"If you cook it, they will come..."

GRA Blog , Marketing & PR , Menu ,
By Krista Haynes, Showroom Sales Lead at ACityDiscount

Only if potential restaurant customers read your website menu in advance; your restaurant has three or more stars on Yelp, UberEats or another third-party food delivery site; they like the Instagram filter you selected for food photos; Google recognizes your restaurant as a nearby business.

Today’s successful restaurant – fast casual to fine dining – needs more than amazing food and a great location to thrive. Marketing is vital to getting menus in front of the right people, and after their amazing meals, reminding them about it – messaging that connects with customers.

Many of our customers focus on the front and the back of the kitchen. Problem is, they forget to reach, to engage with thousands, tens of thousands of potential customers. They fail to create calls to action with social media posts. They neglect to make it easy for foodies to find them online. They don't realize the financial impact a viral video can have on business, or they don't realize creating this type of video is within their reach.

These marketing tips will lead to sales. Not overnight (few marketing initiatives work that fast), but over time. 
 
Marketing Idea No. 1
Take a photo (Lots of ‘em) – With an expensive camera or any everyday smart phone… document the fried chicken and seafood pasta. Snap pictures of the BBQ platter, loaded French fries and mango martini. Over time, watch social media likes and shares morph into covers.
 
Marketing Idea No. 2
Create a promotional video - At ACityDiscount, we created a "12 Days of Christmas" video in an effort to boost 2017 holiday sales. The project started with a concept, continued with a script (video to the left, audio to the right) and shooting schedule and ended with post production (editing). The entire effort highlighted 12 business partners. About 25 ACityDiscount staffers participated in on-camera roles.
 
Marketing Idea No. 3
Get out in the Community - New to the neighborhood? Aiming to increase brick-and-mortar foot traffic? Participate in community events – chili cook-offs, cancer walks, food/toy drives. Etc. These events will expose your restaurant to new audiences.
 
Marketing Idea No. 4
Create Daily Specials - "Pick a day for something to happen, and call it that day," said Hap Schneider, general sales manager at ACityDiscount and a former seafood house restaurant owner.

"Every day, we had our soup of the day, and our regular soup,” he continued. “Most of the time, the soups of the day didn't go every well. One day, on a Thursday, we did a cream of cauliflower soup. Customers loved it."

"The next Thursday, we weren't doing that soup. Customers asked about it. 'Hey, can we get your cream of cauliflower soup?'

" Thursday became "Cream of Cauliflower Soup Day." I added it to the menu."

Morale of this food story?

"People get something in their mind," Schneider added, "and they think about that particular food product, and you get hungry for it."
 
Marketing Idea No. 5
Create an online footprint so Foodies can find you - Are you on Yelp? Is your menu on your website - do you have an up-to-date website? Have you completed a Google My Business profile?

Ever heard of the joke about not eating at a restaurant with an empty parking lot? Nowadays, foodies steer clear of eateries that don’t have online reviews. (Tip: respond to negative reviews in a non-argumentative tone)

Marketing Idea No. 6
Start Blogging - How do foodies discover the best BBQ restaurant in town? Oftentimes, they listen to what Google tells them. So it's time to give Google content from your website, drawing customers closer to all the wonderful milestones your brand enjoys on a daily - often hourly - basis. Setbacks and success stories. Some serious stuff, and some funny moments. It's all worth a read on the company blog.
 
Marketing Idea No. 7
Meet a food blogger/social influencer - Identify digital influencers in your community. Invite them to your place for a taste. Earn a good review and watch business soar.
 
Marketing Idea No. 8
Create customer contests - What's the perfect social media hashtag for your restaurant? The best photo angle? Slogan? Ask your customers. Reward them with incentives!
 
Marketing Idea No. 9
Buy local - Source ingredients from local vendors, creating cross-promotion opportunities. Let the public know you support local businesses and in turn, foodies will better support you.
 
Marketing Idea No. 10
Start Truckin' - Food Trucks are additional revenue streams – on wheels. They're also mobile billboards that advertise your brand. Worth the investment.

Interested in learning more about restaurant marketing or restaurant equipment? Contact us at 404-752-6715 or visit ACityDiscount.com.