31 July, 2014
How can I advertise my restaurant?
Quality cuisine and exceptional customer service are key to success in the catering trade. In the same vein, all restaurateurs must know how to publicise their business among their potential clientèle.
The promotion of a restaurant requires an elaborate marketing plan, a defined budget and adequate strategic planning. At present, the majority of restaurants do not have high budgets for marketing and advertising. However, thanks to new technologies which have made the communication of products and services easier, marketing is no longer synonymous with a major financial investment.
In the following post, we describe some of the most effective ways available to restaurateurs for promoting their business and generating customer loyalty in a relatively simple and inexpensive manner.
Ideas for promoting your business and generating customer loyalty
Creation of a web page
In order to advertise the business and capture the attention of customers and potential customers, it is a good idea to create a web page. This page serves as the restaurant’s letter of introduction and should therefore not be neglected.
Contrary to popular belief, there are currently many inexpensive options, some of which are even free (pages created in WordPress) which enable restaurateurs to develop their web presence without the need for major financial investment.
As regards content, and considering customer profiles, each restaurateur should provide valuable information on their web page: the restaurant’s commercial offer, special offers available to customers, opening and closing times, development of events in the establishment…
Presence in social networks
Social networks have become an essential part of everyday communication and a presence in them is a strategic requirement for any business directed at the end consumer. We recommend an analysis of the different social networks available in order to assess which are most suited to helping you meet your objectives.
These channels, through their activity, will help the restaurateur to attract more customers and generate loyalty. In addition, social networks offer huge possibilities for continuously running competitions, draws and special offers, as a means of obtaining more followers in the community and thereby increasing awareness about the business.
To increase the visibility of these profiles, it is important to integrate them into the restaurant’s web page.
Varied and attractive menu design
The menu is one of the differentiating components of a catering business and a key marketing element, therefore it is important to design it with care. It must always be well-structured and attractive.
A varied menu should be offered, including dishes for those with special dietary needs, such as coelíacs, vegetarians, vegans and even babies and children.
The owner or manager of an establishment must make sure to update the menu as required (for example at the start of each season).
Design and development of events
If the nature of your business so permits, organise events of interest for your local community (live shows, tasting sessions, theme parties…), in order to attract existing and potential customers.
These events will be an effective means of displaying what the restaurant can offer. Visitors attending the event have the chance to discover the restaurant and its cuisine at first hand.
To increase participation and make a greater impact, restaurants may personally invite the more local media and/or specialised bloggers. If the experience is positive, they may give the business space on their respective sites, thereby increasing the probability of generating readers’ interest and converting them into customers.
E-mail marketing has many advantages. It is a marketing tool used by many brands to send information, special offers, promotions… about their business.
To obtain e-mail addresses and the consent of owners, special promotional events may be held at the restaurant (for example request the e-mail address in exchange for a tapa) and/or other platforms (web pages, social networks…).
To capture customers’ attention and generate loyalty, it is a good idea to create small publicity campaigns and/or offer incentives. One such practice used by many restaurants are loyalty programmes offering discounts or small gifts to their best customers.
These are just some of the marketing ideas we suggest for promoting your business, if you do not have a marketing budget and are forced to carry out these tasks in-house.