Marketing a restaurant has always been difficult. With the ever-evolving introductions of new technologies, demographics, and various forms of outreach, restaurant owners have to stay on their toes to adopt and adapt to these changes. Before the digital world, it was easier for restaurant owners to differentiate themselves from their competitors. We now live in a world where all information regarding everyone and everything is available right in the palm of your hand, which makes it harder to stand out.

Despite the challenges, going digital has a quick return of investment for restaurant owners, and  here are three ways you can begin reaping the benefits for your own restaurant today:

 

1. Make it Easier for Customers to Find you on Google

 

Google My Business and local search are two of the best ways for customers to find a restaurant and information about a restaurant as soon as possible. According to the findings of xAd and Telmetrics, mobile search has a conversion rate of nearly 90 percent! Moreover, 64 percent of searchers with smartphones convert within an hour of their mobile search activity. Restaurant consumer activity is much more locally driven and far more urgent. By managing your restaurant’s business listing on Google, you are immediately making your information accessible to current and potentially new customers. Getting started is as simple as…

– Adding your Name, Address, and phone number,
– Uploading high-quality photos of your restaurant and menu items
– Responding to any online reviews,
– Double-checking that your location is displayed correctly on Google Maps,
– Writing out a brief Google business description.

That’s it!  You are now one step closer to getting more customers.

 

2. Post Photos and Videos of your Restaurant – then Post Some More

 

One of the best, quickest and easiest way to promote your restaurant is with high-quality, close-up food photos. Most restaurants already have their social media profiles set up on all channels: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If your profile isn’t set up, now is the time to do so. Create a plan that will encourage customers to dine at your restaurant through visually and aesthetically-pleasing photos.

Modern Restaurant Management comes up with a great, short checklist of ideas to consider when posting:

  • Mouth-watering shots of your menu items
  • Photos of your restaurant location’s interiors, facilities, and kitchen
  • Photos of your chef and kitchen and wait staff
  • A live Q&A interview with your chef
  • Video tour of your restaurant
  • A behind-the-scenes video of what goes on in the kitchen
  • Live video streams of parties, fundraisers, special occasion events

If these ideas seem like too much at one time, try sticking to one concept and committing and owning the process. The end goal is to drive customers – new and old – to your restaurant through the photos you post online.

 

3. Spend Money Where You’ll Make Money

 

Restaurants should set aside investment in tech and data when determining their business plan and marketing budget. Right now, the most important investment priorities are technologies that put your restaurant’s brand in front of the customer. According to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association, one in four guests use technology when deciding where to eat. Over 32% percent of 18–34-year-olds say it factors into their choice when deciding on a quick-service restaurant, and 28% say it helps them make their full-service restaurant choices. Online orders are 26% more lucrative than walk-in or call-in orders. Technologies like online ordering, digital menus, loyalty programs, and other apps connect you with your customers in the way that makes sense to them – and you. These types of investments should be prioritized over any other forms of marketing to ensure you are giving your customers the best overall dining experience.

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