Instead, ensure you invest in good branding, well-designed marketing materials and a professional website.
You’ve signed the lease, hired the chef and started implementing the fitout of your new restaurant or takeaway shop. The next step is thinking about interesting ways to market your business so you can attract new customers and position the business alongside the latest food and beverage trends.
1. Define your brand identity
Today’s consumers want more than great food and drink. They want to feel good about their choices. Brand transparency and operating practices will influence whether you’re regarded as the right choice, so take time to develop your key positioning and foundational values, as well as your mission and value proposition.
2. Build a business website
Websites are critical for conveying certain information about your restaurant. Visitors are looking for answers to questions regarding opening hours and location, as well as the menu – for example whether you can cater for their specific dietary requirements and work around their allergies, or whether there are vegetarian and vegan options.
Create a professional website with accurate contact information so you appear as a desirable option when people look online to decide where they will eat out next.
3. Embrace mobile tech habits
As more consumers look for restaurants while on-the-go, having a mobile-friendly website has become a critical part of establishing your online presence. The desktop version of your website could be frustrating to view on a mobile device, requiring people to pinch or zoom in order to read the content. Thankfully, there are a number of website services that can build a digital offering with responsive design in mind.
4. Embrace well-designed marketing materials
Your menu flyer or business card creates an instant, and irreversible, impression of your business. Just like your website, if they look too DIY people might associate the perceived lack of effort with the quality of your food and service.
5. Upload and share foodie photos
If you’ve ever logged onto Instagram, you’ll understand that the most effective way to promote your menu is with artfully styled photos of popular menu items. Visual content is in high demand online these days, and having delicious-looking photos on your website and social media channels is sure to encourage people to ‘like’ or post about your food (particularly if you have created a hashtag that is relevant to your business).
6. Monitor review sites and take on feedback
Businesses live and die by their reputation and the public’s perception of them. Monitor what people are saying about your restaurant online via Yelp or another directory site. It’s worth noting negative feedback and ensuring that it guides you to make any necessary changes.
Your social media channels also allow you to listen to feedback, so hone in on your comments from your customers and strive to understand what people expect from you when it comes to customer service.