Nothing is more effective than word-of-mouth in restaurant marketing, people will more often than not act on a positive restaurant recommendation. This is why all restaurant marketing should be built around supporting the promotion of word-of-mouth marketing. The problem for modern restaurants is that most word-of-mouth is now online in electronic form.
Its worth refreshing on what a long term restaurant marketing strategy should focus on; getting repeat customers to talk to new customers about your restaurant online.
Short Term Restaurant Marketing Boosts can include
- Social Media
All Restaurant marketing nowadays begins with social media. Photographs, videos and the written content give customers a feel for the brand and restaurant. We’ve seen many examples of high-end London restaurants with multi-million pound fit outs and high priced menus handing their social media (and face of their brand) to a PR girl or worker with no photography experience. Pictures of dirty chefs, raw food and videos shot on an iphone are not the best brand building content. It’s very important to maintain a high level of content that adds value on social media. This is the shop front of the company. The success of restaurant social media marketing can be measured by the engagement levels posts receive. Social media posts will little or no engagement are obviously not helping to market the restaurant.
- Email Newsletters
Email newsletters let customers know what’s happening at the restaurant. Whether it be special events, new seasonal menus or a new service being offered by the restaurant. Again this need to be well-designed and look attractive or customers will simply block or unsubscribe. When done well this can really boost restaurant revenue. A email newsletter strategy needs to be supported by data collection methods. As with all restaurant marketing this channel needs to be designed with a look, feel and tone of voice which fits the brand.
- Mobile Phone Marketing
Text or SMS marketing campaigns can offer very quick results. Links to online ordering or a specific webpage can get a lot of traffic. Customers can dislike this form of and find it intrusive, so it needs to be transparent when signing up. More customers read text messages than emails. This method may not be suitable for all restaurant operations because of the intrusive nature.
4. Traditional Flyers
Printing costs are remarkably very low. This method can be very cost effective. We’ve found this marketing strategy to be the best way possible to launch new services such as restaurant delivery to a local area. The increase in customers is perhaps slightly slower than digital methods but never the less extremely effective. The design of the flyer needs to be attractive to prevent potential customers from simply binning them. If the flyer is not attractive and well thought out there it will simply be wasted money. Recent successes of london restaurants using traditional flyers include Leon in their ‘Lean and Clean’ campaign.
5. TripAdvisor and Review Sites
A high TripAdvisor ranking can help guarantee additional restaurant turnover. Those new to an area such as Tourists, Day-trippers and Families (all groups that are likely to have a high spend per head) rely on TripAdvisor to make their restaurant selection. Many people who live locally will also search online for a special occasion meal based on information provided by online reviews. Customers search online and use electronic word-of-mouth because they want some assurance they won’t have a bad experience before booking and parting with their money.
Good TripAdvisor reviews also help to make your brand top-of-mind for your cuisine (one of the aims of restaurant marketing). Google reviews are equally as important, Google Maps is the most popular search tool when using an iPhone (the most popular mobile device). So appearing high in Google review rankings will also increase weekly covers for a restaurant.
Services are available to buy TripAdvisor reviews. This is a route many London Restaurants take with a dedicated PR agency looking after their online reviews and reputation. We would ask restaurants considering buying TripAdvisor reviews to contact us for advice on this service.