Picture this: you own a beautiful restaurant with an amazing ambience. The music playing is pleasing to your customers’ ears & you can see people enjoying their time. Your chefs are excellent & your menu is a hit. But there is one issue, you can’t find new customers or get people to revisit your business. If you are facing these issues, then maybe your business lacks a restaurant advertising & marketing strategy.
As per Investopedia, a recognized financial media channel, ‘Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service. Marketing includes advertising, selling, and delivering products to consumers or other businesses.’
In simple terms, you could be selling the most mind-blowing butter chicken in town, but if you can’t generate buzz about it using marketing, then all your other efforts are worth nothing!
Given how competitive the Indian restaurant industry is, it has become essential for every restaurant, cafe, bakery, and cloud kitchen to market itself well. Businesses need to be present & accessible on every single digital platform that customers access. Be it social media, google, third parties or even physical forms of restaurant advertising like banners & hoarding.
If you are a restaurant owner looking to dive deep into the amusing world of marketing & increase your restaurant profits, then this is the blog just for you!
How To Decide Your Restaurant Marketing Budget?
Understanding which marketing model, platform or type would work for you comes second. Your first priority should be to create a marketing budget. There is a very simple formula for knowing how much of your resources & capital you should be putting into it.
Your marketing budget should not be more than 3-6% of your net profit.
That’s it! That is your budget right there! Depending on the scales of your business, your net profit & the kind of marketing you wish to do, this percentage might increase or decrease too. But for restaurant businesses starting fresh, this is the formula that you should be following.
For seasonal or festive restaurant advertising & marketing, you might want to splurge a little more. In such times, the ROI on your investment is guaranteed to be higher! And for seasons when you know your businesses might not make many profits, simply cut down on this expense.
Eg: Restaurants serving non-vegetarian items might not make profits during the Shravan season. Or cafes might not make a profit selling hot chocolate or hot cocoa during summer!
Key Avenues For Restaurant Advertising & Marketing
If you have been reading so far, then you must be wondering that now what? You have created a restaurant with an amazing ambience, you have also taken care of curating a detailed menu, hired needed chefs & staff members, & even finalised your marketing budget! But how to finalise which channel to opt for & which medium will give you maximum profits?
Well, worry not. We are here for you!
If your restaurant, cafe or even cloud kitchen is not on social media, then you are missing out on more than 10 new clients every single day!
It is important that you keep your social media updated with recent photos of your place, your menu & mouth-watering photos of your food! If you are chaining the ambience or updating your menu, let your customers know! Push your discounts, offers & seasonal menus on Instagram & Facebook posts.
You can also join Facebook groups of fellow restaurant owners. This works two-fold. You would get to know about new market trends & also stay updated about all things interesting your competitors are doing!
If you are confused about how to pick an engaging image template & interesting copy for your social media posts, then we have a solution for you! Download Tvito: A free restaurant marketing tool. Click here to know more!
Partner With Third-party Platforms
Platforms such as Zomato & Swiggy do an amazing job of promoting your business & bringing in new clients. If you are in the restaurant industry then it is highly unlikely that you haven’t heard of them! You can upload photos of your menu, and food & write creating item descriptions to attract your customers.
This is one channel you should not be missing on!
You can also partner with platforms like Trip Advisors, Magin Pin, & Dineout. These channels push great reviews & photos of your restaurant business to help bring new customers!
Website & Reviews
Having a website is an essential part of restaurant advertising & marketing. 7/10 of customer Google the restaurant before making the decision of visiting it. And so, you need to create an interactive & interesting website about your restaurants.
If you are wondering how to create a website & what components you should be adding to increase its ranking, then we have a blog just for this! Click here to know!
Another crucial aspect that restaurant owners often don’t consider as a marketing tool is Google reviews. But in fact, these reviews also contribute to the final decision of your customers. Restaurants with better Google reviews are proven to be performing better.
You can always opt for physical banners, posters & hoarding to promote your restaurant, or any new offer or discount. Maybe for starters, you can put a standee outside your door telling people about your offers.
Many businesses work this in the traditional chalk & board way. These businesses use their creativity to draw about their menu specials, day specials & offers to attract customers.
For restaurants willing to spend on advertising, google ads is a channel not worth missing! You can reach your customers even when they are not particularly seeing your service. Businesses going through major changes like menu updates, ambience renovations, etc. can use this avenue to market their restaurant business.
You can also make videos of your restaurant business & push them as video ads! A small & interactive video showing people your business, your staff & your service will undoubtedly help win their trust.
SMS & Email Marketing
Just like Google Ads, this too is a comparatively new but profitable avenue of marketing. SMS marketing includes reaching out to your customers through SMS. You can customise these messages & create individual marketing or offer campaigns. This type of marketing is super effective while offering special offers & discounts on your customers’ special days. Click here to know how you can increase your profit margins using SMS marketing!
Email marketing is similar to SMS marketing. But unlike SMS, emails are a more intimate & formal mode of communication. But any message or email offering a 15-20% discount to the customers, can never fail to attract customers. Click here to know more about Email marketing!
Community Events & Food Fests
Sometimes it’s great to take your restaurant to your customers rather than waiting for them to come! For any restaurant looking to create a buzz about itself & cater to a larger audience at once, community events & food fests are the places to be!
Such events help increase the channel of communication between the business & their customers. It gives the customers to directly interact with the owners, provide insightful feedback & share their concerns.
Restaurants that are still sceptical about participating in Food fests. Click here to know why you MUST participate in your town’s next food fest!
This might be the oldest & still the most prominent type of marketing avenue. If your customer service is up to mark & your food is delicious then you are already your customers’ favourite place.
That is all your need for amazing word-of-mouth by your customers to new & potential ones.
An essential thing that every owner should keep in mind before starting a restaurant advertising or marketing strategy is that neither of these avenues or plans is permanent. You can customise your campaigns as per your need. Actively take feedback from your customers & make changes as & when needed.
We hope you find this blog valuable in your restaurant marketing and business! Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter for regular F&B industry updates!