When it comes to the restaurant industry and potential customers looking for a place to eat, it's all about the ease of the customer journey. As a restaurant owner, you want it to be as easy as possible for those people to find and choose you.
We know your customers are searching for new places to eat and the best happy hour near them, so we want to make sure you are up to date with industry best practices related to your customers' journey.
There are numerous tools and techniques you can utilize to best represent your restaurant online, and we're going to talk about the top five in this blog!
Creating and Maintaining an Authentic Social Presence
We know it isn’t always easy to think of the best caption or take the best photo to post on social media. But what better way to share valuable information about your business than with your actual customers?
Sharing your own photos, customer photos and a little behind the scenes of the restaurant can really make the difference for someone when deciding between you and your competitor. Not to mention posting on social media is FREE!
A few other social media tips would be to make sure you are interacting with your followers and engaging with them regularly. Ask a question that your audience can answer and watch your page grow!
An Optimized Website
Have you ever clicked to a website that took more than three or four seconds to load? You have better things to do than wait for a page to load, so you choose to leave the page.
Let’s make sure that isn’t happening to you by optimizing your website for mobile, creating a clear call to action for potential customers and making it easy to contact you right on the home page.
The importance of having an optimized website goes far beyond looks or functionality. You want to create an online experience your customers can easily use and engage with.
Things to avoid would include:
- Having your menu as a PDF (this slows download speeds and is not searchable)
- Not having keyword-rich content
- Having a phone number that is not click-to-call
Strategic Marketing Plan
As a business owner, I’m sure you have been surprised by a “new” national holiday that coincides with a business day. Because of this, you have probably, from time-to-time, not been prepared to offer your guests specials or sales on these certain days.
We have found success in creating and utilizing a strategic marketing plan for such occasions. Take some time to reflect on what worked in years past, such as a local event, killer social post or an awesome special that took off.
Write down some of your goals for the year and what you want to focus on quarterly and go for it! Be sure to include national holidays, seasonality (do you cater around the holidays?), internal events and opportunities where you would like to grow.
It's not always easy to know what is going on inside and outside of your business, but with a strategic marketing plan, it can help to simplify some things and keep you organized.
As a consumer, you understand how often people read reviews for all sorts of products and services before making a purchase.
Did you know that 62 percent of diners said that user-reviews were the top thing they considered when deciding which restaurant to book with?
We talk a lot about how important reviews are for your business but how can you help influence this process? Make sure you are responding to your reviews, the good and the bad, to let potential customers know that you are aware of what people are saying about your business online.
Reviews make your business stand out from your competition, and they also improve your SEO results based on the keywords customers use in their reviews.
Something that a lot of business owners forget to do is to simply ask for reviews. People love to talk about their experiences, so why not invite them to do so while they are visiting your restaurant?
Holiday Season Marketing
Having a successful holiday season comes down to having a plan in place earlier than you think, especially for business owners.
As you know, the holidays can be hectic, and we want to share with you a few tips we think will help ease the stress during these busy times:
- Update your business hours on Google for the Holidays so people know if they should make the trip
- Offer exclusive deals/specials on social media or your website
- Promote gift cards
- Update your social media profiles to have your most up-to-date menu, hours and information
- Share customer photos and thank your loyal customers for their support
It may seem like there are a million things to do in order to maintain a successful business (and there might be), but we hope these tips help you organize your day to day in order to serve your customers in the best way possible.
Remember, it is all about the ease of the customer journey, so make it easy for your potential customers to find you, interact with you and share their experiences.