Feast On Digital Success: Strategies for Online Marketing for Restaurants!

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19 Apr, 2024

online-marketing-for-restaurant

Have you heard “It’s finger-lickin’ good” somewhere?

What about “I’m lovin’ it!”

Maybe “eat fresh” rings a bell?

Icons

You guessed it right! These are popular slogans of famous restaurant outlets that need no introduction. The world loves ordering from KFC, McDonald's, Subway, etc. Wouldn’t you want your restaurant to join their ranks someday so your customers start delightfully drooling just by thinking of your restaurant? But how can you possibly do that? Answering some questions might help.

Are your delicious dishes, curated menu, and word-of-mouth buzz enough to grow your restaurant business? 

Are you sure you are not missing out on something important? 

Your restaurant’s dining experience involves more than what your customers see on their plates. They may not be able to smell and taste your signature dishes on your website, but surprise, surprise, their user experience can help your business grow. Sounds like magic, doesn’t it? Well, we are here to tell you the secret trick!

And the name of that secret trick is *drum roll*--digital marketing exclusively for your restaurant! 

Now, even if you have a digital marketing strategy for your restaurant website, it could be made more robust to increase your sales and footfall. Regardless of your business size and maturity, we have lined up yummy digital marketing solutions to help you for years! 

Does my restaurant really need digital marketing?

My restaurant business is doing just fine, I don’t need a digital marketing campaign”

“A digital marketing campaign is just a waste of money”

“Posting pics of my dishes and staff on Instagram/Facebook is sufficient online marketing”

We hope we can agree with the statements above, but unfortunately, the numbers point in a different direction. Today, as many as two-thirds of restaurant owners spend money on social media marketing campaigns. So, if you are not paying for a comprehensive restaurant marketing campaign, your competitors are doing so (and perhaps winning over you). 

Moreover, do you know how to grab the attention of 90% of hungry diners who look up a restaurant website before ordering from it? Your restaurant business may be doing fine now, but do you have the digital scaling systems with a marketing strategy to implement once it expands?

This is why a professional restaurant digital marketing strategy can help your restaurant business beyond your imagination! But now, there’s the question of who can best help you set up your unique digital marketing campaign. Let’s check our options.

Does my restaurant really need digital marketing?

Clarification: A DIY (Do it Yourself) digital marketing campaign might seem the least expensive option, but you need more professional expertise to target the right audience and sustain their interest post-purchase. Refer to the image below to see what we mean:

Does my restaurant really need digital marketing?

On the other hand, professional freelancers will need to gain your level of ownership of your business, perhaps charging extra for custom requests and time commitments. 

Ultimately, a professional restaurant website design agency can completely change the game for your restaurant. For your agreed budget, they can deliver professional SEO, social media, email, and SMS marketing services in a way that triggers the maximum results according to your expectations. Whether you want to increase your table turnover rates or net delivery/take-out sales, an experienced agency can grant your wishes 24*7. You can summon them like a genie from a lamp without any extra costs!

No matter which option you choose, there’s some essential online marketing for restaurant know-how that you should be familiar with.  

Explore Winning Strategies for Restaurant Marketing Online!

  • Expanded Reach
  • Improved Customer Engagement
  • Enhanced Brand Awareness
Branding

Preparing the ingredients for your restaurant’s online marketing strategy

Like every lip-smacking meal, a customized digital marketing solution needs sourcing ingredients, marination, preparation, and presentation. Read on to see what we mean. 

1. Branding: The appetizer of all strategies

Branding helps create your USP in a saturated market, helping your customers quickly recognize and find your business. In a competitive field such as the restaurant business, you cannot afford to ignore the value of solid branding. Some questions you can ask yourself here are:

  • What are my restaurant’s vision and mission?
  • Which dishes form my restaurant draw in the most customers?
  • Which unique ingredients set my restaurant apart from others?
  • What promotes customer loyalty at my restaurant?
  • How can I define my restaurant’s aroma and flavors?
  • Who are my biggest competitors, and why?

You can confidently move on to the next stage once you have definite answers to these questions.

2. Setting Goals: Our main course!

Your restaurant’s goals help set the stage (or shall we say–countertop?) for your future actions. Like your brand and signature dishes, your goals will help you decide what works best for your online marketing efforts. Some of the questions that you can ask yourself in this context are:

  • Do I want to increase my net sales?
  • Do I need to maximize my table turnover rate? 
  • Do I want to increase the margins of my bestsellers?
  • Do I need to grow my website’s organic traffic, email list, or social media followers?
  • Do I want to contribute to my community?
  • Do I want location-centric services?

