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The 3 Most Powerful Restaurant Marketing Strategies for 2020

Marketing 9 minute read 15 January 2020

Did you know that 92% of restaurants now use Facebook as a key channel for branding and marketing?

This neatly illustrates a considerably different market to what it once was. For instance, with half of consumers now saying that a restaurant’s sustainability influences their booking decision, restaurateurs have a tough marketing task.

How do you meet the expectations of increasingly conscious diners? Which communications should you choose from the myriad of digital platforms available? And what about the stuff you’re not even aware of? For example, did to you know your WiFi service could provide crucial insight into customer behaviour?

We’ve singled out three marketing strategies for 2020 which every restaurant should be working on - now.

1. Your website

restaurant website

With one restaurant booking platform claiming that online reservations have increased by 130% in the last five years, it’s clear times are changing.

Hotels have long enjoyed a healthy flow of online bookings, but the restaurant industry has been slow to catch up.

Unfortunately, that's resulted in far too many restaurant websites lacking any form of availability checking or booking option.

As time draws on, most people are going to find your restaurant online, and they’re going to expect to be able to book.

If you play your cards right, they may even return to leave a positive review, rather than a stinking one on TripAdvisor. It might even become the hub of your loyalty scheme (recommended reading: The Psychology of Loyalty Programs and Why They Work).

We can’t underestimate the role your website plays in the overall marketing strategy - it’s pivotal to everything.

Focus on:

2. Social media

restaurant social media marketing

If you set up your restaurant’s social media accounts with good intentions only to leave them resembling digital content graveyards, it’s time to get serious.

Social media is a necessary part of running any kind of restaurant, but it has the added bonus of being fun and capable of extending the reach of your brand further than any other channel.

The more you make social media marketing a habit, the more people will engage with you and the less of a burden it will become. You may even start to enjoy it.

Focus on:

3. Online reputation

managing online restaurant reviews

Online reviews aren’t the enemy - they’re to be tamed and taken advantage of, even if they’re not very pretty.

This year, websites like TripAdvisor could become a key source of referrals and new, direct bookings for you.

You just need to treat it like a marketing channel.

Focus on:

Wrapping up

We won’t use this space to tell you how competitive the restaurant industry is, because you know that. However, if you don’t pay attention to the restaurant marketing strategies above, you’ll stand far less of a chance of growing and thriving.

Just remember to keep developing the restaurant’s voice as you branch out into more digital channels - it’ll become the first impression of your business for most of your future diners.

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