Successful restaurant marketing in 2021 requires out-of-the-box creative thinking and planning as the hospitality industry gradually recovers from COVID-19 effects. Despite the pandemic, new chains and fast food businesses keep coming up around the country, and that means more competitors for you.
Here are practical marketing tips for restaurants to differentiate from the new competition, attract new customers, and encourage existing customers to keep coming back.
Marketing Strategies for Restaurant Operators
Implement the following strategies to stand out from the crowd and grow your restaurant business:
1. Offers and Promotions
Promotions and offers are some of the quickest ways to fill your restaurant dining rooms, booths, or even bars. They include offering attractive discounts that may pull customers away from your competitors to your restaurant. If you have any lunch special that you’d like to offer at a lower price, let your customers know.
You may even inject a sense of urgency to make the most of your promotions, such as by announcing a one-day sale via your online-ordering app. This technique is most effective when you announce an offer on new menu items. It can work well on the latest products over special days or events like Mother’s Day. Such offers are an excellent way to bring new business and drive sales growth.
2. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty rewards are a time-tested customer-retention strategy. They give existing customers one more reason to come back, driving repeat sales. They work for different types of businesses, including restaurants. Having a loyalty program has many perks, including:
- Enhances brand loyalty-When customers accumulate points they can redeem for a free meal or other rewards for repeatedly spending at your restaurant, they feel valued. In turn, they pay back with greater loyalty to your brand.
- Drives sales-Most customers feel that loyalty programs offer a bargain they’ll miss out on if they eat at another restaurant. They’ll often come back to you to take advantage of their loyalty rewards while spending more at your restaurant.
- Encourages customer referrals-You’ll get more referral business thanks to the repeat customers that are enjoying the benefits of brand loyalty.
3. Menu Marketing
Optimizing the menu is one of the most fruitful marketing strategies for restaurant operators using a digital platform. Keep in mind that most people don’t want to come to your establishment only to find that you don’t offer their preferred meal or diet. They’ll typically want to view your menu online before picking your restaurant as their favorite eat-out joint. As such, make sure to provide the most up-to-date digital menu to help potential customers decide.
4. Encourage Yelp Reviews
Most consumers check out reviews, the online equivalent of word of mouth, before making a purchase decision. Be sure to take advantage of this customers’ need for reassurance by encouraging your customers to write a review on Yelp about their dining or lunch experience. You can even offer discounts to paying customers if they leave feedback on the site or other review websites like TripAdvisor.
5. Plant-Based Marketing
According to a recent Good Food Institute (GFI) study, plant-based foods are a multi-billion dollar market. You can tap into this increasingly growing interest in a plant-based alternative to foods like meat, egg, and dairy products. If you prepare special cuisine based on plants, you’ll want to make it known to prospective customers. This strategy can help acquire new customers as well as create a unique restaurant brand.
Once you have your restaurant marketing ideas all figured out, it’s important to also think about protecting your enterprise from the industry’s uncertainties. Insurance coverage can play an important role in your restaurant’s success. At RMS Insurance, we can help craft a customized policy for your establishment. To learn more about restaurant insurance coverage, contact our experts today at (888) 359-8390.