Today, finding a restaurant you want to dine at is based heavily on searching online, usually triggered by the desire to eat a certain type of food. Restaurants are discovered by geo-targeting places closest to the diner’s location or destination. For example, diners might search “French restaurant” or “Chinese restaurant” and then suggestions would be made based on their location and choice. After they find a list of restaurants, diners look for ratings and reviews made by past diners to see which places are highly recommended and which places to avoid. It’s based on those findings that they’ll decide where to go.
Why Marketing Matters
Marketing properly is the key to becoming the first choice customers make when they want to dine out. It increases your chance to be found, increases the amount of money customers spend, and increases how often and quickly they return. Here’s an example that shows what a loyalty program can do for you.
Do you have a loyalty card in your wallet or purse? Maybe it’s a punch card for your local coffee shop that states “Buy 10 and get your next coffee free.” If so, this is a tool used to increase the frequency of a customer’s visits. Guests are encouraged to come back more often with a reward of free coffee. Or have you been shopping and seen a sign with the message “Spend $100 and get 10% off your purchase?" This strategy increases the amount of money spent per visit. This could make a huge impact on getting customers to buy another item if their total reaches $80 or $90!
Why Focus On Social Media?
It’s easy to forget the importance of having a proper social media strategy. The profit margins in the restaurant industry are notoriously low and you’re focused on dollars and cents. But according to a 2011 report from the Pew Research Centre, 55% of adults say they actively search out news and information about local restaurants, bars, and clubs and when they do, almost 60% of adults turn to the internet, including search engines, specialty websites, and social networking sites.
It takes effort to build relationships with your customers and turn them into brand advocates. These are the people that will tell their friends and family about what an incredible dining experience they had at your restaurant. How do people share or exchange news, information and their ideas with others today? The most popular way to communicate is through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.