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9 Proven Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants with Examples

In an era when every restaurant is giving its heart and soul to capture the attention of its guests, creating a unique identity has become a challenge. Restaurants are no longer relying solely on paper and pen strategies. They are embracing the power of digital marketing to bring their restaurants to the foodies. However, selecting effective digital marketing strategies for restaurants is as daunting as making the perfect wine pairing. To prevent your delicious dishes from going unnoticed, learn to master the art of digital marketing.
This blog will show how you can turn your digital presence into a dining destination by giving examples and expert insights.
Learn and start implementing!

Proven Digital Marketing Strategies For Restaurants

Before we throw light on online marketing strategies for restaurants, you should know the benefits of investing time, money, and effort in them.

Benefits of Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants

  • Boosts Online Visibility: Implementing result-driven digital marketing strategies for restaurants will help you improve your online visibility and reach a wider audience.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Online marketing ideas for restaurants offer an insight into customer preferences. Analyze the data to track trends. Accordingly, you can optimize your marketing efforts for better results.
  • Increases Customer Engagement: Digital marketing strategies like personalized email campaigns and social media marketing allow restaurants to engage with their customers directly. Sharing valuable content and responding to feedback make your customers feel valued, leading to an increased engagement.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Unlike traditional marketing methods like TV ads or prints, digital marketing offers cost-effective solutions to reach targeted audiences and provide measurable results. They involve social media, emails, SEO, and more to drive sales growth without breaking the bank.

So, you are aware of the benefits now. Then, why not delve into digital marketing strategies for restaurants to skyrocket your success? Learn the strategies discussed below.

Proven Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants

1. Build an Aesthetic and User-Friendly Website to Strengthen Online Presence

User-Friendly Website To Strengthen Online Presence

If your restaurant doesn’t have an online presence, people may hardly know about your food business. In this regard, Jeff Bezos has remarked,

It’s hard to find things that don’t sell online.”

Today, a restaurant’s website is often the first contact point between food enthusiasts and the food items. A website is no longer a virtual menu. It’s a customer magnet and a storefront, all rolled into one.

Your restaurant website should be more than just user-friendly. It should have mouth-watering food images, an intuitive interface, responsiveness, and more to hook the visitors. You can use WordPress to build your website because it has

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Needs no coding
  • Has customization options
  • Offers a huge number of plugins for feature enhancement.

Need an example to start with your website design? Check this out.

Example: Website of Maggiano’s Little Italy

Maggiano’s Little Italy is a casual American dining restaurant chain serving Italian-American cuisine. What we liked most about their website is that they have wisely used the white space and displayed clear pictures of their food items to entice visitors. Further, their way of arranging the food and the writing is also commendable.

2. Use the Best Food Business Management Plugin

Some of the ways plugins help to boost the online presence of restaurants include the following:

  • Enhance your website’s functionality
  • Optimize your website for search engines
  • Integrate your social media accounts with the website

WP Food Manager has free and premium plugins to help restaurants increase their online visibility. Our plugins will make your website functional and optimize it to improve your website’s organic ranking.

Our plugins are easy-to-use and fully responsive. Further, their integration with WooCommerce allows you to offer a secure and multiple payment options.

So, why wait? Get our plugins here to streamline your operations and bring in more traffic.

Seo-Friendly To Improve Organic Ranking

3. Make the Website SEO-Friendly to Improve Organic Ranking

Search for relevant keywords and include them in your website content, meta tags, and headers naturally to help it rank high on different search engines.

  • Build a Fast-Loading Website: Make sure your website loads quickly. Google loves websites that load within 3 seconds. Having a website that loads fast will also reduce your bounce rate, thus improving your Google ranking.
  • Consider Local SEO for Restaurants: Local SEO is crucial for restaurants. Many people use phrases like ‘Italian restaurant near me’, or ‘Spanish restaurants in Orlando’ to get results featuring local restaurants. If you’re not taking local SEO seriously, you may miss customers looking for your services.
  • Update Content Regularly: Update your website regularly with high-quality, fresh content. Add food items, informative and relevant blogs, and new pages to provide search engines with more content for indexing. Consequently, it will improve your website’s visibility on search results.

4. List Your Restaurant on Google My Business

Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to create a detailed profile of your food business that appears in Google Maps and Google Search. You should provide basic information like your restaurant’s name, address, operating hours, etc. All the information provided will help customers find and know more about your restaurant.

Below is an example of how a restaurant appears on Google after listing it on Google My Business.

Try to include photos of not only your food items but also of your restaurant’s ambiance. Plus, include reviews to help the diners make decisions.

