Online marketing for restaurants: essential techniques
Restaurants are hugely complex businesses and subject to a very high level of competition in the USA. Year after year we attend a large dance of ups and downs in which we bid farewell to illustrious businesses and welcome new options that arouse great expectations.
Smartphones and restaurants
Although they are clearly traditional businesses, their influence in the digital field is undoubted. If someone believes that the Internet does not have any impact on their restaurant is that not only does not know the digital world but does not know their customers. Is not it usual to see customers photographing food with their mobile? Is not it usual to see customers focused on their mobile when they should be talking or eating? Are not there a multitude of restaurant reviews on the Internet?
Maybe it's not the most important thing. Maybe some professionals abuse exhibitionists. But restaurant marketing , without being the most important thing for a restaurant to work well, is important and this importance is and will continue to be growing in the coming years. Even more important, due to the considerable technological change, the opportunities that exist now may not be maintained over time.
What can online marketing bring to a restaurant?
Once the human need to feed for a purely nutritional purpose is satisfied, the restaurants become leisure companies that make it possible to enjoy a moment in the company of friends or family (social), tasting new and exciting flavors in a different context to the usual (experience).
Taking into account that social relations are increasingly linked to the Internet by the phenomenon of social networks, this first factor, food as a social event, seems that it will not be able to separate from the technological environment. From the communication between the diners to set the date, time and place until the subsequent comments through the publication of photos and opinions.
The tasting of the food could seem a more distant aspect of the digital field. After all, no odors or flavors can still be transmitted over the Internet. However, restaurants are paying more attention to the presentation. If this happens it is because it is important to convey a feeling according to the quality of the food. It is necessary for the client to experience sensations with the food before even putting it in his mouth. The image, whether in a photo or video, does have a great capacity to be transmitted online. Therefore, even if it is reduced in quality, because the smell and taste are out of the equation, the image is capable of being transmitted to an almost infinite number of people, that is, the Internet allows us to communicate less experience intense to a greater number of people.
How to promote a restaurant through online marketing?
The most important thing would be to design a strategy integrated by different aspects of the business to give coherence to the productive part of the room and kitchen with the communication part. The communication should also take into account the on and offline elements. That is why this is the first technique we recommend for online marketing.
The client goes from being a punctual visitor to having more contact with the restaurant, which will give the business more opportunities to serve and seduce him to repeat. Since the client approaches there are elements of communication and continuous impact such as the facade, the sign, display elements on the door or outside of the premises (daily menu, showcase with letter, card display ...), the tables can have elements such as flyers, paper and letter paper tablecloths and finally, before leaving, customers receive the note in a plate or case.
Obviously, putting on the label a Facebook logo of the size of the commercial name is a bit excessive but there are many things that can be done. For example, if we use a blackboard to publish the menu of the day abroad, we could let users know that this information is available on the website or on social networks. Perhaps the menu customers of the day do not always pass by or do not retain that information but from the office they can consult it easily and precisely when they make the decision of where to eat. The showcase with the letter can also include the web address and some social network icons so that the interested visitor knows that he can access at another time to consult pictures of the establishment. Finally, when delivering the note, it is an ideal time to ask him to value his experience on the website, on Facebook or on Tripadvisor. An abbreviated URL or QR code can facilitate access from mobile devices.
Become visible on the Internet We must bear in mind that there are different levels of visibility. It is possible that when looking for the restaurant the web page appears, it would be missing more, that is why the search engines are what they are. It would also be good to have a business listing in Google My Business, in Trip Advisor, in Foursquare, in Yelp ... and in all the local pages and directories that can help us get to know and improve our online reputation. As a finale, allowing users who search us on Google, Google Maps and Google+ to make a virtual visit to the establishment can bring a lot of confidence and improve the image.
Email marketing in restaurants Use the email. We may perceive email as a prehistoric tool within the mix of online media but it is still one of the most used Internet services and, contrary to what was believed, its use has increased since the appearance of social networks. We are not talking here of bombarding with inconsequential information, of course, but of providing customers who so wish with relevant information about the business. There are many users who want to know if the schedule will change in summer, if there will be special menus for Christmas dinners or if they will return those delicious truffle dishes next season. In addition to those newsletter type emails that we should not abuse email marketing has other uses equally important. For example, a contact form on the web can help us catalog, automate and respond to different user communications (press, employment, schedule information ...). In the same way, if we manage online reservations, it is very convenient to take advantage of the confirmation email to suggest that they follow us on social networks or recommend the service to their friends.