You are ready for the ultimate phase after choosing the most essential question from the list above.

3. Planning: To delight with your unique flavors!

Like a Commander-in-Chief preparing for battle, this phase demands similar expectations. Several resources are available to you: email, SMS, social media, Google My Business, influencer collaboration, and more! But you (or your digital marketing strategist) need razor-sharp intelligence to determine which resource needs maximum dedication and money. 

Planning

Still confused? The following section may clear things up for you. 

Creating a delicious mix of strategies for digital marketing for restaurants:

Don’t be surprised if we tell you that creating and preparing the tastiest digital marketing campaign for your restaurant is the same as tossing a salad. It's easy-peasy for all seasoned professionals! But, of course, you must first be a professional to deem a task “easy” after doing it for years. 

This is why we will only list strategies curated exclusively by digital marketing professional experts below. Check them out

Reheat your stale restaurant website

We assume you already have an up-and-running restaurant website for your business. If not, contact a reliable restaurant website development services provider right away to get one. 

Reheat your stale restaurant website

You source the freshest ingredients to serve piping-hot meals to your customers, right? Then, how can you serve stale and outdated information to your online customers via your restaurant website? Exactly. Unless you update your restaurant website frequently, visitors will only see your old online menu with available items, which could frustrate them. What’s worse, if you have a tacky font and color scheme, a dysfunctional ordering system, and an unreliable payment processing portal, nobody can save you from the flood of negative comments on Google or social media. 

This is why you must opt for website redesign services to ensure that your online restaurant presence is as professional as your competitors, if not more. Here are some of the measures a web redesign agency will take to ensure that your website starts ringing your restaurant’s cash registers:

  1. Update your online menu to delete items that are no longer prepared
  2. Rewrite content according to a relevant and nodern marketing funnel
  3. Optimize your website’s Google Page Speed criteria
  4. Upload professional food images to attract your visitors visually
  5. Integrate fail-proof cybersecurity for your payment processing portal
  6. Integrate an online ordering, ticketing, and review display system to establish trust among your visitors
  7. Integrate a loyalty-rewarding system to encourage repeat visitors/customers to order again
  8. Integrate an automated email, SMS, and marketing implementation and performance tracker

Whew! Ths already seems like a lot doesn’t it? You can’t expect any freelancer or part-time professional to do it all without charging the moon for your restaurant within the time constraints you set for them!

Add huge dollops of social media marketing

 

GenZ and millennial customers spend more time on Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat than anywhere else. These are some places where you can catch them young (pun!) while they are casually scrolling through their feed. Here are their top preferences that your restaurant can monetize:

  • 33% of GenZ-ers prefer making environmentally sustainable food choices (think locally sourced, fresh produce and poultry)
  • 19% prefer feasting on plant-based alternatives to meat as a healthier alternative to chemically processed meat 
  • Gen Z are 21% to try out new beverages while 44% more likely to try new packaged foods and cuisines. That’s a win if your restaurant serves multiple or unique cuisines
  • Online ordering became popular as a pandemic hangover, where 56% of US Gen Z conduct their health & nutrition research before purchasing their meals. 

Add huge dollops of social media marketing

Now that you know what your social media diners are into, let’s check out some options to gain their attention and trust 

Run ads on your target customers’ preferred social media platform

Want to know which age group uses which social media platform the most? Here’s the rundown:

Run ads on your target customers’ preferred social media platform

While more mature audiences prefer old-school platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and X, younger audiences can be found on Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok. Research more about your customers’ average age groups before zeroing in on a social media platform

Experiment with influencer marketing

Experiment with influencer marketing

This method works best for Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Collaborating with a local influencer can help you expand yourself in your geographical region. You can either check your pre-existing follower list to scout for influencers (they have a blue or grey tick mark next to their names on their main account) or simply Google search with a “top restaurant influencers near me” keyword. 

Et, voila!

You’ll immediately find eager thumbs willing to create delicious promotional posts for your restaurant to their followers in exchange for a fee or some other incentive (like a discount on your most expensive menu item.)

generate more revenues for your restaurant f

Even if you zero in on your perfect restaurant influencer match, your journey is far from over. An experienced agency can better handle settling a contract, negotiating fee and campaign conditions, creating and running your preferred social media campaigns, and finally analyzing and monitoring the data. 

 

Give your customers a shoutout

Give your customers a shoutout

Thank your customers for thanking your restaurant’s unique menu, services, ambience, or just about any possible reason they thank you for. After all, what can be better for your online reputation than earning your customer’s goodwill? Word-of-mouth spreads faster online than traditionally, so ensure to delight your online and offline customers in whichever ways you can. 

