Online Marketing for Restaurants Tips from Industry Experts

In this article, we will discuss a couple of important and successful points and tips when doing online marketing for restaurants.

Updated on March 11, 2024
Online Marketing for Restaurants Tips from Industry Experts

It takes a lot of effort to be successful in the restaurant space. The most common mistake restaurants make is that they believe that their food and service are enough to garner success. It is one part of the formula but the other part that most restaurants overlook is the marketing for restaurants. There are two types of marketing that a restaurant must focus on: traditional local store marketing and online marketing. In this article, we will discuss a couple of important points and tips when doing online marketing for restaurants.

Online Marketing for Restaurants Tips from Industry Experts

Traditional vs. Online Marketing for Restaurants

With the rise of technology and the internet, online marketing is now a necessity for restaurants. However, that doesn’t mean traditional marketing efforts should be completely abandoned. A combination of both types of marketing is essential to gain more customers for restaurants.

According to restaurateurs, here are the most traditional marketing strategies that a restaurant must implement. First, a restaurant must be diligent in flyering during promotional seasons. There are establishments or crowds that can be tapped near your store and flyering is the easiest way to get the message across.

Secondly, restaurants must make use of signages on walls, mobile taxis, and shop fronts. Despite this being a traditional marketing strategy, a restaurant can digitize the signages and incorporate photos and videos to reach more people.

Lastly, the use of coupons is a good way to make customers come back. Coupon strategies include a “Buy 10, Get Next Free” coupon or “Purchase $10, get $1 free on your next visit”. To sum it up, traditional marketing does not need to be independent of online marketing. It is important that your restaurant employs both types to maximize reach to potential customers.

In the next portion of this article, we will be discussing in-depth online marketing strategies for your restaurant.

Online Marketing Strategies You Need to Apply to Your Restaurants

An interview was conducted with several industry experts regarding online marketing for restaurants. Majority agreed on the same principles which will be discussed in detail below.

A Stunning Website: Tips for Restaurants Marketing

The website serves as your store-front in the online world. For this reason, it is important that your website is optimized and filled with complete information. Most people nowadays do their research first online before going to a restaurant. Anything that would make the customers feel off on your website would definitely result in them not going to your restaurant.

Having a website is the perfect opportunity to showcase your products and your space. Therefore, invest in someone who takes professional pictures. Audiences get enticed by beautiful food photos and interiors. Make them feel the vibe of your restaurant even before they visit.

Social Media Marketing

The audience we can reach via social media is massive. Restaurants have to make sure that they have an account on Facebook & Instagram. In addition to these two, TikTok is a newcomer that can also help restaurants in their online marketing efforts.

The tool that can offer the most help to restaurants is the ads tool. Budget at least $100 per month to Facebook & Instagram ads and choose the post that you believe will do well. Accompanying the ads tool is the insights tool for you to check whether the ad is doing well or not.

These social networks give the restaurant an avenue to post content that their audience would want to see. Typically, the content that works for restaurants are food, behind-the-scenes, staff or chef working, promotions, and news & updates. Try to post as humanly as possible as audiences gravitate towards them more. To finalize, the type of content to post should be a mixture of photos, short videos, and long videos.

Influencer or Celebrity Marketing

If you’re a start-up restaurant, you might be looking for ways to increase your backers. A sound strategy is to tap a social media influencer or if you can, a popular local celebrity, to promote your restaurant.

Look for influencers who are big on food to help promote your restaurant. In exchange for a post on social media or a billboard, work on a partnership in exchange for a fixed rate or free visits to your restaurant.

Take Advantage of Online Ordering Platforms: Tips for Restaurants Marketing

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, restaurants have started taking their businesses online. Integrating an online ordering platform to your website can not only boost your marketing, it can also boost your sales at the same time. Having a platform to order online can be considered a good marketing tactic since it’s a convenient way to eat your favorites at home.

Aside from websites, the online ordering platform can also be integrated to a restaurant’s POS as a restaurant management software. EagleOwl is a recommended RMS as they look to increase a restaurant’s profits by 25%.

Join Online Restaurant Review Sites

Have you ever heard of Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Zomato? These are examples of restaurant review sites that you should join. Joining these sites should be part of your online marketing strategy. It is important to have a presence in these sites because customers tend to do a background check on you before dining at your restaurant.

A good way to make customers review your restaurant is to offer a promotion or a discount. The more reviews you have on these sites, the more chances a new customer comes in.

Email Marketing

A very effective online marketing strategy is email marketing. Automated emails once or twice a week with new product features or promotions can help attract more returning customers. However, to be able to do this, you must first build your list of email addresses. These can be present from customers through your website, social networks, blogs, and landing pages. Try giving away a freebie or a discount in exchange for their email address. Customers are usually ready for anything that will give them the opportunity to spend less. 

Email marketing is very effective since it targets people who’ve already tried your restaurant.

Search Engine Optimization

One of the more important aspects of online marketing is knowing which page your restaurant will come out on Google. In order to rank high, your website must be perfect in terms of SEO. When customers search for “best burger in LA”, the goal of your restaurant is to be on the first page. That is where SEO comes in.

To be effective in search engine optimization, try doing these measures:

  • Create a blog on your website. Make sure that content is relevant and engaging to attract customers.
  • Research and list down relevant keywords of your restaurant.
  • Make sure pages on your website use the keywords that you’ve researched.
  • Have enough inbound links and outbound links.
  • Create a Google Business Account

Conclusion

With consistent marketing efforts, marketing restaurants tips will see it translating into customers soon enough. Make sure that your restaurant is using both traditional and online marketing strategies to expand reach.

Online marketing for restaurants has become a necessity for restaurant owners. With the amount of competition in the space, any advantage against the competition is welcome. The strategies mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. If you have some suggestions, share them as we would love to hear them as well.