With competition high among restaurants, you have to step it up when it comes to marketing if you want to get noticed and attract customers to your business. To help you out, we’re sharing eight tips for improving your restaurant’s marketing strategy that are sure to bring in customers, both new and existing!

1. Start an email newsletter.

An email newsletter is the perfect way to stay in touch with customers after they leave your restaurant. Use your newsletter to notify people about specials, events you’re having in-house, and even to send out exclusive subscriber-only discounts. To get people to sign-up for your email list, make sure you include sign-up forms on your website and consider asking them to fill out a card when they dine-in. You can even offer an incentive (such as a one-time discount) to get people to join your list.

2. Start a blog.

When you think of ways to grow your restaurant and bring in new customers, blogging may not be on the top of that list. But it should be! Blogging is a great way to connect with your customers. You can use your blog posts to build relationships and to get to know some of your regular customers even better. You can also use some of your blog content for your email newsletter.

Write blog posts that feature your staff and share the story behind your restaurant. Customers will develop an emotional connection with you and your business when they get to know you better. You could also consider sharing recipes from some of the dishes you serve in your restaurant. You don’t want to give away the secrets to your most popular dishes, but consider sharing recipes to seasonal meals your customers can make at home.

3. Make sure you’re using myNetWaiter.

Many people rely on myNetWaiter to learn what’s new with restaurants in their area, so you want to make sure you’re actually using your myNetWaiter page. Your restaurant may already be listed. Make sure your NetWaiter page stays updated with all the latest information and the essential things every potential customer should know (hours, phone number, current promos, latest news, new menu items, etc.).

The myNetWaiter platform allows customers to view local restaurant info, find locations that deliver to them, and get updates from their favorite places. Restaurants can use the system for its marketing capabilities and to simultaneously post free messages on their site, social media sites, and other restaurant sites in their area – effectively targeting local customers looking at nearby restaurants.

4. Host events in the restaurant.

Allow your restaurant to become a full social experience. Host events in-house that you know your customers would enjoy. It’s a fantastic idea to get them to choose your restaurant over another! You could feature live music on certain nights every week, hold events for popular sports games, or anything else that’s fun and caters to your clientele.  Another great idea to bring in a crowd is to allow customers to book your restaurant, or private room, for parties or events.

5. Offer takeout or delivery services.

Offering takeout or delivery could just be the reason someone chooses your restaurant over another. People love the convenience of takeout and delivery, because it allows them the comfort of eating in their own home. Provide these options to customers and they’re sure to be happy! Use a service like NetWaiter to make taking online orders so much easier. Customers will love the convenience and control online ordering provides.

6. Take better photos of your food.

If you want to get customers’ mouths watering, make sure you’re sharing high-quality images of your food. The images you use on your website and social media should be top-notch. Consider hiring a professional to help out if you’re not a natural with a camera. Share photos on Instagram and other social media platforms to get your customer’s attention.

7. Create a loyalty program.

A loyalty program is a great way to encourage customers to come back again and again. You can easily reward your most loyal customers by providing them with a free dish or a discount after visiting your restaurant a certain number of times or after a certain amount spent. They’ll want to keep coming back so they can finally reach that reward! And when they do, they’ll feel appreciated for their patronage.

These days, it’s even easier to set up a loyalty program due to various technologies and smartphone apps that are on the market.  Digital loyalty programs help customers easily track their visits and they won’t have to worry about losing a hole-punched card.

8. Try using targeted advertisements.

The great thing about online advertising is that you can geo-target your ads. This means you can make sure only people near your restaurant see your ads. You won’t waste money on ads that are shown to people not likely to visit your restaurant. You can effectively target people nearby who are likely to stop in to dine or order takeout/delivery. Facebook is just one of the platforms that does geo-targeting well. Online ads can help you reach a ton of new people without much effort on your part.

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