Share the joy of local festivities with special discounts and offers

Share the joy of local festivities with special discounts and offers

Take a leaf out of Billie Grocery’s recipe book for this idea. They have effectively looped the Fourth of July’s festivity with their plant-based orders’ ticketing system. If you are queasy about getting a specific landing page created in advance, however, you can always rely on the good, old email marketing to get your restaurant digital marketing going

Whip up local SEO

If you can establish your brand name locally,  you can target other locations. One of the best ways to do this is by incorporating local SEO. Polishing your Google My Business profile will help your restaurant feature in the top results for your location. Thus, when people search for a particular dish or cuisine “...near me,” they’d likely see your restaurant in this list:

Whip up local SEO

Secondly, you might want to consider local SEO in your website content to trigger Google’s crawlers to find you. The wiser you are with keyword usage, the more organic traffic your website will get. Lastly, do not underestimate the importance of publishing fresh content regularly via blogs, social media posts, and podcasts. Local SEO is a unique trick that only the best magicians can perform. Contact JanBask if you want your local SEO efforts to generate guaranteed results. 

Add a dash of automated email marketing

Add a dash of automated email marketing

Email is another channel frequented the most by mature audiences. Targeting the senior generations, where their online attention stays the most, can increase your restaurant's revenues. After all, 90% of US citizens still regularly check their emails for work, connecting with friends and family, or other reasons. 

So, how should you go about it?

Well, to start, you would need to create separate emails according to the following template:

  1. Welcome email
  2. Abandoned cart recovery email
  3. Visitor re-engagement email
  4. Menu-item abandonment email
  5. Order confirmation email
  6. Feedback email

Already dizzy? If you’re a beginner, you may get overwhelmed by all the mandatory steps for a successful email marketing campaign. But if you already have a live campaign, you may skip a step or two or over-perform them, frustrating your subscribers and leads. The best option? Contact a professional email marketing agency to help you out. 

Savor the decadence of an SMS marketing strategy

“Who even uses SMS for communication in the days of social media and email?”

Let us surprise you with the data.

Savor the decadence of an SMS marketing strategy

80% of North Americans STILL use text messaging to communicate daily. Surprised? There’s more. From 2025 onwards, 33% of marketers will integrate loyalty schemes and coupons into their mobile marketing. Pay attention; they could likely be your competitors. 

Like email marketing, SMS marketing requires systematic planning and execution. Trusting the efforts of beginners and novices in the field can drain all your resources without whetting anyone’s appetite. How about you give a professional mobile marketing company a try? 

 

Wring the juice out of third-party delivery sites

Wring the juice out of third-party delivery sites.

In the panic of COVID-19, when diners switched to online ordering according to official protocol, establishments quickly hopped onto third-party delivery apps like Doordash and Grubhub to keep their businesses running. 

What about now?

Online delivery is here to stay because of the convenience it provides. However, there’s a sharp divide in the preference for who delivers customers’ food to them. 59% of customers prefer direct delivery from restaurants, as shown by the graph below:

Wring the juice out of third-party delivery sites.

Third-party delivery services only eat away your profits via expensive commissions while snatching branding and customizable delivery options. Do you want to migrate to direct delivery from your restaurant website but don’t know how to start? You might want to consult the best website design agency for that. Perhaps JanBask could be of help?

 However, we hear you if you still want to stay on delivery apps despite all the disadvantages. Just learn to maximize their system to your advantage by cutting down on wait & delivery times, pricing down your items, and streamlining all orders.  

Garnish with podcast sponsorship

Garnish with podcast sponsorship

While the average internet dweller’s attention span may shorten, podcast listeners have 4.4 times better brand recall. Don’t miss the opportunity to feature yourself on a podcast about your local cuisine and unique speciality. Curious to know the cost? Check out this formula:

Garnish with podcast sponsorship

Your restaurant can bake large batches of sweet revenue using just a sliver of your marketing budget through podcasts. 

How do I know that my restaurant digital marketing is working?

“How much of my restaurant website’s organic traffic and social media engagement convert into sales?”

This is a common ruse of most restaurant website owners, who have active strategies for online marketing for restaurants. Naturally, you’d also want to know the definite ROI for your digital marketing campaign. For this, you would need to know specific technical terms:

How do I know that my restaurant digital marketing is working?

Now that you know the technical differences among different metrics of online marketing for restaurants, you can apply this formula to calculate your profit:

 Return of Investment

For most restaurants, a 500% growth rate is a solid benchmark. However, anything below 200% demands a reevaluation of your ongoing strategy.  

