If you haven’t taken your restaurant online, then that should be the first thing on your to-do list. I have been working with restaurants who had no idea how to start in terms of getting their marketing online. I am going to be listing down the exact step by step.
But before we go ahead with that I would like to ask you to please answer the following questions and write it down on a piece of paper as this will come in handy later.
- How would you describe your restaurant in 2 sentences?
- What sets your restaurant apart from others?
- How can you spice up your restaurant to attract customers?
- Who are your audiences?
- How expensive is it compared to others?
If you have completed answering the above questions, then please proceed reading.
Why do you need it?
Let’s talk about why you need to get online in the current market situations. No matter where your business is located, people’s attention is always online even when they come to your restaurant most people are on their phones. So as a business owner you need to make sure that whatever you are advertising you need to get your pitch to the place where people’s attention is.
Previously we had T.Vs, Billboards, radio, and all of that but even though they do work to a certain extent, it isn’t where the majority are hanging out. So it only makes sense for you to get online to reach your desired audience. By now, most of your competition is already hitting the customers with their ads.
Start by doing the basics of getting online i.e, create online profiles for your business from scratch. Do make sure to get good photos of your business as that is what proven to work.
How will it benefit?
I can possibly go on and on about the benefits of getting online but I am sure you might have already gotten an idea why it is necessary. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, they wake up in the morning to check their social media and they get to see an amazing breakfast dish near them on their feed, which is going to get them to want to drive down to your place and try out your food.
Anyway, I am just going to list down the benefits for you to see:-
- Building loyal followers – The more regular you are and you spent some quality time with your social media channel and connect with your audience and keep them happy they will turn from a regular audience to a loyal audience.
- Ability to reach your customers – This goes without saying, you can’t reach a vast number of customers via phone or in-person as using a social media channel.
- Connecting on a personal level – When you start replying and commenting/engaging with your customers. This will help you connect with them on a personal level even when they aren’t at your restaurant.
- Reaching the masses – Imagine having the ability to reach 10,000 people at once.
- Ability to show your promotion at the tip of your fingers – You can just randomly create a promotion and put it out online.
- Make your customers return – You can use Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to remind your customers to come back.
- Keeping your customers be up to date with your offers – You won’t have to deal with one time customers as you can always send them an update of your new offers anytime.
- Ability to take bookings via online messages – This one is amazing if used properly. You see everybody wants to feel important and they love booking their table in advance and you are just giving them the ability to do it at ease.
- Search Engine Traffic – If you have a website then it will be a great idea to use SEO for driving traffic from Google.
and yes, like I said I can go on and on.
What is the cost?
Initially, most of the channels are free and all it takes is some of your time or you can even hire someone to do it for you and it isn’t that expensive these days. You might want to check what your competition around you are doing to get a good idea.
Once you have set up your online profiles then the next step might be to run paid advertisements online. This is where there will be money involved but that totally depends on your budget on how much you want to stick to it.
It can cost you anywhere from $0.01 – $unlimited. You can start with $10 to start with and see where it goes. One of my recommendations would be to run Instagram and Facebook. Facebook would give you all the analytics you need in order to get to know how your ad performance was.
You can either do this by yourself if you have the time or you can just hire somebody. There could also be another cost involved when it comes to the restaurant, your photos should be high in quality and your designs as well. It is also a good idea to get a photographer and a designer to do this for you.
When I first began I didn’t want to spend on a graphic designer or a photographer, I did it on my own by using my phone to get some good pictures. You can also do the same if you don’t have the budget but keep in mind that eventually, you might have to spend on them.
What about ROI?
The ROI will totally depend on how smart you are in terms of digital marketing. There isn’t any said guarantee but like everything else, it is always a trial and error. The more often you do market your business online the better you will get at this. When I first ran my first campaign it was an absolute fail but my 3rd time gave me a huge ROI and it almost paid for all the money that was lost.
You never know, you could be lucky with your first one itself. If you are hiring a freelancer, in-house marketing personnel or an agency then it isn’t really on your hard as they will be marketing your business but they are obviously more equipped and experienced to do the task. That basically means that you can expect some good return on investment from that.
So now that has been laid out there, it’s time for you to create your strategy. Just take out a word document or even your notebook and write down your plan for the next 30 days on how you are planning to get online. Either you can choose to hire someone or do it yourself. I would highly suggest starting by yourself and then once you get the hang of it you can think to take the next step.
You can always reach out to me and let me know if you get stuck or don’t know where to begin. I will also be writing more articles and also will be published completely free video marketing tutorials. You can also check out my nightclub marketing strategies and if you want to learn specifically on SMM then you can read my social media marketing for nightclubs.
Once I do I will keep this page updated. Please bookmark this page to stay updated.