5. Gain More Followers on Social Media

Framing digital marketing strategies for restaurants? Don’t miss to tap the power of social media. There are many social media platforms. However, restaurants should remain active mostly on Facebook and Instagram to get more followers. Here are some restaurant marketing ideas with examples using social media.

  • Share a Wide Range of Content: The more variety you include in your content, the more likely your audience will engage with it.

Example: The Cheesecake Factory is an American restaurant and distributor of cheesecake. Their Facebook and Instagram pages are interesting, having a whooping 4.7 million Facebook followers and 1.9 million Instagram followers. They share contents based on how-tos, memes, new products, seasonal offerings, behind-the-scenes, etc.

  • Create Consistent Imagery and Messaging: Determine your brand personality. Use writing style and captions that consistently align with your brand. Tailor your tone to resonate with your audience.
  • Engage Followers by Hosting Contests or Asking Questions: Host contests or ask thought-provoking questions to encourage your audience to participate and interact. It will build brand loyalty and strengthen your social media community.

Example: Jelly Cafe is a breakfast and brunch restaurant in Colorado, United States. Their social media posts are colorful and engaging with questions like this one.

Moreover, they also post funny images and selfie contests to engage their fans.

6. Invest in Influencer Marketing

Partner with an influencer who has a dedicated following to bring your restaurant in front of their audience. For that, find influencers whose audience aligns with your targeted demographic. Send them customized collaboration proposals. Offer them special deals like a free meal in your restaurant in exchange for promoting it. You can also work with influencers for sponsored posts and reviews, and to host giveaways.

Kate Finley, the founder of Belle Communication, has done influencer marketing for many food businesses namely Jeni’s Ice Cream, The Halal Guys, and the Shake Shack. She has remarked,

People are no longer counting their true peers to source recommendations. Rather they look for influencers who feel like them.”

Example: Tim Hortons, a Canada-based multinational coffeehouse and restaurant chain, partnered with Justin Bieber to promote their Timbits (bite-size doughnuts).

This initiative by Tim Hortons has made their Timbits popular immediately.

7. Offer Attractive Discount and Promotions

Offer Attractive Discount And Promotions

Offering attractive discounts and promotions can boost your restaurant’s appeal and lure hungry eyes. You can give discounts to early bird diners. Or, run a limited-time offer like a ‘Buy 2 Get 1 free’ deal. Create promotions for events like Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day to generate more revenue from the increasing demand. Additionally, you can also start reward programs to reward customers who recommend your restaurant in their circles.

8. Start Email Marketing

Email marketing lets you reach your customers directly. That’s its power. From gathering feedback to sharing menu updates, you can do a lot in implementing it. Therefore, most restaurants prefer to invest their time and money in this digital strategy for restaurants.

Here are some of the email marketing tips to consider.

  • Build Subscribers List: Offer a free appetizer, special offers, or exclusive discounts to influence your audience to subscribe to your email list.
  • Personalize Your Emails: Address customers by their name to make them feel valued and engaged. Create content considering their past interactions with your restaurants.
  • Use Eye-Catching Images and Content: Write about upcoming promotions, include irresistible images of food items, and share your restaurant’s history to drive your desired action from the recipient.

Example: Four Pillars Gin is the world’s leading gin producer. We loved their event promotional email. Why? It has included clean and beautiful images of Gin, kept the text simple, and included only the facts. No fluff.

While copying their style, you can also include the date and time of the event in the mail.

9. Track Online Reviews

Tracking online reviews is an important part of the digital marketing strategies for restaurants. Monitor your social media pages, Yelp, and Google to collect feedback and respond promptly to both positive and negative reviews. Consider their feedback to improve your services. Analyze the reviews to get an in-depth insight into your customers’ preferences and frame marketing strategies to cater to their needs.

FAQs

  • What is restaurant online marketing?

Restaurant online marketing means promoting a restaurant using digital channels like websites, social media, emails, PPC advertising, and many more to build brand awareness and drive sales.

  • Do restaurants need an app?

Having an app is not mandatory for restaurants though it is beneficial. Before investing in app development, restaurateurs should consider their target audience, marketing goals, and budget.

  • What is the most important marketing tool of any restaurant?

Google Analytics, Buzzsumo, Google Ads and Keyword Finder, and Canva are some of the most important tools any restaurant should use. These tools will streamline your efforts and help you nail all marketing components.

Wrapping Up

Your restaurant’s online presence can make or break your business. Build strong digital marketing strategies to stand out in today’s competitive landscape. It’s like having a round-the-clock billboard to attract new and old customers. From mouthwatering email promotions to tantalizing social media campaigns, digital marketing ideas for restaurants offer a buffet of strategies to boost the bottom line and create experiences that keep foodies craving for more.

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