get a free drink after 10 purchases. Something simple like this could be a great way to attract returning customers to your store. 

Another effective option is to partner with online food apps.

Apps like Belly are specifically made to grow your customers through loyalty programs that offer rewards for multiple visits.

This is a great way to encourage new visitors to become regulars.

8. Start a Blog

A majority of marketers agree that content marketing with a blog is one of the most effective ways to grow traffic to your business organically. 

Blogs give you an outlet to engage with your community, experiment with new offerings, and build a customer connection.

Not only that, It also lets you share your restaurant’s history and experiences. This could be a great way for people to find out about your business and what makes your restaurant unique.

That being said, starting a blog can be a lot of work. It can be made easier by keeping a simple content schedule and integrating it onto your website. 

If your restaurant ever expands to other locations across the country, your blog can always be managed by another team!

9. Reach out to Food Bloggers

When you are just opening your restaurant, it can be difficult to get people to come in and review your store. 

This is especially true for the customers you want most–food bloggers.

Successful food bloggers can have hundreds of thousands of readers. If you get a good review of your store posted on their blogs, this could be a great way to drum up some more business.

If you want to learn more about how to do this, here’s a great article on blogger outreach.

10. Partner with Delivery Apps

Nowadays, food delivery apps like Grubhub and DoorDash and becoming incredibly popular for people who do not want to go out to buy food.

If you just started your restaurant, it is essential to get your brand shown on these delivery apps.

Many online delivery services already have attractive app and website designs so all you have to do is send them the information they need to start selling. 

11. Focus on your Mobile Website Design (and Menu)

Customers are finding new businesses exclusively through their smartphone at a higher rate than ever. 

For that reason, you need to make sure it is intuitive and easy for a customer to see your menu and place and order with no hiccups when they are using your mobile website. 

I’ve seen far too many websites crash on me while I try to make an online order, causing me to give up and eat somewhere else. 

If you need help, SVB Digital provides mobile website UI/UX design services that will keep your customer’s attention and drive them to return. 

Summary

Marketing a new restaurant can be expensive and strenuous. Getting new customers has become harder than ever with the new businesses that are starting every day and the chain restaurants that continue to expand. 

If you just started a new restaurant and you need help getting those hungry regulars, our digital marketing agency could be the perfect partner for you.

We provide services ranging from SEO, Social Media, PPC, Paid Social, Website Design, PR, Reviewing, and Content Marketing to get your business found for years to come. 

For more information, we offer a free strategic consultation including a marketing plan, budgeting, and a timeline.

If you have any questions, comment below and thank you for reading!

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