With the food and beverage industry becoming more and more saturated every day, it’s more important than ever that food businesses, especially restaurants, have a strong and clear traditional and digital marketing strategy in place.
Well thought-out and effective marketing campaigns can turn a barely-known restaurant or food service business into the first search result that pops up on Google. Strong marketing has the potential to create even stronger brands for restaurants so that they can stand out from their competition (which is one of the hardest things to do in the food and beverage industry in 2023).
This unique branding that sets your business apart from others can then easily result in huge growths in your customer base, customer loyalty, revenue and brand awareness (a.k.a more people know who you are and want to come to your venue.)
See below for our top 4 marketing strategies for food and restaurant businesses to increase their revenue and put their venue on the map...
As there are many expenses and unavoidable overhead costs when running a foodservice business, marketing is often something that owners will avoid putting money, time or effort into.
However, the foodservice industry is highly competitive and constantly evolving, and without effective marketing, businesses are sure to struggle to stand out and successfully compete with other restaurants, cafes, and foodservice competitors.
Ideally, your restaurant’s marketing efforts will be all-encompassing and will cover everything from digital marketing (e.g. a high-quality, informative website) to traditional marketing (e.g. print flyers and billboards).
However, if you’re not sure where to start, here are 4 simple marketing goals we recommend to get your marketing strategy on the right track:
Marketing Goal #1
Increased Brand Awareness and Customers
If your ultimate goal is to attract new customers and increase awareness around your business, a strong digital marketing strategy is possibly the best way for restaurants and foodservice venues to do this.
By regularly posting on social media platforms, having a well-designed website and engaging with your customers online, you can entice new potential customers to visit your venue or at least the very least follow your business’ journey online. Don’t forget to keep up with social media trends too to make the most of this!
Another great way to attract new customers is to run paid online advertising campaigns, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Depending on your budget, you can reach thousands and thousands of new customers by appearing at the top of their Google search or on their social feed when you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Promotional events are also an effective way to attract attention to your venue and entice new customers to give your business a go. Events such as happy hour specials, live music nights or special menus to celebrate events (such as Christmas and Mother’s Day) can go a long way in attracting new customers and building your brand awareness.
Marketing Goal #2
Increased Customer Loyalty
If you need to build customer loyalty and retention in your foodservice venue, marketing campaigns that engage customers and focus on improving their satisfaction levels are a great way to increase their loyalty.
A simple and effective way to incentivise repeat visits is through loyalty programs like free meals, discounts or rewards. For example, offering your customers 15% off their next visit or a free dessert if they visit again by the end of the month.
Online and digital engagement with your customers is another excellent way to increase their loyalty. Responding to customer reviews, comments and messages online, as well as sending out regular email marketing campaigns is sure to keep them engaged and aware of your business.
If you have the tools, you can also use customer data (e.g. from your email database or website) to create personalised promotional offers for your customers. Catering to your customers’ preferences and purchase histories will encourage them to engage with and stay loyal to a business that cares about them.
Marketing Goal #3
An increase in revenue and profit is probably the most common result that foodservice businesses want to see from marketing campaigns. Upselling and cross-selling, as well as strategic pricing, is a great way to see an increase in sales and encourage your customers to try more of your products. For example, offering add-ons like drinks and desserts to your customer’s orders is an easy and proven way to increase revenue.
Targeted promotions can also help increase sales and are great for special events. For example, running a marketing campaign that offers your customers 10% off when they dine in with their mother on Mother’s Day will draw them into your restaurant and entice them to spend more on the special occasion. Combo deals are another excellent way to bump up sales by prompting customers to spend a little bit more than they might've been planning to, but receiving a lot more value in return.
Marketing Goal #4
Relevance and Competitiveness
Keeping your finger on the pulse of the evolving food and beverage industry is one of the most important aspects of marketing for your foodservice business. Staying relevant within the market and within your group of competitors is crucial, especially in the age of social media trends and new, creative items on menus.
Simple ways of staying relevant and competitive in the market include:
- Regularly updating your menus
- Offering limited-time deals, combo products or specials
- Offering online ordering and/or delivery
- Regularly auditing your business' online performance and growth
- Staying active on social media and jumping on trends
- Using tools like Google Ads to reach new audiences
Overall, a strong marketing strategy is essential for foodservice businesses to attract and retain customers, build brand recognition, and stay competitive in a crowded marketplace. Hopefully the simple strategy ideas we’ve outlined above help your foodservice business implement a strong and successful marketing strategy!