So, you are on the verge of opening up a new restaurant or bar or maybe you already have a great restaurant – delectable food, loyal and satisfied customers and wonderful employees – but you crave for more. You envision the potential of your establishment soaring beyond your originally projected goals. Marketing your establishment is the first step toward attaining this goal and this is where White Water Agency comes in to play! Here are a few of our tips and tricks to be the best in the industry.
With more people dining out more frequently, there’s been a serious increase in restaurants popping up seemingly out of nowhere, especially here in South Florida. If your business is one of them, you know that it’s important to stay ahead of the curve: that way, you can continue to serve up the dishes you love, to the people who love them.
Social Media: Plate your food pretty
Chances are you are on social media. (who isn’t nowadays?) and chances are you go onto your Instagram feed and the first thing you see is a pic of your friends food! That photo that makes you drool and you now want that juicy burger covered in cheddar cheese, bacon and that scrumptious side of truffle fries (now you want that damn burger although your trying your best to be on a good diet, thanks FRIEND!) Your friend just gave said restaurant FREE advertising and exposure.
Instagram’s heavy influence on restaurants’ success, in fact, has motivated many to take an “Instagram-worthy” approach to food creation — plating food that doesn’t just taste great, but looks great too. So this tip is… make sure you plate your food to look picture perfect, because 95% of the time, it will be placed on social media AKA your free advertisement from your amazing customers.
I know, I know- this might sound strange, but it’s time to stop taking reservations because people aren’t showing up and you’re losing money because of it! According to OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations: “The no-show rate in the U.S. is approximately 20 percent lower than the no-show rate for diners who book via phone.”
Many restaurants are now implementing a “first-come, first-served policy and really seeing the benefits from it. If customers show up at your restaurant and are told there is a small wait, chances are they will end up at the bar ordering a cocktail.
Loyalty Program & ITB
More and more restaurants are implementing loyalty programs in hopes of keeping their regulars coming back. Plus offer something extra special for people who are “ITB” (In The Business). With new guest acquisition costs significantly higher compared to the cost of bringing repeat guests back, it is a top priority for restaurants to build and sustain their guests’ loyalty.
The simplest way to implement a customer loyalty program? With a punch card. Restaurants, though, are getting innovative and increasingly moving to digital customer loyalty programs. There are a ton of companies who offer this service so it’s easily offered to anyone, anywhere.
Join the Chamber
Join your local chamber of commerce and connect with other members. Not only will this allow you more access to the local community but you will be able to host more events and parties for members. By joining, you often get a link on their website which helps with search engine rankings.
Work with like-minded businesses that are near the restaurant or it could be a business that has a similar audience. For example, one of out clients’ restaurants attracted a number of customers who were in from out of town (very touristy spot), so we worked with local hotels, convention center and the airport to gain traction on the guests coming in from out of town that were looking for a nice place for dinner.
Hosting a media/food blogger is crucial, especially when you are just opening your restaurant AND when you change over your menu. Hosting a media dinner is simply inviting local media and high-end influencers who will in exchange for being wined and dined, write, review and photog your restaurant, food, chef, and staff. This is your time to shine and you better be ready!
Monitor & Respond to ALL Reviews
Many restaurant owners frequently overlook, ignore or respond inappropriately to their online customer reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and more. Reviews can have a big impact on your business; even one bad review might turn away new or returning customers. A good start is to set up a Google alert for the restaurant name so that you can monitor what is being said about your business.