Remember how you said 2024 was going to be the year you built out that robust Restaurant Marketing strategy? How’s that going? Whether you’ve taken the steps to elevate your marketing strategy OR if you’re feeling stuck in the mud, we have 14  ideas here to help you gain more customers to walk into your restaurant.

Regardless of how long your restaurant has been open, we’ve learned that sustained success relies on diversifying your Restaurant marketing tactics. Doing this successfully ensures:

  1. Increased interest from your local customers
  2. Repeat customers
  3. A more predictable restaurant throughout the year

Join us in this blog as we share a number of highly efficient strategies to generate new Restaurant customers. Ready to jump in?  Here are 11 Restaurant Marketing Strategy ideas for you!

1. Start with your Website to get More Restaurant Customers

Is your website easy to navigate? Do visitors know how to contact you when landing on your restaurant website?  What’s the first impression your audience has when visiting the site?  Answer these questions without the lens of a business owner and if you feel any of them are lacking, then it’s time to consider a new and improved restaurant Website. This is key for your restaurant marketing strategy.

Start here with these core topics and themes for your website:

  • Is it easy to find and navigate your menu?
  • Can people clearly make reservations or is there a easy process to make reservations?
  • Provide an easy way for customers to connect with you
  • Do you have great photos of the atmosphere and some of your key menu items?

2. Leverage Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) for Restaurant Marketing Strategy

PPC and SEM campaigns are a MUST Restaurant marketing strategy, consistently proven to bring customer into your business. While Google remains the primary search engine, don’t underestimate the potential of Bing.

Why invest in PPC and SEM strategies? For starters, every $1 invested in Google Ads, businesses reap an average return of $2. Also, visitors who land on your website through PPC or SEM are 50% more likely to convert. Have you tried this Restaurant Marketing Strategy.

If you don’t have experience with running PPC and SEM strategies for your Restaurant, we can help. Let’s set up time to talk.

11 Restaurant Marketing Strategy Ideas

3. Bring Your Restaurant Customers Back to Your Website with Retargeting

Not everyone who stumbles on your website is ready to join you for a meal, in fact, some are planning events for down the line. You want to ensure that those folks keep seeing your message everywhere.

Have you ever noticed that the same brands appear for you on social, banner ads, etc? You’ve been retargeted and the more you click or engage, the more you’ll be in their web of content and ad messaging. 

To effectively gain customers through retargeting for your company, it takes careful planning and continuous optimization of this Restaurant Marketing Strategy.

4. Set Up Social Media Marketing Channels For Your Restaurant 

Do you have a Social Media Strategy for your Restaurant? Creating your channels correctly is key and then publishing content in the following categories at least 3 times per week gets you in the conversation:

  • Reviews/Testimonials:  Use real reviews from your customers if you have them.  You can keep their names anonymous.
  • Menu Photos: Use either photos from a photographer or UGC from current customers
  • Specials/Events: Let your customers know what you have happening for events like Mother’s Day or over the holidays

Why do you need a Restaurant Social Media Strategy?  When your audience finds your website, one of the first things they’ll do is turn to social media to learn about your restaurant.  You want to make sure that you’re easily found and you want to make sure you paint the right picture.  

5. Run Social Media Ads To Quickly Build Awareness

Social advertising for Restaurant Customers can be a powerful tool to reach your target audience  and increase visibility for your company.   One key advantage of social advertising is its ability to target specific local demographics. 

One strategy to test and gain quick data is to boost your social media content with small ad budgets. Once you gain data, you’ll be able to switch out the audience and creatives to find the best performing ad for Restaurant marketing customers.

6. Don’t forget about SEO for your Restaurant

The importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Restaurants cannot be overstated.  SEO acts as a strategic roadmap to enhance the visibility of your website on search engines, making it more likely for potential customers  to discover you.  

Just how important is SEO for restaurants? Ask yourself this…how many results do you review before you click or decide to enter a new search phrase? Most people only look at the first 10-15 results or potentially move to page 2.  If you’re not in that first page, does your restaurant even exist? .

We suggest that you go to Google now and enter search phrases that you’d want local customers to find your website for.  Do you appear on page 1 or 2?  Do you appear at all?  If you don’t like what you find, it may be time to talk to an agency like Bad Rhino to help with your HVAC SEO.

7. Google Business Profile for Restaurants is Critical

Anytime you search Google for local services in your area, you have likely seen Google Business Profile at work. Results show on a map and lists other details about a business, including their website, reviews, contact information and a map with the location of the business.

When people are searching for restaurants, a local Google search is usually their first step. Will you appear on the Map where only 3 restaurants will be shown?  Will they be able to easily locate your website and contact information? If not, then they’re moving on to your competitors. 

Bad Rhino is able to help you optimize your Google Business Profile for Restaurants. Just let us know if you want to learn more about this Restaurant Marketing Strategy.

Restaurant Marketing Strategy Ideas for Customers

8. Answer Every Review, Comment, or Private Message

Keep in mind that every public comment and review is public. Taking the time to respond to each of these shows all potential customers that you’re responsive and that your restaurant s has nothing to hide.

While it may be time consuming, every comment, message and review should be responded to in a timely manner. Don’t view it as you’re ONLY talking to that specific customer, but also showing all prospects and previous customers that you’re responsive and transparent.  

When people notice that you take the time to respond, other customers are more likely to leave you private messages and comments, leading to potential new customers for you.

9. Get Restaurant Customers through GeoFencing 

You can set up ads through a GeoFence campaign, targeting the specific locations your customers are coming from. When you do this in concert with your social ads, google ads, and mailers, this becomes all that more powerful.

We can talk in much greater detail about GeoFencing for Restaurants and the power that comes with it. Just let us know if you have questions and let’s talk about your Geofencing Restaurant Marketing strategy.

10. Use Nextdoor to build a Local Presence

Have you used NextDoor,  the popular app that connects neighbors and neighborhoods for local tips, service recommendations and more? Many local businesses are found through NextDoor, including restaurants. You should be jumping in to local conversations to offer advice and/or reach out directly to those looking for your destination.

The goal here is to be helpful and get your restaurant out in conversations. There may not always be a relevant question, but when there is, you should be the first locally to come into that conversation on NextDoor. This should be something easy to add to your restaurant marketing strategy.

11. Use Direct Mail to gain Restaurant Customers

Direct mail is the perfect follow up to your Digital Marketing ads.  Targeting the same areas increases brand presence and the recognition among your customers.  We’ve found that when both of these are employed, the audience recognizes your brand and thinks of you first when they’re looking for a meal out.

Do you need help implementing any of the Restaurant Marketing strategy items above?  Contact Bad Rhino for a free consultation!