Technology and the rise of social media has made it easier for businesses to get the word out regarding their products and services. While this is definitely a good thing, it is not without its downsides.
Digital channels of communication, while providing businesses with a conduit leading directly to their target audience, have become saturated. It is now harder than ever for businesses to stand out.
For example, how can one fried chicken restaurant compete with 10 others, who all swear to be the best in the city? These restaurants are all bound to have excellent websites, and also have attractive social media accounts.
There are companies that specialize in customizing user experience and ensure that customers are more likely to become aware of a restaurant or caterer. An online ordering system, for example, can work on a restaurant’s existing web presence and expand it into a customer’s personal space using mobile applications, and making it easy for them to get the food that they want at their doorstep.
However, there are a few things a restaurant or food catering service should remember to make their marketing plans more effective.
1. Create a website
Aside from the tried and true–fliers, pamphlets, and posters–restaurants and food services these days should establish an online presence, starting with a website.
With the increasing popularity of smart phones and other mobile devices, people are relying more and more on the internet to get the information they need. If you cannot be Googled, it is like you do not exist.
A good website should contain information about your restaurant or food catering service, but most importantly should showcase the food, where stores can be found, and how they can order.
2. Establish presence on social media
Social media is also a good place to push updates to customers, as they spend a lot of time there online.
Facebook is able to deliver good clickthroughs to websites, and Twitter gives users the chance to get live updates from businesses they follow. Instagram is foodie heaven, and other platforms such as Pinterest and Tumblr also allow for various means to highlight food products.
Social media also makes it easy for customers to get in touch, and to join promotions or contests.
3. Encourage food reviews
People like giving their opinions, and love it when their views are heard and shared by others. This is why it can be useful for restaurants to share food reviews written by customers and bloggers on their website and social media accounts.
If bad reviews are given, restaurants can immediately address the complaints and show that they have addressed these, making customers happy with their quick response.
4. Make food online ordering for restaurants or reservations an option
Customers like convenience, and online ordering for restaurants is as easy as it can get. In addition to food orders, most online ordering systems can also receive table reservations.
With the availability of online payment platforms and the rise of mobile devices, this can be useful in ramping up sales, as customers no longer have to wait until they get off work or go to a store in order to transact their business.
They can buy food or make reservations immediately, when the mood strikes or they feel hungry.
5. Regularly get feedback from customers
It is important to talk to customers about their opinions, and to make them feel that what they want matters. After all, they are paying good money for the food and service.
Feedback can be through email, the website, social media, phone, or a dropbox on site.
There should be follow through, however. Restaurants can leverage social media or their website to show their responses to the most pressing concerns. Showing you care can earn brownie points with customers.
6. Give incentives or discounts to customers
Incentives such as a one-day only discount, a weekend food sale, or free dessert can help ramp up sales–everybody likes freebies.
Social media can be leveraged in a variety of ways to promote these kinds of efforts.
7. Ride on local holidays or events
Hosting an event during local holidays or events can help a restaurant get increased sales, as they can serve as a meeting place for several groups. For example, a bar can host a football viewing party, for example, and fine dining restaurants can host a Valentine’s Day speed dating event.
8. Show lots of food photos on promo materials
Visually stimulating photographs can ignite interest in people, and gorgeous food photos on promotional material, websites and social media accounts are sure to make potential customers think about what your restaurant or catering service is offering.
There are several Facebook and Twitter posts a day, as well as whole Instagram campaigns and websites celebrating food. Consistently mouthwatering food photographs are sure to catch foodies’ attention.