The small business restaurant is one of the more challenging businesses to own. Chain restaurants have the advantage of national or global ad campaigns that benefit franchise owners, but the small business restaurant must use creative strategies to get enough business to succeed. These strategies also need to be low to no-cost to help the business while not eating away profits. Here are marketing strategies that will get people ordering, eating, sharing, and returning, that won’t break the bank.
Promotions and CouponsWhile the taste and quality of the food served will be the biggest draw for a restaurant, customers will be equally concerned with cost. Offering coupons on the next meal or running specials and promotions will keep them returning as much as the excellent food. Even higher-end restaurants can benefit from promotions and coupons. While exclusivity can take a restaurant far, there are certain points in a restaurant’s life when the business takes a dip. All restaurants can be creative in how they make offers to their clients while keeping with the brand’s reputation.
WebsiteHaving a business website featuring your menu and information is a must for a restaurant. The website should be inviting and include pictures of mouth-watering food, and the warm atmosphere customers can expect when they visit. An added attraction that could bring your restaurant more business through the website is to have an online ordering feature. This feature will allow take-out customers to peruse your menu longer, often resulting in added items they may not add if ordering over the phone.
Social MediaThe most effective social media platforms for small business restaurants are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. All of these platforms allow the restaurant to interact directly with both regular and potential customers. Posts on social media should focus on the restaurant, the food, information, and engagement. The goal is to increase your online presence to help potential customers find your restaurant.
ReviewsDon’t be afraid to ask customers to review your restaurant. Many potential customers use search engines to find new restaurants to try in their area. When deciding to try something new, online reviews play a significant role in driving your restaurant’s traffic. Giving special offers, discounts, or free food or drinks in exchange for a review is a low-cost way to drive significant traffic to your restaurant.
Adding a blog to your already engaging website can bring more traffic to discovering your restaurant. The content needs to be keyword-heavy, simple, and engaging. Use your website analytics to discover what search words bring traffic to your site and make sure every blog includes those words. Using humor and including community interests, and featuring food and restaurant staff will have people want to try you out.
Recipes and Cooking Classes
Believe it or not, though many people love eating out, so they don’t have to cook when they cook at home, they like to duplicate some of their restaurant favorites. A way to get more customers in the door is to offer your top chefs cooking demos while not giving away all your secrets. Even sharing recipes online for favorites will get people coming to your site and either ordering food or bringing them to your restaurant. The bottom line is, people love to learn something and interact with the chefs. This could be an easy way to draw in new and returning customers.
Outside of digital marketing strategies, you should employ other tried and true marketing approaches. Run ads in local publications as can be afforded, attend community events, hand out free samples, and use flyers and signage. Interacting with potential customers will get them in, and your food and atmosphere will keep them coming back.
When running a small business restaurant, marketing is the most important element in your business’s success outside of the food quality. Everyone knows most restaurants fail within the first three years, but your restaurant doesn’t have to be part of that statistic. Implementing these simple marketing strategies will make your small business restaurant the hottest game in town in no time!About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.