Restaurant Marketing Ideas to Incorporate in Your 2022 Strategy

Over the last two years, the global hospitality industry has gone through incredibly challenging times. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread over the world, customers were forced to stay at home and away from businesses that were already struggling to stay afloat. However, things have finally started easing back to normal in most parts of the world. Eager customers are returning, restrictions are being relaxed and business is returning to normal. 

So, with a return to business on the cards, we thought we would take a look at various marketing ideas you can start implementing in your restaurant today. We took a look at what some of the restaurants are doing to attract new followers and fill seats. From digital marketing to smart ideas and techniques, we took the best advice and brought it straight to you. 

Strengthen Your Customer Base With WiFi Marketing 

WiFi marketing is certainly one of the most understated forms of restaurant marketing you can try out. It is exactly what it sounds like. It provides free WiFi to your customers while collecting their data, such as name or email address, when they sign in to use it.

To your guests, you are simply asking them for relevant details to log in and use the service while they are at your venue. But to you, this is a great marketing strategy to gain valuable data and information to create marketing campaigns to bring them back into your restaurant. Many use it as an effective way to gather information for customer databases to create campaigns to find new customers, win back lost customers, and personalize your customer’s experience. 

Create Great Content to Win Over Customers 

One of the biggest aspects of digital marketing is content. It is used across all of your social media platforms, your website, as well as your emails. But your content marketing strategy has to be solid. You should aim to educate and inform your customer. You want to entertain them and lure them into coming to your restaurant. 

As with most businesses, we say, start with a blog. Even as a restaurant that is more focused on bringing physical people into your space, a blog is a great way of being organically found on Google. Topics like “5 Two-For-Ones Not to Be Missed on Tuesdays” or “The Best Pizza Places in Town”. Yes, you will be mentioning other venues, but you can increase traffic to the blog, highlight your venue first and draw attention to the brand immediately. 

The trick is to ensure that you are creating unique, organic content. So, hire a great content writer, or get a plagiarism checker to make sure that what you are putting out there is unique and is going to be picked up by Google. 

Pivot Your Restaurant’s Operational Strategy 

COVID-19 forced thousands of businesses to rethink their strategies. As most were not able to serve customers directly and on the premises, a lot had to rely on delivery options. As most restaurants have already undertaken this, others have taken the strategy even further and created more ways to service house-bound customers. 

Most restaurants are currently partnering with their local delivery services like Dash or Uber Eats. And while not all restaurants have created their own mobile app, you might want to consider building one for your restaurant. On this app, your customers would be able to order deliveries, order in advance before sitting down, or even collect themselves. These apps also offer discounts and loyalty programs when they are used with orders. You are also able to directly engage with your customer with notifications and alerts, especially for specials and discount days. 

The last interesting strategy that we noticed was the food boxes that restaurants offered customers. Although “cook it yourself” seems beside the point of restaurants, it was interestingly highly popular among restaurant regulars. Customers were provided with the fresh ingredients acquired by the restaurant, a recipe, and instructions on making it at home. 

Prioritize Your SEO 

If anything, this should really be one of the most important aspects to look at. This will allow you to be found in local listings when potential customers search their areas. It will help you stick out when they are searching for relevant keywords associated with your type of restaurant. We mentioned earlier that content is key in this aspect and when it comes to SEO, the more content, the higher you rank. 

It is important to put some money behind your local SEO efforts too, and Google ads are a key addition to your marketing budget. Essentially, you will want to get your business registered with Google, be accurately placed on the local map, have accurate details about the venue, and start gaining reviews. 

Ask your regular customers to review your restaurant and consider incentivizing them to do so. The more content you publish, the higher your rankings on search engines, and the easier you will be found. So, do as much as you can to be found organically. 

Bottom Line 

The more technology evolves, the more you are able to reach out to unique and new audiences. Keep using social media and online resources to help you reach your customers. There are new techniques all the time, so keep an eye on trends and also watch what your competitors are doing.