The Plight Of The Modern Restaurant OwnerThe following scenario outlines the plight of modern restaurant marketing. This is something I’ve done. You’ve done it. We’ve all done it. You’re hungry, but in an area you’re not familiar with so you pull out your phone and type: ” [insert food item] near me”. As a result, the days of customers coincidentally stumbling across your establishment are long gone. In fact, 84% of customers research multiple restaurants before a visit. Therefore, the importance of online restaurant marketing is more important than ever to restaurant owners like you. Due to such a shift, SMB America is dying. As a result, an important aspect of effective restaurant marketing is the proper management of your online presence. If you don’t manage your online presence effectively, you run the risk of being pushed out of business by your much bigger, corporate counterparts. To help you out, here are three tips that cater (pun intended) to your restaurant marketing needs.
1. Upload your menu online (in web crawlable format!)There are often only two scenarios when it comes to online menus, both of which are harmful to your restaurant marketing efforts. You most likely fall into one of them. If so, please read closely.
Scenario #1: Your customers are posting your menu online…not you!With the rise of consumer-shared content on the web, it is of the utmost importance for you to have your menu posted online by you. If it isn’t, people most likely only see a menu posted on Yelp as a reference for your offerings. More often than not, the menus represented in such images are outdated. In addition, the images often lack visual quality. Therefore, it is important to properly represent your current offerings with an updated menu and in the best light possible. This is the most basic, yet, perhaps, the most important aspect of restaurant marketing. After all, 70% of diners feel it is important to view a menu before visiting a restaurant.
Scenario #2: You have your menu posted online but in the wrong format.Most restaurants post their menus on their websites in .pdf format. By doing so, such restaurant owners are missing out on being seen by potential customers who search for specific food items, such as fried chicken. In fact, 68% of consumers are searching for menu items. Even if you have the best [insert your most possible dish] in the city…or the state…or, as you might say, the world, many people searching the web for the said dish will miss out on your product offering because search engines cannot crawl a .pdf’s text. Therefore, your business will not come up in search results for said dish.
2. Leverage your restaurant’s attributesYou may know why your restaurant is great, but how can you expect potential customers to know why unless your restaurant marketing is on point? Post your restaurant’s attributes on listing sites and search engines to leverage your strengths. Possible attributes include:
- weekend brunch
- happy hour
- late hours
- healthy food
- vegan options
- patio seating
- great for dates
- dogs allowed