Make sure that you avoid vanity metrics based on your marketing campaigns objective. 

What can you learn from KFC’s restaurant digital marketing?

Take a look at KFC’s official Instagram page. You will immediately notice lip-smacking posts of their bestsellers and offers of the day. Similar tactics can be found on their Facebook and Twitter handles. 

What can you learn from KFC’s restaurant digital marketing?

Despite an active video marketing strategy, KFC uses it YouTube channel mainly for displaying its advertisements. 

KFC

The famous brand uses AMP technology to target its mobile users regarding email marketing. Their email campaigns are visually appealing with catchy text and adequately placed CTA for quick conversion. KFC sends relevant bulk emails to different target audiences based on their location and activity.

What can you learn from KFC’s restaurant digital marketing?

 

FAQs

1. What are the 4 P's of online marketing?

The 4 P's of online marketing are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Product refers to the goods or services offered by a business, Price involves determining the cost of the product or service, Place focuses on the distribution channels used to reach customers, and Promotion involves the various marketing tactics used to raise awareness and drive sales, such as advertising, social media, and content marketing. Together, these elements form the foundation of an effective online marketing strategy to attract and retain customers in the digital landscape.

2. What is the e-marketing mix strategy?

The e-marketing mix strategy, also known as the digital marketing mix, is a framework that outlines the key components necessary for a successful online marketing campaign. It typically includes Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, Physical evidence, and Performance. Each component plays a crucial role in developing and implementing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy tailored to meet the objectives of the business in the online space. From product development to customer service and performance measurement, the e-marketing mix strategy ensures a holistic approach to online marketing that maximizes effectiveness and ROI.

3. What are the 5 main strategies of digital marketing?

The foundation of a successful digital marketing campaign lies in five key strategies: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing (SMM), Email Marketing, and Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC). SEO ensures your website appears prominently in search engine results, driving organic traffic. Content Marketing involves creating valuable content to engage and attract your audience. SMM leverages social media platforms to connect with your audience and build brand awareness. Email Marketing nurtures leads and fosters customer relationships through targeted email campaigns. Finally, PPC lets you reach potential customers directly through paid advertising, driving immediate traffic and conversions. These strategies work together synergistically to maximize your online presence and drive results for your business.

4. Can online marketing for restaurants help in managing peak-hour rush effectively?

Yes, online marketing for restaurants can assist in effectively managing peak-hour rushes. By implementing pre-ordering options, targeted promotions during off-peak hours, and personalized marketing campaigns to incentivize customers to dine during quieter times, restaurants can spread out demand more evenly throughout the day. Additionally, utilizing social media and email marketing to communicate wait times, special offers, and alternative ordering methods like delivery or takeout can help divert traffic during peak hours, reducing congestion and improving overall customer satisfaction. Moreover, leveraging data analytics and customer insights gained through online marketing channels can enable restaurants to forecast demand more accurately, optimize staffing levels, and streamline operations to handle rush periods more efficiently.

5. Is it possible to leverage online marketing to attract more local diners while competing with global restaurant chains in the same area?

Yes, it is possible to leverage online marketing to attract more local diners while competing with global restaurant chains in the same area. One effective strategy is to emphasize the unique aspects of your restaurant that differentiate it from the larger chains, such as locally sourced ingredients, unique regional dishes, or a cozy neighbourhood atmosphere. Local SEO techniques can also help your restaurant appear prominently in search results when users look for dining options in your area. Additionally, engaging with the local community through social media, sponsoring local events, and collaborating with nearby businesses can help foster a sense of connection and loyalty among local diners. By highlighting your restaurant's local identity and catering to the community's preferences, you can carve out a niche market and attract patrons away from the larger global chains.

Wrapping up: Exploring JanBask’s online marketing for restaurants

Online marketing for restaurants is no cakewalk. It takes the sharpest minds and the most experienced professionals to deliver a robust digital marketing plan for restaurants. So, how do you market a restaurant online without emptying your bank account? Easy. Consult the best in the game, JanBask Digital Design, to meet your needs. Their years of experience and industry-gleaned insights can help propel your restaurant’s brand name whenever and wherever you want. 

Depending on your project’s complexity and associated requirements, JanBask can deliver professional solutions with all the elements of success within your budgetary expectations. Does it sound too good to be true? Wait until you try it out. Book a free consultation today and have all your digital marketing strategy for restaurants woes solved.

Interested in our Digital Marketing Strategy for Restaurants

  • Achieve Your Brand Vision
  • Drive Customer Engagement
  • Customize UI for Intuitive Digital Interactions
Branding

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